I'm Already Dead

by Blexbolex

I’m already dead.

When I was about six years old, the older boys and girls in the neighborhood planned an expedition to the hill above our homes. They didn’t want brats (like me) to tag along with them. They warned us younger children that in order to cross the railroad tracks to the path leading to the fields at the foot of the hill, we had to pass through a thick wall of thorny bushes. Among these prickly shrubs, one was known to be deadly: the Black Bramble. If by misfortune we got even a single scratch, the death that followed would be as sure, quick, and painful as the bite of a viper.

Of course I chose to follow them, in spite (or because) of the warning. As I tried to pass through the bushes, I felt a sharp pain in the palm of my right hand, which immediately began to bleed furiously. I quickly examined my barbed assailant—long, hard, sharp, and black as steel. I was condemned!

I walked home, holding my bleeding hand like a dead bird. I lay down on my bed and surrounded myself with my favorite toys and small objects.

And waited calmly. . .

Blexbolex is a French illustrator of children’s books and graphic novels. This story is based on an image from his 2010 picture book Seasons..