Waves brayed against rocks, foaming at the mouth. Spittle sprayed over the shoreline; white crests broken in temper. Cries of foreign lands and all the spaces in between beaten in adversity. He sobbed then, his skin drenched in salted tears of shore and soul. A fog rolled in, dense and dreamlike it swallowed the world. He embraced it as it embraced him; a veil of comfort set to obscure and deceive. His safe space, a womb of hope and new beginnings. A shaft of light piercing, a horn bellowing; unbroken they remained.
She held her breath as he screamed her name, his arms and legs flailing as she grasped his throat in her hands. His eyes widened as her grip tightened around him and finally she exhaled. His dark brown eyes faded to grey and she felt the very essence of him slip away beneath her. She kissed his parted lips, his breath still sweet and warm; the last of him to live.
They wanted her to paint a picture, but she had never painted in her life.
“Just paint what you feel,” the nurse had told her.
She sat and stared at the vivid whiteness of the canvas. She was surrounded by green gardens basking in yellow suns peeping from corners and rainbows stretching and arcing in fluid strokes. But that wouldn’t be her masterpiece. She selected the smallest brush she could find and dipped it in black, scrawling her name in the corner. Her picture painted, her feelings exposed. A blank space amidst a world of sunshine and rainbows.
Warning – explicit content
“I need you,” I whisper. I get right up to your ear, your hair sticking to my lips. “You need me.” You flinch, drawing away from me. I let out a sigh, your blonde hair wavering under the weight of my breath. “I can’t live without you,” and you know I’m right. You know you’re killing me. But still you don’t speak, won’t look at me. I reach out and grab your arm, and you turn to face me. Your hair falls away at either side, you spit on me. “Bitch,” I spit in return, grabbing you around the throat.
As she sat at her till, her dumpy frame pulled at the buttons of her blouse. Her shoulders slouched forward yet shrugged up to her ears at the same time, making her neck non existent. She was almost toad like as she sat waiting for her next customer. At any moment, her tongue would lash out, pulling a straggling loaf of bread to join its comrades on the conveyer belt. No one would notice, she knew she was invisible as she sat there. She sighed as the conveyor piled high, forcing a smile on her face as she went ignored.
It was a long journey to her sisters and she wasn’t sure how Bitsy would cope. She had started to shake, but she always did when it was cold. This was their first time on a bus, having successfully avoided public transport, but it had been inevitable it would come to this. Losing your license often led to that.
She adjusted Bitsy’s red bow. How her sister would scoff, but she’d spent hours choosing it, and even longer trying to get Bitsy to sit still long enough to fasten it in place. 5 buses she had missed in doing so.
They found my scarf tied around the iron railings about a week after he took me. I saw it on the news, back when he let me watch it. I screamed at the TV; screamed until my voice went hoarse. My scarf, it could save me, could lead them to me. But I knew it wouldn’t. I knew instead my mother would be sobbing into it, still after all these years. She would mend the loose threads, sleep with it each night even though it no longer smelled of me. It would become her totem, anchoring her to me.