Prelude Isaac

Prelude Isaac

A Chapter by Morgane Soustre

The begining of the end




Maria called me in the middle of the night, telling me I had to come, fast. She was having an other episode. That was enough. I rushed to her place.

« I’m sorry, Isaac. She’s been crying and calling for you for hours. I couldn’t calm her down. I didn’t know what else to do.» The housekeeper told me as soon as I stepped inside.

«It’s okay, Maria. I got it.» I said with reassurance, putting one hand on her shoulder., squeezing it lightly. «Always call me, always.»

She smiled, a comprehensive smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

Her moan could be heard from the other side of the big living area, a lamenting excruciating wail that would never leave me. I would never forget it, never could. It travelled deep down my soul and buried itself there, pilling up, adding to all the others painful sounds already laying there. Taking a deep breath,  I walked to the door. 

The room was dimly lit, the only source of light coming from the night stand’s lamp, and even that was covered by some kind of heavy fabric. She couldn’t stand the bright light anymore. She couldn’t stand a lot anymore. She laid in bed, the covers pulled all the way up to her chin, her small body limp, so small and fragile, unable to move or twist to release some of the pain. Drool dripped down one corner of her mouth. She was once so beautiful, so pure. A ray of sun in the darkness. Now, her face was ruined, her body was ruined, her life was ruined.

I moved slowly to the bed, pushing her wheelchair out of the way.

«Hi, there.»

Her eyes shot open and landed on me right away. They were the only feature that had  remained the same - beautiful amber eyes. I always thought they could tell me everything I needed to know about her. But I had missed everything. Now, they were begging me to help her with an intensity that broke my heart all over again. Coming back here was always harder than the time before. But, not coming back was never an option.

She started whining with even more intensity than before, the lamentations of a hundred dead escaping her chapped lips. Her face contorting with pain and sadness. I grabbed her small pale hand in mine, carefully, trying not to pull out the IV tub.

«Shh. I’m here now. Right here.» I caressed her hand softly, knowing she would not even feel it. I didn’t know what else to do.

«Help. Isaac. Help» She murmured in one sharp plaintive breath. It always struck me when she talked. She only seemed capable of saying my name and asked for my help. Nothing else.

«Shh. I’m here. I’m not letting you go.» 

I stayed by her side for hours until the moaning stopped and she finally felt asleep. I watched her for a while. She seemed at rest, her rattling breathing the only thing breaking the silence. It was becoming harder for her to breath on her own. I sighted at the thought of what would be next. More tubes, more medication, even more pain.

I kissed her forehead lightly before leaving her to the night. 

Maria was sitting on the couch, knitting.

«You didn’t have to stay up, Maria.»

«I know, I wanted to.» She smiled sweetly. «How is she ?»

«She is sleeping right now. She has a hard time breathing properly.»

«I noticed.» She paused, lost deep in thought for a moment. «Some days are better than others.»

We were silent for a moment, me standing in the middle of the room, her sitting on the couch, both thinking about those days. There were mostly bad now.

«Do you want me to call you a cab ?»

«No, I’ll just walk.»

She didn’t say more. She knew better. My relationship with Maria went back years. She was my second mother, a guardian angel looking out for her and me.  Right now, she understood my need to walk off the night. Distance from it all was my salvation, the only thing that kept me together, keeping my sanity in check.

Outside, the air was already warm and heavy. I hated Julys in the city. Everything was congested with heat, sweat, an overbearing proximity that was too much for me. It was oppressing and I didn’t need any of that. Not now. I liked New York in the winter, bare trees, streets covered by white soft snow, calm and quiet.

I heard the thud thud of running shoes hitting the tar behind me, long, fast steps, coming closer and closer. It was powerful, focused and purposeful. A young lean woman passed by me, determination written on her face. She looked straight ahead, her gaze fixed on something invisible, her hand clasped on her Ipod. Her wild curly blond hair bounced on her back with each stride. She wasn’t running for the sake of the exercise. Her running was  to escape, to achieve something that seemed too far from her reach. She was running like her life depended on it. She was beautiful. 

It all happened in slow motion. She was reaching the corner when a cyclist tumbled out of nowhere, full speed. She jumped on the side, avoiding the collision only form inches. He never even stops. She watched him disappeared, standing in the middle of the street. Finally, she turned around, coming face to face with a cab. I wanted to scream at her to move, to get out of the way. But I couldn’t. The moment she saw the car, she smiled, let her arms dropped along her side and closed her eyes. No fear, no regret. It was simple surrender. She was embracing the events like a long lost friend. I could see her welcome the hit to come, death to take her. It was frighteningly mesmerizing. 

I snapped out of it, flashes of her head hitting the ground in a cracking noise bringing me back to reality. She wasn’t going to die today. No. I reached for her. I needed to save her, for both our sakes. This urge, of wanting to show her the world, to make her believe, to make her forget what was obviously eating her up, rushed through me. It was intense, an overwhelming pull. I grabbed her ponytail and yank her out of the way. I heard her crashed onto the building wall, a yield escaping her. Whatever, at least she didn’t end up under a yellow cab’s wheels. The cab honked, I cursed. It was only silent again.

My heart was beating fast, way too fast. I wanted to yell at her for doing that, for standing there not even fighting, for giving up so easily when the first opportunity came around. But I couldn’t. I didn’t think words were enough for her at the moment. I slowly turned around, now facing her. She was rubbing her right shoulder, grimacing slightly at the pain. Good. Maybe that would put some sense into her. But once again she surprised me. I expected tears after the adrenaline rush started fading, I expected some king of babbling, I expected her to collapse, to react. But nothing. She was an empty shell, a white page. I couldn’t read her. It was fascinating. So I just stare her down, trying to figure out the woman standing so close to me.

I saw the exact moment she switched, the exact moment rage took over, a blank canvas getting splatters in thick black paint. Pure anger directed straight at me. A wave of fury unleashed. I kept looking at her, straight in the eyes, not letting go. I wanted to burn holes in her soul, to understand. But I couldn’t ask the questions. Her body was tensing by the second, her hands were closed into tight fists.  I didn’t know if she wanted to punch me or slam her fists through the wall, either way, I was getting a reaction out of her which meant she could feel, that was good. Anger keeps you going. I studied her face changed colors, getting redder, contracting, her jaw clamped, her lips shivered. She was beautiful. Out of everything, the only certainty I had, was that the woman standing in front of me, tiny drop of sweat rolling down her forehead,  just changed my life. For better or worst, I had no idea.

When she couldn’t seem to take anymore of the staring, when the anger became too hard to control, she ran away and I let her go.


Picking up her discard Ipod form the ground, I shoved in it my pocket and headed to my place. I let my hand brushed against the device. I had a piece of the puzzle with me. 

© 2014 Morgane Soustre

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its strange because i would have never known you were french if i didnt look at your profile. the foreigners have something amazing that we Americans dont, which is that everyone is taught multiple languages despite america. if i were taught from a young age to speak french i would be very grateful for that. french is such a awesome language, hopefully one day i can speak it

Posted 3 Years Ago

I have read both now... The same flaws inhabit this part as well as within Lila's section. Wrong "real" words and jarring shades of meanings...

Throughout both Preludes, I felt I understood your intent but the shadings of the chosen words' meanings just felt "wrong". I.E. last para above - discard? In a sense it could seem or appear to equal something accidentally "dropped", but the intent and shade of meaning of "discard" is more of a personal choice being decided and then acted upon. It is a conscious or an unconscious intent by a person to get rid of (throw away) or release - something - that a person no longer wants or feels has value. Lila didn't "intend" to throw away the Ipod and the sentence didn't support that allusion.

The sense, shade, and direction of English meanings also is highly dependent upon word order and placement. Issues arise because the actual English word and its usage within a sentence structure is not usually defined by language set spellings (and additions) normally used in other languages to empower readers to determine grammar, gender, and understanding functionality regardless of where within a sentence a word is used. While English does have words defined by their spelling and that also define usage at a glance, order and placement do tend to be the rule - rather than the exception.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on February 13, 2014
Last Updated on February 13, 2014


Morgane Soustre
Morgane Soustre


My name is Morgane. I was born in France, live there but should have probably come into the worl in a English speaking country (I always tease my parents about that). I write in English, just feels ri.. more..

Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Morgane Soustre