Revenge’s Bitter, Blissful End // Stained Red

By Rachana Kolli

Nemesis shivered under the rainbow ribbons of light. The sparkling white expanse under her bare feet reflected the lights back at the sky, the world’s largest theater for the world’s oldest show. She willed the freezing temperatures to steal the heat from her body, to finally extinguish the flames that charred her from within. She had stripped off every layer of protection, laying herself bare to the elements, but still, she burned.

Now devoid of the last shred of hope, she fell back into the snow, willing it to cover her. If she could not extinguish the fire, perhaps she could at least encase it in a cold crystal prison. The lights danced across her eyelids, indifferent to the new addition to the landscape that it had poured over for millenia.

The red poppies disintegrated under the insistent weight of the stone pestle. Medea scooped the fragrant pulp into her hands and tossed it onto the fire where the rest of the bouquet was already swirling up in smoke. Red stained her hands once more.

She had made this batch so potent that not even Helios or Selene would be able to resist their weighted eyelids. As the last of the red poppies became glowing embers, Medea crept outside so she could once again tangle with the zephyrs, breathe in the petrichor, and soak up the starlight.

For the few hours that the others lingered in a state of torpor, she’d finally be able to revel outside without the whispers that usually shadowed her hunched steps.




Rachana Kolli studied Creative Writing  and Biological Sciences at Northwestern University. She is currently trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life which shouldn’t be surprising considering her disparate fields of study. In the meantime, she is organizing her absurdly large Spotify library, working as a tutor and copyeditor, and baking a lot of brownies. She can be found on Twitter at @RachanaKolli and on Instagram as @rachana.kolli.