A Story by Michael

A man who has lost his senses recalls moments of his life with diminishing vitality. (Won 1st place in a district-wide contest.)


I no longer know the blues of the sky; the radiance of the sun is lost to my skin, if it be there still. Immune am I to the pleasures of the sands, brooks, streams, and oceans: crystalline, free-flowing, and alive. I do not know whether I am dead, for all sensation has fled me. See can I not the great earth, hear not the sounds of nature’s sweet music; I have no more taste of the touch and smells of the gifts of the world. New perceptions are denied to me; the continuation of old ones, soon lost. My old friends have all but gone and left me. I sense nothing now, robbed as my worldly faculties are of me " so instead I remember.

            An unlit and starry night, dancing with a woman whose glow was absolute and whose tempo was unrelentingly beautiful. The frantic and dramatic pacing of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, movement three, as I struggled to keep pace with all things. In memory I see flurrying and cascading whites, creams adorned with twinkling diamonds of immeasurable imagery, as though Orion himself had plucked from the sky and joined the glory of our evening. Decked in naïveté I was, against the pure grace dressed in that white and cream: it is a wonder I survived the night for want of desire’s suffocation. A wonder still the many ethereal nights that followed; yet now all that I have is smoke and ash. I see no more of that story. Then again, it never happened.

            Another song plays, and I can barely make out its name in the grays that envelop me. They encroach upon me and choke me to recall more of whoever’s life I have been given. I cannot say for certain now that it is mine, and it doesn’t truly matter.

            Pachelbel’s Canon played in the background of the chiming bells and many speeches. I was too nervous to hear anything else. The sun shone brilliantly, though, on that day; I was told it was a good omen, by one in the faceless crowd. I may once have known their features, but can recall them now only as hazy, erased, and expressionless. They shuffled all to and fro without apparent cause, flocking near or around me, as though I was their anchor of orbit. The day overwhelmed me; then melted away. One face among the virtueless many absolved their sins, the busyness and gossip they levied against me, and became the subject of mine. I was married; blurry joy was mine at last at the expense of a lachrymose embrace, both the final and first of separate lives. A great deal of good that’s done me.

            It grows more difficult to remember, and to entertain any thoughts within my mind. It is all I have, and I feel it whittling away. Previous grays strengthen to black and clutch tighter around my psyche. My recollections are by necessity now; any last luxuries of my existence have been marched away and executed. Choice for me is cast away into the miserable void, for lack of any better alternative. Even the pain of loss is dulled. Emotions grow heavy. My die is cast, and I succumb to another faded memory.

            The walls wore a harsher white than the dancing flurries of my younger days, cleaner, as though bleached, but the meaning of such a word I have long forgotten. If any song played, it was drowned out by screams of pain and a jubilance on the edge of ecstasy. The world was brisk and cold, rational, orderly, enclosed by tight space and calculated colors. The room’s only source of light was gasping for air as it fought for space with blue-green sheets and trickling red. The lamp of a woman bore a sacred pain on her countenance, and I was in awe. The borders of her figure, to my shame, flickered with uncertainty, and the finer details of the scene have fled from my reminiscence. Only the " my " world remained clear, and the gloved hands that coaxed life out from within her.

            The task was onerous as the tree was picked of its hanging fruit; the sensation of time, murky, was heavy in passing, and rife with all emotional burdens. Words were spoken to listening ears: thrown, hurled, sung, ejaculated, though their ringing has ceased, unable to penetrate the mist of my catatonia. Insults were levied, one-sided, as though the burgeoning life depended on them. Perhaps it did. When the blaze of passion or suffering had subsided, these were forgotten; anger, pain, and frustration scorned; all stood still for unimaginable perfection.

             The bundle traded hands with comical frequency. All the while the fledgling mother hen watched closely, instinctually, like some bird of prey or panting sentinel. The middle man was she: whenever moved, the child was inspected as if a precious shipment for damage or marking of any breed. Had the boy been born with a scar or blemish that she had seen, no doctor or nurse would have made it from the room alive. It was not so. The child was flawless in every respect " how could he not be? Hours of toil, sweat, and blood had been sacrificed for him; he was a god in this way. Though I held him in my arms, I can no longer remember what he looked like.

            I cannot feel breath, though I dare to question if still I draw it. I am filled with doubt: at the most, it is likely drawn for me. Perhaps I am removed entirely from the mortal coil. I am confused, and to think is to labor. Clouds fill the atmosphere of my consciousness. I feel inability bearing down upon my thoughts, dragging me to separate places. There is more left to me, however; I am not empty yet, and yet may struggle.

            There was endless pride and cheering from all sides of the procession of metal, wood, and green-cloaked flesh. Voices called for victory. The sound of marching boots answered in unison. It filled the air and ousted the ominous foreshadowing from the day. There was desperation to their rhythm, and a certain element of doom. Their lives were wretched from complacency and boiled. Among the thundering stew walked the culmination of my love, bathed in monochrome and from a distance. I can’t remember more than fear " wilting, gray fear.

            Hypocrisy flew at half-staff above a field of green grass and dark rocks of no significance. The wind blew strongly and chilled the still living. The dead did not care. A single trumpet blew and pierced the silence, to a tune of shrill weeping. Someone’s son laid in an open casket, of fine wood and cloth. Gunpowder filled the air for the pale, undetailed mannequin. The body betrayed nothing more " the face was blank and the clothes gray. I can’t recall what had summoned me there, but I remember a wave of sorrow.

              At every moment my mind falters. I can hold no picture within it, and see nothing, mentally or otherwise. There is only emotion and the occasional flash of imagery now. I am gripped by fear for what comes next, but really I do not care. Only one memory still lies within my grasp.

            Her face was framed by hair of declining color; both had lost their vivacity and the means to live. Grief shined in the place of brilliance, and the sun which I had known eclipsed itself. The windowsill on which she sat groaned daily. She was not heavy, but for the sentiments that followed her. There was very little music to those days. Her voice had once rivalled that of the most pleasant songbird, but now laid in silence.

            She told me things that I don’t remember about pains that I can’t say existed. Her eyes always fell down or to the sides when she spoke of them. Melancholy were her features and neither her body nor her mind could any longer understand the logic of pleasure. Always her tone was limp and unenthused. Pain had overcome her being and forced her into its bondage.

            Man’s muddling in nature had destroyed her. The pain she was dealt was unnatural; it was an anachronism. I was angry with the world where she was empty. The stars fell from her and Orion flew again from the world of mortals, to join the evening sky. The rest of her just faded away, self-elected, to nothing.

            I’ve grown exhausted and my mind is blank. The blackness that crept upon me has completed its assailment. 

            There is nothing to think of now but darkness. Nothing to remember but the present. My tether to the world, my life, has been sliced and forsaken.

            I will see them soon, for I have thought my last.

© 2016 Michael

Author's Note

As usual, be harsh. Thank you.

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Added on February 25, 2016
Last Updated on February 25, 2016
Tags: Sad, reflective, psychological, dark, fiction, intriguing, theoretical, Kafkaesque, depressive, depressing, sorrowful, lachrymose, reminiscent, deep, imagery, metaphor, simile, extended metaphor



Fort Myers, FL

I don't write as much as I should given all of the self-characterization I base on it. Nor do I feel much anymore, except tired. I take a lot of naps and probably use too many semi-colons; hyphens, to.. more..

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