Friday, August 6, 2010

The Ten Lives of I (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Sharlyn Guthrie @ her blog, Dancing on Rainbows. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: Well, I'm as scatter-brained as usual. I completely forgot to prepare anything at all for this week's FF, so I was scrambling up until about an hour ago. I decided to post a bit of freewriting and to make it truly authentic, I grabbed a prompt from my favorite creative well and drew the line "The ten lives I have lived" for that reason, this piece is rather abstract and um...kinda riddled with plot bunnies, except for the version in my head. ^_^ But, I will work on something sensible for next week, okay, not really sensible, but I won't throw a freewrite prompt at you again. (Unless I sleep in and am scrambling as I am doing now, lol!) Enjoy the read and happy weekend!

Ten lives I have lived.

Interesting ones, they might have been to anyone but me.

The first one I can remember quite distinctly. I lived in a blue metal van, parked out in a corner of a rundown shopping complex. It was always hot and always cold, mostly at the same time.

Some days, I could barely stand to keep it together. It was much too complicated. I could do very little between musical seats, always ending up on the bench seat in the far back. This was so I could nap there, while the rest of the world continued to spin around me.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen. It was, perhaps for this reason that I stayed in such poor lodgings for so long.

It would be quiet and peaceful and I had all the time to watch the people bustling around. I was witness to more things than I cared to be, but the experience was not wasted. When I returned to the slice of civilization deemed as my own, I started a fund for the homeless who lived in metal vans.

Strangely, I could not write anything about this, until now.

The second life was not quite as depressing. I lived in a flowerpot on the hanging rail off of a bridge somewhere. I don’t know where the bridge was, because I’ve never been very good with directions at all.

I only know that when the van was taken away, I had nowhere else to go as civilization wouldn’t take me back just yet and so I was forced to move elsewhere. The bridge was a good option, because it was just the color of honeyed-rust. The basket I chose was black wire, lined with brown roughness and a pile of greenery was the nest for where my perfect, peony blossoms peeked out.

Swaying in the laughter of the wind, smiling up at the sun, I would wake at dawn and sleep at night. Life was good, for awhile. I was happy. Mostly.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

Walking along the edge of the bridge, gripping the rail tight with her long, skinny fingers. I would force myself to stay silent. Not to ask. Not to bother. Not to pry. I couldn’t ask her why she walked there. I didn’t dare warn her of the dangerous river below, for surely, she knew.

I didn’t stay on the bridge for very long at all, for the seasons changed and my pink peony perfection was no longer suitable decoration.

The third place I lived was an antique shop across from the bridge. It was the shortest move I’d made yet and it was nice and cozy for the winter months. I was thrilled to be accepted as a shiny, golden, old-fashioned egg-beater.

As a trinket of curiosity, I was handled by a great many hands of the general populace. They would step inside the distinguished establishment and wander around with wild exclamations and laughter of the unusual items discovered within.

I would lie still and perfect, when they picked me up, turning me over in each hand, one after the other. Yet none of the hands were the ones I wanted, none of them were hers.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

Through the window with the sidewalk view, sometimes I would catch a glimpse of her hurrying on by. I would try to shine my brightest for her and stand as tall as I dared. But she never once looked my way.

The shop soon closed, when the elderly proprietor passed away, leaving youngsters of today to tend to his affairs. They didn’t have time to deal with old-fashioned things, so they locked things up in boxes and I was soon chased away.

For my fourth life, I somehow became a newspaper.

It was the shortest life I spent and by far, the most embarrassing.

I am still amazed at the places that a human being will take a newspaper. If only they knew what the newspaper saw. But, alas, I should not dwell on such depressing things. I was thankful that the human who purchased me, was kind enough to recycle.

In doing so, I found myself kicked out to the curb with my fellow newspapers, some days old and some weeks old. I thought I would be in good company, but not one of them had seen her.

I did not speak with them afterward, for my mind was solely caught on her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

From the pile by the garage door, I could catch a glimpse of her strolling along the sidewalk when the door was open.

I waited until the recycling truck came along and when it did. I secretly crept away.

My fifth life was spent as a light pole in the city park.

I thought it was a brilliant disguise, because I could see so far out from being so high up and there were so many interesting people below, that sometimes I could forget, that I was waiting only for her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

She tacked a colored flyer onto my chest one day, a dreary raining moment, where the paper was drenched within seconds and so was she. I could barely read the words, but I knew it had something to do with her. Standing on tip-toe, to reach as high as she could, she pressed the plastic stapler with all her might, to secure the sheet to the pole. I saw her face, for a moment.

The smile carved in sorrow had been tinted by pain. A pain, I could not fathom or otherwise understand.

It hurt to stand so high above her when she was crumpled to her knees before me, so I did not stay as a light pole. I moved that very moment.

I chose to be the umbrella that the kind gentleman offered her in passing by. It was my sixth life and perhaps one of the more comfortable ones.

For I was close to her and useful at the same time.

I had a shiny wooden handle and waterproof coverings of a brilliant red meshed together, my wooden spines were nice and flexible. I was a moving work of art. Perhaps the gentleman had seen what I knew, because I was gingerly taken into her capable hands and held ever so gently within them. I felt so proud to be held in her hands to prevent the rain from further ruining her.

I didn’t see her everyday, but when I did, she took my breath away. With a face I could never see clearly and a smile always carved with sorrow, she would pass before me, head held high, the superiority of a queen.

After the rain stopped, she took me home and dried me off. I was placed in a coat closet and only retrieved when the dark clouds would gather. I missed the feel of her hand and I missed the echo of her sigh.

I wondered what I had missed, on the flyer she’d stapled so high.

But the coat closet grew dusty and it was not good for my health at all, so when a new stranger dared to hang his coat in my closet, I stole into his pockets and thus began my seventh life as his fountain pen.

I missed my lady greatly, for I no longer saw her, even on the rainy days. I missed her proud smile. I missed her hidden face. I missed the mutual feeling of heartache.

As his lordship’s fountain pen, I discovered exactly how useful I was. He would take me out nearly everywhere and I spent a great deal of time maintaining both of our appearances. He never realized that I never ran out of ink, nor scratched nor otherwise disappeared.

For in staying with such perfection, I hoped that he would eventually return to her house and I would have a second chance to try again.

He never noticed.

But one day, he wrote a letter.

A letter with an address that I knew so well. I moved from the pen into the letter and thus began my eighth life. I do not think he noticed my absence, for he seemed to wash his hands of the affair when the letter was all written.

I could not read the words he scrawled so elegantly across the linen square. It was far too confusing, because they contained human feelings, a thing I had yet to fully understand.

I arrived as a letter within her mailbox. It was to her precious hands that I was received.

What joy, what amazement, what peace!

I was so happy to be hers again.

She treasured me, more than she had when I was a useful umbrella. I became the scrap of paper tucked in her pocket every single day. I didn’t know where she went, because her pockets were rather dark, but I always heard her voice and sometimes I heard her laugh.

This, I thought, was surely worth it.

But as time would have it, I was not indestructible and eventually I began to fade and crumble.

As I did, she began to worry and all my preventative efforts were in vain, because even I could not fight the curse of time.

It was that very afternoon when she declared I could no longer travel with her, that I chose a new destination.

For my ninth life, I became her laptop computer.

Life was perfect and blissful.

I saw her everyday and when I did, she took my breath away. With a face so vulnerable and honest before me, her smile would be appearances only, a secret smile saved for just the two of us.

She no longer passed before me with the superiority of a queen, but rather the grace and talent of a fairy, who took the dredges of her pure heart and painted it onto the page.

I was glad to be useful to her. She used me every single day. I learned to read the words she used, because they didn’t change. She would speak to herself as she typed and I learned to let my keys move freely beneath her fingers, so she could finish her work on time and smile just a bit more.

My tenth life was the final, I decided to help her that night, when she stumbled to my screen and angrily jabbed the power button on. There were hot tears streaming down her cheeks and she could breathe or speak at the same time.

Her fingers poured out the very essence of her soul and in that moment, I knew I would chose a final resting place. She was perfect enough and I had waited long enough. I knew now, that she was ready.

When she clicked the print button, to hold the reality of her best work. I slipped out of the laptop computer and into the paper.

As her fingers brushed across the page, I reached deep into myself and found the very last life I had to live.

I leapt into her heart with all that I had.

It was with that tenth life, that I died.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Meria?” Delanie stuck her head through the bedroom door. “Sweetie, are you alright? I thought I heard someone crying in h…Meria?”

“I found it, Mom.” She clutched a handful of printed paper to her chest, happy tears now adorning her face. “I found my muse…finally.”

© Sara Harricharan


5 comments:

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

This is great! You kept my interest, and I completely enjoyed the ride through all 10 lives. Once again I am so impressed by your creativity, Sara!

Catrina Bradley... said...

I love this, Sara! So very creative! The ending is fabulous. I'm glad you decided to free-write it today. :)
Cat

Yvonne Blake said...

What a creative story! I love the repeated phrase. It's one story I could read over and over and find more "clues" each time.

Laury said...

Yup. Very random:) So...Sara:)

DEE said...

This was fun reading...had me guessing there for a while..trying to keep up with all those busy lives...but I enjoyed,great storytelling.