Pain. (Flash fiction.)

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Looking down at the wooden handle of the kitchen knife grasped in her fingers she took a deep breath. Ridged scars adorned her arm, raised reminders of past pain, agony that wouldn’t go away, that had become so unbearable that only more pain could drive it forth. This time would be different, this time would end all…

She felt the sting, numb yet sharp. Blood welled up, overflowed, spotting the bathroom linoleum, surging, spreading in an expanding pool. Detached she watched it grow as her mind weakened. Faces invaded her vision, the ones that hurt her, that didn’t return the love she craved. Someone was pounding on the door. It didn’t matter, they’d be too late. A whirl of darkness took her, comforting soft oblivion…

Oblivion didn’t last, light appeared. No! Not this! She wanted an end. She wanted it to stop. A form appeared in the glow, a face awash with tears. A homely face, like hers, yet filled with something overflowing. She could not look away. Then she knew – He loved her, loved her without conditions, loved her just as she was, and the love washed away the pain, washed away the scars. She gazed deep into the eyes. The tears were for her. Like a tidal wave, an awe inspiring rush of wind, his love washed through her, cleansing, healing, understanding. She was swept away in its current, waking to a hospital bed.

The banging on the door… one of the other boarders must have saved her. She recalled the blood welling across the lino. It must have reached the door… She’d failed in her attempt, but it didn’t matter, the scars didn’t matter, the pain had gone. She was loved!

The three most beautiful women.

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I met three very beautiful women over the past three months, one since passed away from cancer, one has just recovered from cancer, and one’s son recently committed suicide. No it had nothing to do with make up or “taking care of themselves”, though each was tastefully dressed etc. This was something more. Each had struggled with something beyond their capability to bare, as if life had operated and created a void inside emptying out the self, the pride, till an inner beauty had kindled that took my breath away. All three are in their 60’s and one of them had never been beautiful even in youth, but now she glows.

Maybe I don’t see as others do. I must admit I often find the commercially vaunted beauty, tacky, superficial, even slimy. My daughter (who’d secretly like me to find a “special someone”) tends to point out guys to try to “find out my type”. I frequently answer “ugh no!” I try to explain there has to be something to the eyes that shines out. What ever it is these ladies have it, an inner beauty so strong it transforms their faces like angels.

(The photo is from bing by the way (I don’t generally post friends or family on my blog)).

Enough!

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desk

He’d had enough, more than enough! He just wanted it to end. He looked morbidly at the pills, pills, to sleep, pills to stay awake, to offset his stress levels, pills to adjust effects of other pills. It would be easy enough, a beguiling inner voice said. But what of his family, his few remaining friends?

That’s the coward’s way out, he told himself. Whatever else he was, he was no coward! Besides he didn’t really want to die. He wanted to live. But this existence, this endless matrix he found himself in, this was not living; it was a slow and painful death. He glanced at his “prison” hanging in its immaculate plastic wrappings, the crisp lapels, expensive cut, to hide a slowly disintegrating physique. It defined who he was, restricting him to a role, (an ugly one at that).

Angrily he grasped the hanger flinging it aside. He eyed the pills. Hell no! Gathering them together he tossed them into the black steel bin beside his desk. Something stirred within, rebellion! There was no one to tell of his decision, the immaculate penthouse apartment was empty, devoid of life, but deep in his heart a flame had kindled. Ignited, it devoured the dross, enlightening his surroundings. He would live once more, and through him others.

He sipped his coffee, feet propped triumphantly on the creamy white desk veneer, as he watched the sun rise.

Profound wisdom. (flash fiction)

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ledge

Opening his office window Gibson peered down at the teeming mass below. Bedlam! Cars jockeyed for places, taxis honked impatiently, and multitudes thronged the pavements surging home.

Some might think he had it good. At least he had a job, a good income. He knew better. There was nothing left, nothing to strive for, since Leslie left he’d been hitting the bottle but that had just made it worse. His investments had failed; his life as he saw it was on the rocks. Everything he’d strived for all these years had turned to ashes. He hated himself, what he had become. He didn’t blame Leslie, not really, she’d had enough.

He took another swig of the whiskey concealed in his desk draw, mounted the chair and straddled the window frame. He was oddly cautious as he lowered himself onto the ledge. Far below no one noticed the lone figure standing aloft. Wind swept by, oddly refreshing. A bird flew in graceful arcs. he was reminded of his boyhood, where had it all gone so wrong? He’d had so many dreams back then, now all was shattered by the reality of existence.

He was startled by a rattle of the window pane, a lined old face looking up at him. The cleaner had seen the window left open…

What caused Lem to glance out before closing the window he didn’t know, perhaps it was the sunlit clouds, perhaps the bird song, but what he saw there froze his breath. Mr. Gibson stood pressed to the wall his face waxen. Was he about to jump?

“Mr. Gibsen, what are you doing? Come in. Please come in!” The face looked up in confusion and Gibson felt a pang of remorse that Lem should witness this. His voice lashed out angrily.

“You don’t know. You don’t know just how much I hate my life. It hurts too much! I don’t want it any more!”

Lem stood gawking; a birth defect had left him simpleminded. He didn’t have the skills for this kind of stuff.

“If I has something I don’t want no more, I gives it away sir, maybe someone else wants it.”  Lem looked on incredulously as Mr. Gibson gazed at him in astonishment.

“If I don’t want something I give it away,” somehow the empty void around him, the bird careering through the sky lent meaning to the statement. Slowly he began to edge his was back through the window helped by the puzzled Lem.

“You ain’t gonna jump then Mr. Gibson?”

A strange smile lit Gibson’s face, “ No Lem you’re right. If you don’t want something you give it away.”

Rebooting his computer he began a search, there must be a volunteer organisation that could use his engineering skills…