The second place winner in our June 2020 National Teen Storyteller Contest, presented in partnership with the student-led and founded Decameron Project! We invited creative writers to share a flash fiction story that thoughtfully explored LGBTQ themes.
The stares of the cruel eyes penetrated through me, transmitting a notion that my body was some sort of anathema that threatened the normality of society. I didn’t care, because plenty have already told me that. I was immune to those verbal attacks; I’ve heard it all before. I didn’t care, because the sight of their eyes, in particular, melted all the ache away. I saw their silhouette in the distance, skin glistening with a shimmery dew that reflected the twinkling stars of the nighttime sky. My rigid feet made cracking sounds on the concrete, but they didn’t look away. Their eyes remained fixated on me and continued to yank me in closer; for a long moment it felt like we were the only beings in the world. I walked closer toward them, and with the touch of our fingers, my poorly stitched, patchy skin suddenly fell out, revealing the unattractive, frail, hollow bones inside. I expected them to leave with a gait full of disgust, just like everybody else did, but instead, they disintegrated, ashes falling onto my ribs in a warm embrace. My tears fell down the cavities and crevices of my skull, landing onto the gray pile that surrounded me. Their ashes wrapped around me tighter, and I could feel the warmth radiating from within. Each speck had an ember inside, a manifestation of love that I simply could not put into words. Euphoric as it was, this moment was only temporary. Within a few seconds, the ashes ceased to move and I could feel the energy die out drastically. A breeze suddenly came upon us, sweeping up the ashes in a hazy flurry. I had managed to save one remnant of them before they disappeared completely. I stepped back into my patchy jumpsuit of skin and tucked the piece of ash inside my pocket, vowing to always keep them in my heart. They ignited a fire in me that will never be tamed, and I will be forever grateful for that.