The Worst of the Headaches (v2)

(does this version work or this one here is better?)

EVERY WARRIOR WISHES FOR A GLORIOUS, OR AT LEAST WORTHY END. For me, if it was over I’d be content. When the first sting stroke, sharp and deep, through my temple and into my soul, I knew what was coming. The stabbing, the venom, the humming. Piercing through the side of my skull, pouring the poison inside, waiting for my brain to swell. So big it tries to escape through my sight. My parents died young, perhaps I could as well.

The ghost stingers, they never fail. Once started, they will go for hours. Dismaying pain. I wail. Stabbing, squeezing, stabbing, squeezing, stabbing, squeezing, until no wish remains. They would leave me there, on the border of death, crying in vain. Perhaps waiting for the last step after I’m gone insane.

But I’m too weak, I can’t. I never can.

There’s no dignity in staying. No honor in losing. For I know they would come again, few times per day, for weeks, no choosing. Watch me go through life, terrified of its return. Like today.

Today. No different. It stabs, squeezes and stabs more. I pray. Maybe this one will be a short. A yell: help! My body shakes, skin drips both hot and cold. The pain. It answers itself. A squeeze. Strong. Between the ear and the eye, five nails dig into my flesh, like fire. I squint, as hard as I can. Would rip the skin and everything, if I could. Stabs. Many. Growing stronger. Faster. This ain’t a childhood! So much pain they can be heard: Tween! Tween! Tween! My left eyelid falls, lifeless, and the eyeball in-rolls. It always starts that mean. Worse, it goes.

Will this be the time I do it? Squeeze. The head grows from within, tries to thrust my eye out of its hole. I press it back. With the palm, the fist, knee. Hold. Anything I can find, any position I can arrange. Another stab, there’s no change. The face curls, bone and everything, twitching in agony. Another sting. In the darkness of myself, I shriek, the heart drums – in sync with the pain as it comes. I beg the immortals for an end. Stab, stab, stab. Crush me, please. Stab, stab, stab. Engulf me whole. Stab, stab, stab. There is no future from here. Let me go!

Squeeeeeeze.

Eyes open. Barely. World still there. Why? Carry me, mother! Rob me from hell. Ache still throbs, but light… has shifted? How long has it been the pain persisted? Has the sun gone down already? Or it’s the poison blinding me dull? “Too much yang.” – Shifu said once. A statement so null. Knowing didn’t soften the squeeze. Never stopped the stab.

The pain is full. Breathe, Yinyin, breathe. It’s your heart beat in command.

The torment insists. The stingers, invisible, toxic, grand. Now in swarms. Relentless. Out of my hands. My head, eye, jaw. I kneel and everything I inside erupts, and then more. Through my mouth, green, warm and chunky. I moan the cry of a dying monkey. Scream and curl. Flat on the ground, my body twists over my spills and all I can think is how soothing that is. Not for long, girl.

Please, let the curse take me, this time! Give me the fate of the ancestors of mine. I have no kids, no family for grief. My death is harmless, it has no teeth.

The Dao doesn’t listen, there’s nothing to be done. Head squeezes again, for the mercy of none. Had Shifu left swords, I would have sliced my face. Dropped my aching chunk and ran to the mountains of fate. Had he left a spear, a dart, they would be through my right eye, to the back of the scalp. The image, the peace…

The ground’s dry. Sucked the last moist of mine, leaving only old pieces food. My fingers play with them, my half-digested witnesses of pain. The last meal and it’s thin veil of mud. Underneath, the floor, hard and inviting, whispers a thought: come.

I bang the side of the head against the surface. Too soft of of a puddle for me to escape. The foot of a table. A hard edged stool. The pain dulls me for an instant but it’s not enough. They move, and the irony, so deep: these fists have knocked out so many people. But one cannot punch herself to sleep.

Squeeze, stab. Fuck! Need something hard and unforgiving. A rock, a hammer, any heavy tool will do. The wall! I find the strongest edge of all. Before the next stab, I run. Jump. Hit my head, and go.

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