Five Sentence Fiction: Composure

Photograph by Bekah Shambrook (please do not use without permission)

My heart pounds and the pit that was once my stomach is now a void filled with roiling dread and churning fear. My throat is as dry as gunpowder. Tremors find their way into my cold, clenched hands and fingernails carve crescents into the base of my palms. Irregular breaths and heart-beats compound my panic, and my legs threaten to give ignoring my desperate need to flee, and a seething black ball of tension swallows my mind, and the voices urge me to bolt, to run, to abscond before my entire being implodes…
My eyes dart, searching for escape, but every route is blocked and she approaches, that gaze of concern etched upon her features…and before she has a chance to ask, I reply with a smile worthy of the stage, “I’m fine.”

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