You Will Find My Essence Here, Flash Fiction

I walked with the sunrise to my back. The sky bled from ocher and gradiated to blue, which seemed to darken as I walked toward it. The gunmetal clouds hoisted themselves into the sky and acted as a Delphic omen of my end. Even in knowing this, I march onward, in no particular direction, but it was is all I could do in opposition to the Fates. As all great Greek heroes know, and as I tried to ignore, evading prophecy is impossible, try as you might.

I was alone. Lost in the forest we had crash-landed in. I must confuse you to say we. I wasn’t initially alone. Five of us survived: Barbara, a fifty-something who lost her teenaged grandson in the crash; Jose, moving to Washington to start a business distributing pot to dispensaries; Lardizabal, a twenty-three year-old IT guy of some sort; the thirty year-old moving to Washington to start a life away from violent ex-boyfriend, Dominica; and myself. We boarded a plane from California to Washington state. Our plane hadn’t yet entered the forested area of the state when the pilot decried engine loss. Most closed their eyes, I assume, but I watched as the green swatch grew more massive, as if it were some hyper-active algae, until it consumed us.

I lost awareness then, and when I came to I saw halves of people bound to their cushioned grave. The five of us quickly united; no one wanted to move too far from the crash site. We thought if we could wait it out eventually someone would come, but the gray clouds already told me we would not make it. I helped bury all of them, I buried the last one, Dominica, myself. Eating the others after they passed crossed my mind, but I could not separate their meat from their essence; I preferred starving than to inflict such carnage onto another body. For a while I got by on eating leaves and berries. I did this haphazardly knowing I was testing my luck. I had no choice but to gamble with the many traps nature built within itself. After the first bout of vomiting, when the nausea didn’t subside, I realized my end.

No one will be alive to bury me, and no one will find my body. My only hope is that my carcass provides life to something else. It’ll be a deer, finding fresh meat for its doe, or it’ll be the insects who will slowly devour my innards and live within me until I fully decay. Either way, it is only through them now that some of my essence can live on.

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