Yeah Write #236- Innocent Discovered

Innocent Discovered


Shannon Barber

She called you Innocent, the last thing you remember before the darkness swallowed you is her rusty voice,

“Shit, you’re an Innocent.”

You wake up and know what you’ve done. The cigarettes smoked, the drugs shot, the diesel like swill you call vodka poured on your feelings. You know.

You know that it is her eyes you see. Big eyes as dark as nights you imagine in the primordial forests in Germany or something. Those eyes fix you in place and she smiles.

“Welcome back Innocent.”

You have a burning urge to confess to her. You want to tell her about the people you’ve fucked and fucked over, the grifts and thefts. The lies, yes the lies burn in your throat and you want to let them spill from your lips so you can drink her word of absolution.


The need chokes you and the moment passes. She helps you sit up and you can feel her compactly bulky body and strength you don’t think you could muster if you got dusted to the eyeballs.

“What happened?”

Her laughter is warm and bitter as a too warm Syrah.

“You are a silly thing. You tried to fight. That’s my job.”

You laugh a little.

“And what’s my job?”

“To be Innocent. As you are.”

Her repetition of that barbed hot word sears your heart. It physically hurts and seems to be turning you into a masochist. You want to see her big purply lips shape it over and over until you die of pain and pleasure.

“Who did I fight- I don’t know what to call you.”

“My name doesn’t matter. Know I am a Warrior. Make our meeting simple.”

Simple, right. This butchy rusty voiced brick house black eyed girl thinks it can be simple. You ask no further questions about the thudding ache in your ribs and listen for the impending doom of your jones.

It doesn’t matter. You need to get well and this, this is a desperate hallucination brought on by too much drug and drink and hopelessness. That makes you relax.

You listen to her talk, smiling when she calls you Innocent. You doze again and wake to find yourself in a bed looking up at her again.

“You have a week here. Try to sweat it out. Dry up a little. And stay the fuck out of The World. It is not for you Innocent. Goodbye.”

You open your eyes again hours later. Your poor body craves and shits and sweats. Every time you puke or spasm you remember her words and mutter them between your chattering teeth.

“I have a week. Dry up. Stay out of The World. It is not for me. I am Innocent.”

The weight she gave the words The World, echoes in your panicky utterances. You burn yourself with the truth of the name she gave you.


You are Innocent.

The World is not for you and you will spend the rest of your days avoiding a certain kind of darkness. You will look away from the silken shadows and thin places. You will never know why save for one reason.

You are Innocent, and The World is not for you.



3 thoughts on “Yeah Write #236- Innocent Discovered

  1. Natalie DeYoung

    You can really turn a phrase. I especially love, “The cigarettes smoked, the drugs shot, the diesel like swill you call vodka poured on your feelings.”

  2. I think the second person works well here. Having the Warrior talk down to me and tell me that I am Innocent resonated because I do not know this world. I wonder what this piece would look like from the Warrior’s POV. She seems to have expectations.

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