Deathwish 054: Katie

Editor Acacia Blackwell, Editor's Choice, June 6th, 2017

"...children still know how to shriek absolute elation..."

Katie Deathwish Nailed Magazine

Does death taste like kerosene? Like the ants that crawl around my computer desk, dancing gleefully around the rim of my boring water glass? The very ants that if absent from the peony plants, their blossoms would not emerge.

It’s at this desk that I often hear the shrill screams echoing from the school one block over. My daughter’s school. The screams shock me into visuals of terror, of guns, of attacks, stories of my daughter falling victim with other unlucky children to a madman’s rage. “It’s happened to other children. It could happen to us.” I tell my therapist. “Yes, but it isn’t happening to you right now,” she says. I have to remind myself, they’re only playful excited screams, children still know how to shriek absolute elation when released from their studies. The endless direction to be quiet, to stand in line and not talk, touch or move. To sit at their desk and shut up. These screams signify their freedom. It’s OK.

Is this what death sounds like? The same as ultrapure happiness?

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To read the previous installment, “Deathwish 053: Melchor”, go here. To participate in Deathwish, find details here.

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Katie was born in North Portland Oregon, and currently lives in North Portland, Oregon.


Acacia Blackwell

Acacia is a writer from Portland, OR, which suits her because sunshine gives her anxiety. She is currently completing an MFA, despite being recently told by Tom Spanbauer that to become a better writer, she needs to "unlearn all that grad school stuff." She listened, and it seems to be working. Acacia is working on a collection of personal essays that she really doesn't want to admit might be a memoir, and a memoir that she really doesn't want to admit might be a novel.