Leopard

Sarina lay the mat on the floor, took her shoes and jacket off and lay down bent double under the blankets. For a few minutes she lay there, motionless. As though something inside her were lying in ambush, like a leopard ready to tear everything to pieces. Then, suddenly, the leopard jumped.
Invisible claws of pain tore at her chest. From her face, tears pressed out like flood water through the cracked walls of a cellar. She shivered and her teeth were chattering like the castanets in an orchestra. Her tears ran down her cheeks in salty trickles, pooled at her lips and dripped from her chin. And from the depths of her throat came a sob, a gurgling and whimpering, that she herself registered with something like amazement. She lost all sense of her body, her soul. She was nothing more than a dissolving substance. Then, at some point, an exhaustion like none she experienced before, pressed like a pillow against her face. The way you suffocate a bothersome child. She dropped into a deep, leaden sleep. Without dreams, without recognition, without hope. She awoke when the morning commotion of vendors, animals, machines, children began.

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