Dead Battery


I don’t want to be here. The whole world feels like it’s crashing down. Sounds? Too loud. Smells? Too strong. My sweater feels like sandpaper against my skin. A radiator whistles next to me; the sound is drilling into the center of my brain. At the front of the room, my professor speaks, but I don’t understand. Someone cracks their knuckles at the desk behind mine. Across the room, an anxious student bounces their leg. The air vent above my head rattles out an unsteady beat. My head feels like TV screen static—signals lost in translation and uncomputed. I look down at my laptop; the screen is black. I press a key, only to find the battery dead. I wonder how long it’s been sitting lifeless in front of me. I stare at my reflection—empty eyes on an empty screen. I wonder if I look just as lifeless.

Ash Murray (they/them) is a senior studying English, psychology, and LGBTQ Studies. A fairy tale fanatic, Ash is deep in the process of composing their theses in the genre. In their free time, Ash enjoys reading, watching TV with their fiancé, and cuddling with their two cats.