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Stitches
TS might not be Frost or Eliot but combined with Nix they made music. Perhaps another colab?...
El Paz En El Abismo

El Paz En El Abismo

A Story by VERONICA

To be perfectly blunt, I’m dead… But I’m not… I don’t feel… I’m still conscious… I’m still thinking. Where am I? So I just sit in solemn silence on this dull dark dock. Huh, I remember that rhyme from my public speaking class: “To sit in solemn silence on a dull dark dock; In a pestilential prison with a life long lock; Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock; From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block.”

I don’t know what I’m waiting for; a stairway to heaven or highway to hell? For Hades’ boat to take me up the river Styx? The entrance to the infamous purgatory of Hamlet’s father? Or am I only waiting for an insignificant short sharp shock? My friend has a theory that you go to a Hilton, with free room service, while you choose what you want to be in your next life. I don’t believe in reincarnation, nor do I really believe in heaven or hell. Is that why I’m here? I’ve said that rhyme so many times that, by default, my subconscious has created this fucked up figment of my imagination. I want out.

I’ve never been religious. Lately I’ve claimed my “religion” to be George Bernard Shaw's most famous plays. So why am I not with Don Juan in hell? My mom would make me go to Sunday school at the Catholic Church- I wonder if I’ll see her. She was gorgeous. She had longish black/brown hair, smooth Latina skin… I’ve never been good at describing people and it seems too long since she died. Will she look the same? Will she keep her youth and beauty? What do I even look like? I’ve not yet thought to-

I swear I heard a noise. But, apparently, there are none. There’s nothing here to make any noise. I’ve been taken here- no- the reason I’m- the reason I’m not alive is- this is weird; to sit here and think... “I’m dead.” I don't remember what happened or where I was. Hell, I can't even recall what I was doing. I just remember I was angry... I hope no one else was hurt...

It's so quiet here; there isn't any wind or even the sound of my once steady and reliable heartbeat. I don't dislike it here; it's cool, calm and absolutely beautiful. I don't have anything to do, no jobs to get done, no kitchen to clean, no kids to take to soccer. Oh God... thank God I'm not there; soccer politics are worse than world, gender, party and small town politics combined. And the "soccer moms" epitomized hell. It's ironic that I should think that, seeing that hell may very well end up being the place I go. Yet, I haven't felt like I've done anything wrong- well, anything crucially wrong.

What about my kids? Is it wrong to be content where I am now? I don't feel like I need to be with them. I never really was there as a mother. They'll probably be better off with one of those silly "soccer moms" as their mother. Sure, they're ridiculous, petty, intense and narrow-minded, but at least they care.

"That must be why I'm here," I unconsciously say aloud. I hear tapping on the dock. On the water by the landing and in the fog, a rowboat has appeared. It contains a seemingly friendly black man, who motions for me to sit in the small boat next to him. Passively, I do what he silently insists. He's polite and says, "Hello." He asks me about myself, but I don't feel like talking. I let my fingers touch the surface of the water, like floating autumn leaves, as I ponder if one can die twice. I'd love to kill him twice, the man who gave me the children and left.

The polite man hands me a form to fill in the bubbles of "all that apply." So I make black dots in the empty circles that are supposed to represent my accomplishments, my personality, interests, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender; my entire existence. I feel as though I'm selling my soul over to the Devil. (I guess I would have expected something a little more cryptic.) I don't mean to be so pessimistic- I could be on my way to some sort of heaven. But, if that were so, I think I'd know it and I doubt there would be this sound of silence. I build up enough nerve to ask, "Excuse me, where am I?"

There is too long of a pause.

“Within the sounds of silence," says the polite man. I don't know what that is, and this uncertainty makes me uneasy. It is then when I notice we've been noiselessly drifting, because when I look back the dock appears to have disappeared in the mist. I see a drooping willow on the embankment and I feel the urge to sit under it, read and dangle my bare-feet in the black river.

Gracefully, I stand up. As I look down I find I am clothed in a simple, thin, pretty, white, flowing dress. I touch my face and run my fingers over my lips. Then I wipe the red stain of lipstick onto the belly of my dress and, impulsively, I jump into the river. It's cold. It feels refreshing on the skin of my dry body. I sink down to the bottom and lay myself down on the smooth, flat, soft sand. Majestically, my dress falls over my body and the ground. Surprisingly, I find that I am tired. But is it really any wonder that from living I am so physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted? So, in the deep, I close my eyes and pray never to wake up again.

© 2010 VERONICA


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Featured Review

Intriguing story you have here. It looks like there's a sense of Greek mythology around the edges, and it adds a layer of interest (to me, anyway--I love mythology).

Though sad, the story is also somehow... tranquil. Sort of a calming reflection in the afterlife, where you can't really be hurt more than you already are. After all, you're dead--the narrator is dead. I liked that sense for the story.

Your structure, though, throws me off. Maybe I'm just extremely picky, but exclamation marks in wordless narrative is something very difficult to pull off. Had you used them more sparingly, maybe used some italics instead of the exclamations, they would have been far more effective.

(I'd like to say that while I'd love to play "guess the songs," my taste in music isn't exactly of the norm or even not-norm, so I unfortunately have no clue.)

In closing, keep writing. And thank you for entering my contest. Good luck.

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Wow. I don't really know what to make of this story. It was an interesting interpretation of what afterlife could be like. Very well written! I liked your descriptions - it gave me a lot of vivid imagery. Great write!

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Lex
highway to hell - AC/DC
heartbeat - Buddy Holly
Hello - Lionel Ritchie and/or the smashing pumpkins
autumn leaves - Eva Cassidy
the river - PJ Harvey
pray - Take that? (that last one doesn't seem right) lol

Did I get any right?

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Intriguing story you have here. It looks like there's a sense of Greek mythology around the edges, and it adds a layer of interest (to me, anyway--I love mythology).

Though sad, the story is also somehow... tranquil. Sort of a calming reflection in the afterlife, where you can't really be hurt more than you already are. After all, you're dead--the narrator is dead. I liked that sense for the story.

Your structure, though, throws me off. Maybe I'm just extremely picky, but exclamation marks in wordless narrative is something very difficult to pull off. Had you used them more sparingly, maybe used some italics instead of the exclamations, they would have been far more effective.

(I'd like to say that while I'd love to play "guess the songs," my taste in music isn't exactly of the norm or even not-norm, so I unfortunately have no clue.)

In closing, keep writing. And thank you for entering my contest. Good luck.

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 16, 2008
Last Updated on March 15, 2010