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31. Miranda, Locked Up

Her head pounds. She cracks an eye and looks around at burred white walls.

This is not her room. 

Here at Oz, we take security very seriously, had been printed neatly in her brochure.

The room is layered with stiff, cushioning. Pale, calming light shines down on her. Her finger has been bandaged. There is no dirt under her nails. She is dressed in fresh pajamas. She reaches up for glasses that are not there, then stands on tiptoe to press her nose to the door’s tiny window. 

“Hello?” 

No answer. What time is it? What day?

“Is anyone there?”


Where to Begin

32. Breakfast, Sans Miranda

“Where is she?” Shou repeats. “Do you think something happened?”

Lye snaps his book shut, tucks it under his arm, stands. 

“Where are you going?” Shou’s chair squeals as it slides across the floor.

We, nothing. You stay here.” Lye points to Shou’s chair, until Shou sits. “I’m going to see if she’s in her room. New dosage might have her tuckered, you know how it goes.” He means to be comforting.

Shou bites his lip, looking undecided. Finally, he nods.

Lye slouches out. 

Alone, Shou’s hands shake. “It wasn’t me,” he mumbles, though no one asked. “I couldn’t have.”


Where to Begin

30. Miranda Gets Caught, Part 2 of 2

There is no nail on her left index finger and it is still bleeding. She is filthy. She is outside in her pajamas. She is not wearing shoes or glasses. It is almost dawn. She is standing in a hole about five feet deep and she is holding a dirty metal box.

“Over here! I see her!” Someone calls, “By the wall!”

Panicking, she covers the box in dirt to hide it and scrambles out of the hole and says, “I’m not going to resist! I’m not—”

But they bring her to the ground and jam the needle in anyway.


Where to Begin

29. Clarke Tries to Leave, Part 1 of 2

Miranda is not going to get them out. This leaves Clarke two options: Either wait and see or escape by himself.

Beating his way out would be easy, but Miranda doesn’t like it when he hurts people or breaks things.

So instead he is going to dig a tunnel by the wall in the far corner of the grounds. Dirt is piled high around him when his left hand jams into something hard. Miranda stirs. His control is slipping.

Before she can take over completely, he digs around the hard thing and pulls a long metal box into the light.


Where to Begin

28. Clarke is Afraid. Miranda is Afraid.

The only sounds are Miranda’s page turning and Lye’s banter with the volunteer librarian.

“So you’re from White Haven?” Lye drawls.

“Does he have to talk to everyone?” Shou hisses under his breath.

Miranda glares at Shou. “It breaks up the monotony.”

Shou winces, embarrassed that she heard him, and then is embarrassed that he winced. “Is there anyone he doesn’t like?”

“No, I’m from Riverdale.”

“What a commute!”

Miranda looks exhausted. Is she sleeping alright? Shou scratches his arm.

At last she says, “Most people, but it takes his mind off of being here,” and returns to her novel.


Where to Begin

Pagan

On your knees at her sepulcher,
mouth your hail marys from memory
thank the names of matriarchs pressed together between lips
thank you mary, thank you sarah
rebecca thank you thank leah you thank rachel thank
thank thank you for skin like sin and
hips like sin and
mouth
holy holy holy
like sin
thank you sin.

Press yours psalms in the palms of her hands
like confession and
devour her like a eucharist like
a sacrifice like meat body blood wine and bread
a feast for shadows pressed into holy atoms between bodies
she is a little death like a growing tree or a belly-rumble landslide,
a vengeful old testament god or a merciful new one—
either way, she will bring rapture soft or hard around your eyes

at first there was darkness
and then everything came alive in her name
and stars exploded and terraformed gods and
landmasses and mountains in the swell of her hips.

she is ocean, she is stone. and she is savior and damnation
but never angel—
don’t call her angel. Don’t
degrade her like that.

On your knees, accolyte,
altar boy, priest,
moan your liturgy against her belly
confess what you know and she will
erase and redraw the stars in your image,
stories and all.

27. After the Storm

She doesn’t sit up.

“They figured out Clarke needs more sedatives,” she mumbles flatly when Lye enters her room.

He pulls her glasses out of his pocket. The left lens is missing. “They should have you a new pair by the end of the week.” He places them on the pillow beside her head.

Miranda’s fingers curl around the hem of his shirt. “Thank you,” she murmurs.

He sits on the bed beside her and runs a hand through her hair. “It’s growing back,” he says lightly.

She doesn’t answer.

He brushes her hair until she cries herself to sleep.


Where to Begin