Short story of the Day — Grieving

Work from a creative writing class today in Brighton

I can see him sat there looking at her; he can’t notice me as I am tucked behind a black curtain in this dim candlelit room that feels like a mausoleum. He is looking at her. I can feel his mind processing; turning like an ancient cartwheel on a cobbled street. Like in the olden days, before cars littered the streets and minds of all those that live here.

I can see the stars twinkling in the mist that is shimmering, sparkling over her re-arranged body; mother had shrunk to a small shadow of her former self over the last couple of months due to her illness. Lifted in and out of bed like a gentle feather floating mystically on the last few waves of life.

I’m not going to disturb him now, but at last maybe I could be free to live out my own life: or will he demand my attention ever more. I want to run for it. Fly away on an adventure. Can I leave him, I don’t know. I wish I could say I loved him and cared; but he has made certain that I shouldn’t do that. Everything has been centred around mother. All public engagements and friends are hers; and she has died. The funeral is tomorrow. The polite answer will be,” Come and stay with us for a while Dad”, from my brothers and sisters. He won’t go; he barely talks to me. Am I to be party to his demise. Is this my future?

As I watch behind my comfort zone the curtain, he stands and slowly moves towards his dead wife and walks around the coffin. First of all checking that the effects and decorations on the shining black box are in order. After three times of walking around my father stops where I can see him and leans over to look closely at mother. His face seems to glow pink and orange and at the same time I begin to feel like a statue. I realise I can’t move any more. It is like a dream where you can’t wake up and you’re frozen to the spot.

He stands up and walks to a mirror; I can see his face as he pulls a revolver from his jacket pocket, places the barrel in his mouth; pushesthe hilt of the gun towards his chest and pulls the trigger.

Copyright Patrick Turner-Lee 6th July 2015

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