Contributions by Elizabeth Kirschner

A Season in Hell VII

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

Twenty-four hours. It takes twenty-four hours for my diamond mind to reset itself. Or so says Doctor Susan and Doctor Susan knows best. I feel like some strange nocturnal animal being shocked by the light stalking through the windows. There’s water out there. There’s sky out there and a very bald sun. I’m trying to …

A Season in Hell VI

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

I am fathomless under the fathoms. My body parts—an arm here, a leg there—are going numb. It’s cold in here, but I’m not sure where here is. How could that be? How can I exist if I don’t know where here is? Give me back my house. Give me back my seasick mind. Enough dying …

A Season in Hell V

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

Something is happening with time. It’s frozen solid or is a rock face and me without toeholds or footholds to cling to. What does one do without any sense of time? I am begging time to come back while I wait, wait, wait for me to come back. I see myself in a heap on …

A Season in Hell IV

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

Words are turds so I don’t say a thing. I crawl back to my study, try to write Doctor Susan. I’m dying. Robert is at my throat. The word are misspelled, me on my knees using only one finger. Now the floor is sweeping me away, a magic carpet. Now I go limp, my head …

A Season in Hell III

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

I’m crawling all over the house searching for my meds, still screaming like a child in a burning building. My brain is on fire. I can smell its stinky smoke like seared meat. Where are the firemen? Who’s going to save the very life my husband wants to kill? Should I call 911? No, too …

A Season in Hell II

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

His hands are at my throat, choking me, slowly choking me to death. He’s squeezing me so hard I can hear my neck break–snap, snap, like a chicken bone. Will he pluck me, too? I see feathers, many bloody feathers on the ratty grey rug. Each of them has a bone in it, this I …

A Season in Hell

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

The floor is exploding and I’m on it, hiding beneath my writing desk. Scraps of brain scattered everywhere, chunks of meat for vultures. The sunlight is scared, also hiding, everyone is hiding, terrified by my terror. I’m screaming really loud, the dog is barking also really loud. Screaming like an animal whose throat has been …

The Animals in the Tank

By | Elizabeth Kirschner, Prose

The house I grew up in was a blue aquarium, my mother and father, the tanked up animals, and I was a child of the hinterlands where winter was always howling like a pack of hungry wolves. A baby veteran, I was always under siege, the attacks brutal and my screams from being beaten or …