Friday, May 6, 2011

Curtain of Shadow (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Karlene Jacobsen @ her blog, Dancin in the rain. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: I'm officially out for the summer. WOOT! I'm so excited--and also terribly exhausted, so this is another piece of prompt fiction for the prompt of  'I Don't" hope you enjoy the short read--believe it or not, there is no fantasy involved. LOL. Thanks for stopping by and happy mother's day weekend to all the Moms out there! ^_^

I don’t want to write anything.

I really don’t.

Don’t want to see the black words on white pages, don’t want see them leering, mocking and jeering at me. Proving my very existence wrong as I say again—for the hundredth time—I don’t want to write anything.
I really don’t.

I don’t want to deal with some of the stuff that’s going on around me, because then it means I have to process stuff. Process. I hate that word. I hate what it means, because to me, processing means writing. If I don’t write it out, I won’t get it at all. But I don’t want to write anything. I don’t really want to get it.

I don’t want to know…because I really don’t want to write anything.

There’s a million and one things I’ve got to do. A thousand and one that I can ignore. Most of them require movement, thought and some degree of coherency. But I don’t want to do any of them. It means I’ll have to process, see? And I really don’t want to write anything. It means the gears in my head will be forced to turn.

To turn after my tears have rusted them still. To function after my denial has covered them in cobwebs. To continue as my life is not standing still and I am hoping to live. To pretend to work when I know I am anything but prepared to function in my dysfunctional way.

I really don’t want to write anything. There’s too much happening. Too much to handle, too much to know, far too many things to process. I hate it. I hate it all. Why do they talk to me when I stand there, so silently? What do they expect me to say? I do not know how to say meaningless things.

I do not know how to smile and laugh at things that are no more amusing than death. I do not know what I should say when they ask after me. How I am doing. How I want to be doing. Whether I will live to see another day. I do not know them well enough to answer. I do not think they really want to know.

If they did, wouldn’t there be a more sensitive way to ask?

Then again, I suppose there is nothing sensitive about me. Just like the rough scars that paint their horrid tapestry across this battered body of mine, from head to toe, I am nothing to look at. I have nothing to say but they want me to speak. It is standing in a room of darkness and craving light that will never come.

I do not want to write anything today.

But I have sat here for most of today, beneath this window in the corner of this giant room. I cannot remember where I am now. I just know that the room is big and I am small. Everything feels that way lately, so big and so small and I am always nothing in comparison. But my mind is wandering on me again.

I draw it back to the present by tracing the faint lines of pinky-peachness, the raised bumps and swells that are proof of my life. Proof that I am living beyond the nightmare of the flames that eat me alive, taking, taking and stealing all that I have to my name. I want to hurt them back, but touching such redness would only hurt me again. I can glare and hate them all I wish, but it won’t bring them back.

It won’t make everything right. It somehow makes them all wrong.

I wish I didn’t have to write anything, because I really don’t want to.

There are people in this big room. When did people get here?

I really don’t want to write anything today.

Really, I don’t. 


Richard stuck his head through the doors of the funeral hall. He took quick stock of the mourners whispering and moving awkwardly in embarrassed movements as they spoke amongst themselves. His eyes filtered through the guilty looks, furtive glances and fake smiles of sympathy.

Then he saw her.

Sitting by the window, the expression on her face as blank and void as the frosted pane of glass she examined so fixedly.

Stepping into the room, he began to weave his way through the well-meaning and decidedly clueless crowd. His footsteps were soft on the worn carpet as he approached, his hungry gaze drinking up every detail of her lovely self.

The black didn’t suit her at all. She was more pale than ever in the sleeveless sheath of black silk, no hat on her new blonde wig. The twined scars seemed almost like an exquisite tattoo of some sort, scripted across her bare arms, the dip of her neck, swell of her chest and the smooth curves of her legs. Her face was untouched, save for the fresh tears trickling down her cheeks, splashing onto trembling hands burrowed in her lap.

He drew a kerchief from one suit pocket and was beside her in a minute, dabbing at her face and keeping a hand on her shoulder to steady her as she twisted away from his helpful hands. Her annoyance was shown in the fierce flash of her dark eyes and the thin line of her tightly pressed lips.

It was an expression he couldn’t read at all. No, he could read it, but all the possible answers weighed so heavily that he didn’t want to take a guess at all. It was the kind of unspoken lecture that he knew better than to tempt. The kerchief was deposited in her lap and he began to rub his fiancé’s shoulders with all the deliberate tenderness he could muster.

He couldn’t pretend to know, to understand what the fire had taken from her—from them. The very darkness of the funeral home seemed to be tucked into every corner of the receiving hall and Richard decided he couldn’t bear it any longer. His hands fell from her shoulders and he rummaged through his suit jacket to produce a notepad and pen, pressing them downwards into limp hands.

For a long moment, she didn’t move. He didn’t think she would, until, tremblingly, hesitantly, she scrawled a sentence across the plain page.

I really don’t want to write today.

Something caught in his throat and he swallowed hard, dropping to his knees to hug her tight, burying his face in her middle, as her shaking arms encircled his head, twining around his neck. In the shadowy comfort she offered, he almost cried.

Perhaps the fire had taken everything from her, but it had taken more from him.

Her hands stilled, stroking his hair and tracing shapes on the side of his neck. His brain caught up with the particular shape she was tracing over and over. A heart. She was speaking in the kind of way he couldn't ignore. His arms tightened around her waist as the coldness of the floor seeped through the worn carpet and into his very bones, seeking the warmth of his soul.

This time, he did cry.

© Sara Harricharan


TayLyee said...

Wow, that was beautiful. I absolutely loved it. It was sad and felt like despair.

Again, I loved it. Wonderful job :)

Catrina Bradley... said...

LOVE IT! This story is exquisitely good - the woman's inner voice, the voice of the 3rd person narrator, and the STORY! Oh, my.

Yvonne Blake said... much emotion!... so much written between the lines.