Daniel's Dirge

Dearest Emily,

If you are reading this, that means my worst fears have been confirmed; I am dead. No tears, my love. Not until you have finished reading.

Enclosed with this envelope is a small brown parcel. Inside it is the engagement ring I bought for you before I left for war. I had planned to give it to you the night before I left, but you stormed out on my before I had the chance. I love you…loved you and I wanted to marry you. Unfortunately fate had other plans. So the ring is yours to cherish or to sell. If you sell it rest assured I will love you all the same.

I wish I could give you the courtesy of telling you that my last thoughts were of you, but I cannot in good conscience. I am cowardly, Emily and I doubt that anything except fear of death flashed through my mind as I drew my last breath.

God I wish I could see you again. I miss your smile already and I’ve only just boarded the train. I pray that I will see you again and that you won’t ever have to read this.

Emily, I’m leaving you my part of my inheritance. I want you to flourish on that land and marry and have children. I want you to tell them about me, how I was the first man in your life and how I so much wanted to be the last. Remember me, but do not grieve. Tears are so much wasted on the dead. I’m not in my body anymore so do not weep over it. Save your tears for real suffering. Only the living suffer.

Smile for me, my love.

Yours Always,

Daniel    

Her Silent Storm

Her hair whipped into her face stinging her eyes. The wind howled in her ears blocking out all of her senses. The thick air squeezed her lungs. She opened her mouth to scream, but the wind stole her breath. No where to run. No where to hide. The storm bared down on her. She felt her ribs snap as her soul tore away from her body.

Silence fell upon her. The storm blew over. In her stinking greasy work clothes she kneeled down on her bathroom floor. Minutes crawled by as she gazed at the soothing blue beach-themed wallpaper. The colors seemed dull. It was the same old bathroom as always, but unfamiliar in a way.

Stillness settled over her. She glanced at the mirror. Where her face should be was a jagged circle of blue. Her black pants were darkening in several places, but she felt no pain. She pulled the glass shards from her knees and tried to fit them back into the mirror. The pieces clattered to the ground.

A numb fear gripped her throat; what if she wouldn’t get better.

Morality

The golden wing-shaped doors opened revealing an expansive indoor garden. Flowers of all shapes and colors bloomed like a rainbow. A crystal waterfall twinkled off to the right. Delicate glass angels decorated the greenery. Juicy red apples taunted Master Rufio as he walked past. Pine trees covered in pure snow made him suppress a shiver. But most magnificent were the roses. Rows and rows of them smelled delightfully like her. He greedily inhaled the scent until he got light headed.

A servant dressed impeccably cleared his throat. “It’s perfect.” Master Rufio declared. The servant’s face remained solemn as he beckoned Master Rufio through the roses.

As they passed, Master Rufio thought the roses began to fade, but he shook the feeling off. His garden was perfect and everything in it would be preserved, frozen in its perfection, immortalized. But as they got closer and closer to her, the roses not only faded but were losing petals. And the last row of roses were shriveled and dead.

Master Rufio took the last few steps up to the glass capsule that held her. Inside it, his love was perfect. She was youthful with smooth skin and lush dark hair. He followed her defined cheek bones and traced her full red lips. Her beauty brought tears to his eyes. He longed to hold her, but he knew that he couldn’t. Everything he touched, he destroyed.

Master Rufio made to turn away when something caught his eye. Two tiny wrinkles creased her forehead. He squinted hard believing it to be a trick of the light. Desperately he wiped the glass hoping it was just a crack. But the wrinkle stayed.

The servant appeared at Master Rufio’s side. “You can’t keep her forever.”

Icy fear forced the breath from Master Rufio’s lungs. He inhaled knives. The smell of the roses tickled his nose, taunting him. Hunched over the glass her clung to the capsule. And before his eyes her wrinkles spread.

Her skin withered deforming her features. Silver snaked through her hair. Her eyelids sunk into her sockets. All her color faded away. What was left was a wrinkled old prune.

“No!” The cry ripped from Master Rufio followed by tortured agonizing screams. The servant stood frozen, trying not to hear. But he couldn’t avoid the gaping wound that burned Master Rufio’s chest revealing a bloody beating eye sore, Master Rufio’s heart.

The Truth in Bold Font

I rub my sweaty palms against my jeans. My heart knocks around in my chest like a caged bird. The posters pasted around the room depict colorful images of inhalers and charts shouting symptoms of various diseases in bold letters. “Symptoms of Cancer!” the chart across from me cheers.

Footsteps shuffle past my door. The clock behind me ticks along sluggishly. This examination room has no windows, but at least I’m not claustrophobic. I’m just waiting for my test results.

My hands keep wandering to the lump to make sure that it’s really there. That I haven’t been imagining it all. I stand up and sit on my hands. There, no more checking. I wish I hadn’t checked in the first place. I wish I had ignored it.

“Symptoms of Cancer!” I read the first bullet. “Unusual lumps”. It’s like my body has filled with ice. I wrap my coat around myself, but I can’t get warm.

The door handle turns. What if I run? I could push the doctor out of the way and sprint down the hallway. I could be in my car driving home in less than ten minutes.

The doctor steps in with head bowed slightly. She doesn’t smile. “Symptoms of Cancer!” Cancer. And I knew from the moment I found the lump. Is it too late to run?  

S P A C E S

Standing shivering in the shower she slams the water off. She forgot to set a towel out. Stepping out onto the rug the air conditioner is bitingly cold. She hurries across the cool tile over to her bathroom door where her red cocktail dress hangs from the handle. Her wet skin shines as she steps into the dress and zips it up. The dress clings to her skin and her hair drips onto her shoulders. She stands in front of the mirror admiring the dress from every angle before climbing onto her late husband’s side of the bed to settle in for another sleepless night.

Musty Maps

As I reached up to pull the string and turn off the attic light, a pile of dusty papers rolled off of the shelf and landed on my toes. I hesitated with one hand frozen in the air and the other clutching a yellowing lace wedding dress. The top paper slowly uncurled and I got a glimpse of funny looking shapes surrounded by blue.

I hung the wedding dress on the end of the shelf and scooped up the pile of maps. In the far corner of my attic was a hideous hot pink and neon yellow lazy chair with several tears. Eyes trained on the map I made my way to my chair to examine the maps closer.

“North America, Europe, Asia, Pacific Ocean…” The names sounded familiar, but foreign like I heard them in a dream or stumbled across them in an outdated textbook. My grandmother was a teacher and her idea of toys were bulky textbooks. I got them every year for my birthday and most of them I read or tried to read.

I had heard the word “oceans” before, but I couldn’t recall the meaning. Creak! I glanced up and saw a shadowy globe in the corner spinning faster and faster. My spine tingled, and I jumped to my feet. “Hello? Jazz?” My sister must have been playing a trick on me. I was taking a long time to bring her Mother’s old wedding dress…

I approached the globe and rested my hand on top of it to stop the spinning. “Jazz, I know you are hiding up here.” I snickered.

Under my hand the globe began to spin again. My muscle tensed. Cold sweat dripped down my back. “Jazz?”

The smell of daisies wafted to my nose. My grandmother used to smell like daisies. A wave of calm crashed over me and I swayed back onto my heels. The globe halted. I examined it. Right in the middle of the ocean, a pin-prick sized blob labeled “Hawaii” was circled in red ink. Beside it was a sticky note. I read the scrawling handwriting aloud:

“Date: December 15th, 2016

Dear Future Generations,

I am Mika Theabe. I am originally from Hawaii which is a state in the United Stated of America. The United States of America is a country on the continent North America on the planet Earth. You might not know what any of these words mean because where I’m going there will be no continents, no oceans, no countries even.

I have successfully completed the NASA training necessary to go to Mars. They say we will be colonizing there so I assume I will start a family up there. Future family, this note is to you. I will take a photo album to Mars with me so that you will never forget the beauty of Earth.

Love always,

Mika”

Ozelea's Orb Readings

As I pass shoddy shop on Winsworth Road I glance into the window of Ozelea’s Orb Readings. Scaly hands pat her crystal ball as her milky, cardiac covered eyes boor into me. I yank my coat on tighter around me and speed up my pace. Despite the spring air I shiver. The trees lining the streets are still bare; Winter’s frosty breath lingers.

I risk a peek over my shoulder. Ozelea’s face is smashed against the glass. Her stringy grey hair is pulled back by a ragged green scarf. Her mouth falls open into a ghoulish gash. A cackling sound bursts in my ear. A chill shoots up my spine and I bolt.

Pro Posals

Things are heating up here at Romano’s. He’s getting down on one knee! She’s still focused on the menu. He’s pulling out a ring! 5KT with a beautifully cut diamond heart. Can we zoom in camera one? There we go. Watch that diamond sparkle in the flickering candle light folks.

The violinists came over! She looked up. She’s in tears! Aw, how sweet! Is it a touch down? Oh. Now she’s shaking her head…she’s getting up…she’s fleeing. Oh, that’s harsh. He put the ring away and got up. To follow her? No. He’s sitting back down with his head in his hands. Major fumble…Well, this is awkward. Now to Amber with the weather.

Gone the Way She Went

The air rushes past me. I’m not even afraid. No one will miss me anyway. My life went wrong a long time ago. I got a crappy job at a law firm, lost the love of my life, and married someone who didn’t want to die alone.

Ring! Ring! My stomach turns. Why did I do this? Why did I ever think this was ok?

My mind drifts back to that ringing phone twenty years ago. I picked it up and fell apart. She was dead. I loved her, but she was dead. Suicide. I hung up the phone and slept right there on the kitchen floor that night. Endless nights of sobbing ensued. Then rage. I broke my TV. I couldn’t understand why she would do it…but now I can.

Twenty-seventh floor, twenty-sixth floor, twenty-fifth floor, twenty-fourth floor…I see my wife’s face as she gets that dreaded call. I see her collapsing, screaming, cursing my name. Guilt pulses through me. Will she follow my footsteps?

Twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen…I see my mom crumbling unable to make it to the funeral.

Fifteen…ten…five…I wish I could stop myself. The impact is going to hurt.

Four…three…two…one…I breathe in. Is there life after death?

March 20th

Due to a cold kicking my butt I was unable to publish any posts this week. My sincerest apologies. To make up for this I will publish three posts this weekend. Without further ado:

Something Blue

Am I really about to do this? I look down at my blue bouquet and my sparkling white ball gown wedding dress. I take a steadying breath. I love him, don’t I? No. Well, yes. But I’m in love with my best friend…who married someone else.
My fiancé is everything I need and should want: smart, kind, considerate, loving. But I don’t want him.
Suck it up. I can’t live alone forever and I’ll never find anyone better.
I take the first step down the aisle, and I die inside.