The Postmortem Indifference

The Postmortem Indifference

A Story by Faith

The blazing headlights of my '71 Mustang cut through the darkness like dull blade, effective but not proficient. I was mesmerized by the light, drawn to it like a month to flame and hopefully, I would meet the same fate.
Leaning my elbow against the door, I peered out the side window and reveled the night, what little I could see of it. The starry net was obscured by clouds, the surrounding forest obscured by shadows, and the lonely highway only illuminated by the headlight's wan endeavors. 
The lights incited an eerie drama of shapes and shadows, twisting and skittering just on the rim of consciousness . . . Grim things once believed to only exist in the mind, but lately, they had come out to play. 
Returning my attention to the task at hand, I exhaled a puff of blue smoke; it twisted in agony for a moment, before retreating to the car's deeper recesses, where it settled into the upholstery like a vile perfume. 
My gaze shifted to view the cigarette captured between my fingers, smoke continuing to curl from it's glowing tip, the flame crawling ever closer to my fingers. 
The crackle of the burning paper seemed loud than I could ever recall, irritating the soundwaves like fingernails scratching raw nerve-endings. It was maddening! 
I listened to the cigarette's preternatural song, until I could endure no more. I lifted it to my lips and drew it's final breath, silencing the serenade.
The air was cold, as I cracked the window only enough enough to banish the dying stub into the unknown. 
"I really need to quit."  I muttered. 
I need to quit. It was the tagline of my life. I said this after every smoke breathed its last and being a compulsive chain smoker, I said this more than I cared to admit. 
Perhaps it was a silent plea from my subconscious mind, I need to quit, or perhaps it was a subliminal mantra of preparation. After all, the cigarette was not the only flamed that needed snuffed. 
The steering wheel was cold beneath my grasp and the windows had long ago clouded with condensation. The heater worked, but I didn't bother turning it on. 
A numbness had enveloped me, leaving me starkly empty and void of emotion. It was only here, in this place of nothingness, that I found peace. 
Nothing can hurt me here . . . 
The clouds shifted slightly, allowing the moon one last glimpse of the world, but it was dark and blanketed in despair. 
The gentle caress of moonlight invaded the car, bestowing more illumination than the glowing dials could muster. In this moment, I captured my visage in the rear-view mirror; the vagueness inhabiting my eyes was startling, even to me. 
I had been on the fast-track to self-destruction for a while now, but this was, by far, the closest I had come to completing the circuit. 
In this state of absolute surrender, feelings were prohibited, but the thought did cross my mind that I should be worried, that maybe what I was about to do . . . What I was doing . . . Wasn't my only option. 
I touched the cold surface of the mirror and titled it for a better view of my face, inspecting my corpse-like appearance with greater scrutiny. 
I smoothed the silky strands of black hair from my eyes. At least my hair still swam with life, growing on it's own and without my consent, and although I had always wore it long, it now extended beyond my shoulders and wasn't done yet. 
But it was done . . . It simply failed to realize it. 
The veins of my face and neck were elevated just above surface level, tinted azure and throbbing in rhythm to my accelerated pulse. It was intriguing how the mind and body, although conjoined entities, so contrastingly processed the reality of death. 
My hand shook as I returned it to the wheel and my gaze to long, lonely highway. I sought no comfort in my resolve, refraining from even the heater to warm me. 
I had been on the road for nigh the hour and without meeting a single car. I could not silence the somber thought of: "Where is everybody?" 
They're dead, just like you. 
I knew not where the grim through came from or why it chose to manifest in a voice other than my own, but I accepted it nonetheless. At this point, if anything would speak to me, it couldn't be all bad. 
The road was gradually becoming more narrow and the curves sharper, indicating my destination was near. 
I rolled down the window to inhale the stench of the approaching river, wondering what that murky water would taste like. 
I left my ponderings where they were and drew my head back into the car's smoky interior, as the final curve required both hands on the wheel to round it safely, and I wasn't ready to die . . . Not yet. 
After clearing the curve, the forest opened up and gave way to a monumental sight. 
The moonlight continued to play peek-a-boo with the clouds, but as the nose of the Mustang rounded the sharp corner, the light broke free, but even the moon, shining at full capacity, could not penetrate the inky blackness of the river. 
The moon did, however, reveal the monstrous beast that squatted over the river, providing passage to motorists across it's back. 
The Delmar Bridge had been the only way to the other side of the river, but now, with the construction of newer and safer bridges, the Delmar Bridge stood forgotten. 
"I didn't forget about you." I whispered, resting my arms against the steering wheel and meditating upon the looming monument.
The door groaned as I exited the vehicle; my body vibrating as I traded across the uneven river rocks. 
I crossed my bare arms against my chest out of instinct, unconsciously protecting my vital organs from the December air. I released my arms to my sides quickly, once my actions were comprehended. I didn't deserve warmth. The cold could take me. 
Moonlight struck the bridge from all directions, unleashing it to the world of psychodrama and summoning fantastic creatures from light, shadow, and imagination. 
The sloping beams and spindly rigging transformed into the legs and tentacles of some eldritch beast, while the entrance ramp became a lolling tongue, beckoning prey into it's gaping maw. 
I stepped cautiously on the bridge's reflective surface, varnished in a thin veneer of ice. The river had always been violent, slamming into the supports and spraying onto the roadway, which would freeze on cold nights. 
The low elevation of the Delmar bridge was the reason the populous abandoned it for taller and safer bridges, leaving it a derelict tribute to the gruesome past. 
Leaning against the railing, I meditated on the glossy surface of the river. Time seemed to still in this moment, staring into the churning blackness and pondering the possibilities. 
The icy breeze ruffled my hair and gently tugged at the silver ring in my lip, as though the elements encouraged my decision.   
Moonlight set the water afire with metallic flames, monochromatic and 
austere, and it inadvertently ignited a secondary fire in my heart, as cold and impassioned at the river itself. 
Cautiously, I moved beneath the beams to the outer reaches of the bridge, careful to keep my balance on the icy concrete. I would go when I was ready and no sooner. I wanted this to be deliberate, a conscious decision and I wanted them to know that. 
Memories danced behind my eyes; faces, places, and events, all collaborators to my fate. They couldn't save me now . . . No one could . . . My only hope was perhaps one day they would understand. 
This was it, the moment we prepare for from birth, the end of the story, the end of the pain. 
I was ready. 
I left no letters, notes, items of sentiment, or parting token of any kind. They were unrequired cliches of regret, which was something I was starkly without. 
I skried into the portal of liquid and moonlight, reflecting the surrounding vista, but keeping the world below locked in secret. It didn't matter. I would find out what was down there soon enough. 
I gave one last glance to the world around me, feeling nothing but relief that I would not see it anymore. 
With my last breath burning in my chest, I stepped from the bridge without looking back, and it was here, in the cold dark water of the river, that I found peace. 

© 2014 Faith


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Added on January 5, 2014
Last Updated on January 5, 2014
Tags: death, suicide, gothic, giving up

Author

Faith
Faith

About
I am the one that no one sees… Sitting at the corner table of the café. I find safety in shadows, in hiding from the world. Here… In the dark… No one can hurt me. Sometimes.. more..

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