by MD Maurice
Flash Fiction - Assignment on Perspective
|There was a time, not so long ago, that I knew more of life. There were days when I sparkled in the sweet spring sunshine of April. There were long afternoons when I wore the juice of fresh-picked strawberries and toiled in richly scented potting soil. I spent hours nestled in woolen mittens as snow blanketed the ground and Christmas lights twinkled in neighborhood yards. These sensations, all so vivid and wonderful to recall, fail to light the world inside this dark place to which I have been banished.
One memory, above all others, brings me back to joy and leaves me with a bittersweet modicum of hope in my exile. It is a feeling. The feeling of being slipped, virgin and new, on her delicate finger by the shaking hands of a youth whose eyes were pooled with pride. It's the sensation of being wrapped in warm flesh as they walked hand in hand in the days when their love was bright and brimming with hope. I twinkled in the twilight of their humble home as they planned their lives together. I remember happy voices that talked of all the life to come; of splashing dogs and Indian summers, of frozen lakes and gardens filled with flowers and of children laughing in hallways. They talked often of those children. They pondered how they might look, what their names would be and how they would raise them. Their love was bound by faith in dreams and they loved and dreamed with an astonishing fierceness.
After a few years though, those hushed and secret conversations stopped. They rarely held hands. I longed for the embrace that was so frequent in the earlier years, the years that were full of promise. There were gardens and frozen lakes but the laughing children chasing running dogs, did not appear. The house expanded and filled with all the material trappings of success but it became less of a home and more of a space into which both retreated. I no longer felt the thrum of her heart, the life beat of her love. It was as if I had become dulled by the pallor that seemed to hang over her. She spent silent moments looking down at me, twisting me slowly around her thinning finger. She was lost to me, lost in a world of empty hallways. The children she could never bare became phantoms that haunted her.
That fateful night the argument had started slowly, like a licking flame. It grew and grew until the words became brutal weapons that inflicted mortal wounds. She lashed out in anger and disappointment. He shot back at her with blame and resentment. In the end there was a slamming door and then a hollow, aching silence. She wept for hours into her hands, bathing me in her anguished tears. As the morning sun crept through the curtains, she opened eyes that were red-rimmed and clouded. She stood before her dresser looking down at me for a long time before she slipped me off her finger and dropped me into this cold pine box.
I've been here with my memories for a long time, longer than you would think that love could survive. I still believe that it is there, lying dormant, waiting for a kind word of forgiveness or a sudden tender touch that will resurrect it. Despite the years alone, I have not given myself over to tarnish. My metal has not faded or lost its resilience. I live with the persistent hope that one day she will lift the lid of my prison and find me once again, shining with the promise of a million happily ever afters.
Word count 619