Archive | 12:25 am

Descent

12 Nov

To all those kind enough to vote for my flash fiction entry here, thank you. (Doesn’t ring a bell? Refer to this post.) I was leading the poll until a while ago but now thanks to some lazy bums out there WHO CAN STILL GET OFF THEIR REAR ENDS AND VOTE and substantial help from trolls out to pull the average down, my story is trailing behind. But, because I’m a kindly soul, (and also because no one else will read it) here’s another tall tale, again, under 500 words. Enjoy.

…….

It wasn’t me. I did nothing. Didn’t invite them, didn’t ask them to stay. They sought me out, beseechingly, with open arms and pleading pitches, hear us, tell us, unravel our souls. At first, I ignored them. Maybe if I looked busy enough, they’d go away. So I’d turn my back to them, knitting in hand, and click the needles loudly, so they’d be forced to withdraw. Don’t harangue me, I’d say firmly, looking them in the eye when they tried to crawl back. Go find another home, one that wants you.

It worked for a while. I believed it was over. Life lulled me back into its everyday rhythms and I watched the leaves change color and the flowers wilt. But one day, they came for me. Thick and fast, flying at me in droves, the Stories clung to my legs like many-syllabled leeches, sucking the words out of me and making them their own. They clutched my tongue and tugged at my fingers and sapped my brain to within an inch of its life, wailing, clamoring, begging to be told. They lodged themselves in my house, my room, my closets, my typewriter, smirking from behind the ribbon, calling out from under the staircase, leaping onto my unsuspecting shoulders, clawing my neck until I acquiesced.

I wrote. I had to. They wouldn’t go away, I couldn’t make them. So we stayed up nights and had pre-dawn parties, where they’d form a ring and dance around my ankles, and I, who had begun to enjoy the attention, was bright and alert and oh-so-productive, and then of course, there were drinks to help. They stood on the rim of the tub and watched me bathe. They scattered my hair with a flick of their commas and dotted my eyes with colons. They stacked my sheets and tied them with ribbons, arguing over the color and whether we needed a bow. They said they loved me anyway and that they didn’t care I was about to win a prize. I loved them too, my angelic creatures, my babies, my Stories, beings of my being. They were right when they said the men would take me away and for a while, all was white and quiet and their voices receded as I lay in a big van, sibilant whispers tapping my eyes, sliding under my skin, making me fall, fall, fall……..

When I awoke, they were gone. A lone nurse smiled tightly before feeding me soup. The corridors were empty. The room was empty. My head was empty. Only the soup bowl was full. Nurse made me rest. A quick prick of something green and I was drifting away. The clock struck three and I turned to take a look. As my eyelids drew closer, I noticed the spread of a delighted smile rocking behind the pendulum and knew all was well with my world again.

~The last entry from the personal journal of Emma McCormick, Nobel Laureate for Literature, 1964.

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