Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to use the third definition of "crack." There were no words in her mind, no being left to be, no imagination tugging at her lapels every time she laid down to sleep. Avery's talent had been siphoned away, like the bone marrow from a willing donor or the breath from a man who'd hung himself.
But Avery was neither willing nor suicidal. The sentences slipped out through the hole in her heart. Where everything important to her had once resided with vigor. The husband that disappeared, and the son with him, and finally the career as a writer. They called her promising. She abided by her dreams and built something from nothing. Until evil kidnapped her everything.
She sits in coffee shops and watches the people, the pages before her as blank as the first snowfall of winter lit by the dawn. They look so proud, climbing out of smooth shiny cars, faces pointing towards the sun like flaxen sunflowers. They beam at one another with nonfictional jubilation, they focus on their work when they sit, they curl their tongues and bite their lips and pucker their eyes. Life pours out of their crevices because they know they have everything. Avery wants to warn them, she wants to slip each of them a note.
If you have everything, then you have everything to lose.
She moves to Paris to write. Where cafe tables populate sidewalks and sidewalks meander into unmarked alleyways. Where children chain smoke and women with ripe round bellies drink glasses of wine. She buys opium from a street peddler with a chipped face and she smokes it over the electric stove in her rented white-walled studio. She hears words strung into run-on sentences. She presses her ear against a crack in the wall, but the voices aren't coming from the neighbor she's never seen.
The voices are coming from inside of her head.