He walked in the room and came to an abrupt stop. He looked around, frantically trying to recall what had brought him here. His breathing became shallow as panic set in, the ability to remember hovering just out of reach. Tears pricked in his eyes as his mind remained blank; a dark fog eclipsing even the simplest of thoughts from his head. He did an about turn, stumbling in his slippered feet as he raced back to the safe sanctuary of his chair. He threw himself into it, allowing it to swallow him, hiding him from his life.
As she washed the blood from her hands, she finally realised the full extent of what she had done. She regarded his body as it lay limp on top of the now blood soaked wooden table and dared it to move. But it didn’t, couldn’t. The now sliced open chest was still. She had finally done it, and now it was over. She had told him often enough that he would be hers, had promised time and time again, though he had never believed it. But as she watched his heart lying still, hers at last, she smiled, victorious.
The plumes of smoke surrounded her, enveloping her in a shroud so dense it eclipsed the world beyond. It clung to her, seeping through her clothes, her skin, her very bones. It weighted her down, the ethereal mist an anchor dragging her deep into the earth. First her feet falling through as if no ground existed beneath her. Then her legs, up to her hips, her waist, past her shoulders until only her head remained. She took one last gasp of smoke filled air, disappearing down as her now weighted body dragged her further towards hell.
For a short while I see the old house as it was. Freshly painted walls, swing seat on the veranda, the old tyre hanging from the oak tree. But it’s soon swallowed by time, the mist rolling back. It’s older now, a sold sign swings from the porch. I stand in the passage, dust motes dancing at the bottom of the stairs. I remember you standing there with a hole in your t-shirt. I stick my finger in it and tickle your tummy. I can’t help but cry, this house soon becoming just a hole where we once lived.
The sounds carried through the air; a chorus of tiny voices high pitched and fervent. She searched around her, the shattered silence disorientating her. She had been walking with only her own angst ridden breaths as comfort for too long, yet the sounds that now surrounded her were unwelcome. The anonymity of each voice distressed her; the tone of angelic innocence scratching at a memory she had long suppressed. She closed her eyes, scrunching them tight and bringing her fists to her ears. But her vain attempts were too late. They were here and they weren’t going to let go.
She had fought hard against the waves, but to no avail. Her body floated atop the sea; bone weary, battered and bruised. Her night dress clung to her beaten form, the cotton transparent as the sea swallowed its fibres. Her heart ached in the solitude of her surroundings as the water drowned out her cries. Her tears dissolving in their watery grave, lost forever, sinking with her heart. Her body was now a lifeless form, weightless and forgotten. She called for her, whispered her name over and over, closer than she had ever been, an eternity still between.
She sat at the piano, her heart weighing heavy in her chest. Its dark wood was unkempt; littered with tea stains, rubbed bare where hands had come to rest. The ivory keys were stained and chipped, the black keys dull and begging to be brought back to life. She could hear the piano calling out her name, louder and louder, a crescendo filling the room. She flexed her fingers, resting them upon the keys that had once been so familiar. Taking a deep breath, she straightened her back and began to play, imagining her mother beside her once more.