Margins: Alicandra

They fall like water droplets from the sky. 

Slowly at first, spattering the ground in patterns that seem calculated. 

Then they pick up speed, mottling the intricate designs, blurring away all shape and form. 

Their shower becomes dense, a translucent wall.

If she leans forward, just a few inches, she can stretch her right arm, can just almost reach —

“Alicandra, get back in here now.”

Her body recoils, arm following. She hits the floor hard as her mother abruptly releases her vice grip on her shirt, and her butt stings from the impact. Her mom begins yelling, the same old warning that is repeated on the T.V. broadcast, at school, on the flashing LED signs that dot the highway. 

The pain from her impact subsides, but Alicandra’s arm begins to tingle. She follows the feeling down to where the skinny appendage becomes five more and is delighted to see her skin bubbling at the wrist.

“It does burn,” She whispers in awe.

“Jesus, of course it burns! Get up here, girl. What have you done? Oh my — where’s the cream?”

Alicandra allows herself to be picked up and placed on the kitchen counter by her rambling mother. She watches her skin the entire time. The bubbling has stopped, leaving a large angry welt at the base of her hand. Rotating her wrist ever so slightly, she is shocked and intrigued in the visceral feeling that erupts from the area. Her eyes squeeze shut. She grits her teeth. It burns a lot

“Aw, my baby. Come here, let me see.” Her mother takes the arm gently in her left hand, her right is covered in cream and she lays it softly on top of the wound. 

Alicandra sucks in a sharp breath. So, this is what pain was.

“Now will you listen to me, baby?” Her mother was saying. “It’s too dangerous to be outside in this weather.”

Alicandra just stares past her, a new respect for the acid falling from the sky. It was now a torrential downpour.