Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Death was a confusing time for me.

Well, not the actually death part. That came quite naturally. Not naturally in the sense that I died of natural causes. There is nothing natural about falling down basement stairs while carrying a dehumidifier. My foot slipping on a poorly placed screwdriver was definitely human error. Although, the gravitational force that caused my body to fall forward and down allowing my head to smash into said dehumidifier could be considered natural in a sense.

However, the naturality I am referring to was not the violent combination of human error and fundamental physics. After the damage was done, and my head lay on the cool concrete I watched a stream of blood flow past my eye. Shortly thereafter our black cat nonchalantly strolled past, purring contently as he left paw prints in my fresh warm blood. I felt no pain, and thankfully couldn’t smell what the cat was doing an arm’s length away in his litter box.

My eyelids grew heavy and my body grew cold. It suddenly became very easy, or natural if you will. I simply shut my eyes for what would be the final time in my corporal body.

After I shut my eyes the confusion began.

You see, the thing about being dead, is you don’t know your dead. Someone has to tell you. Would you believe someone if they said you were dead? Of course not, that would be insane. So they have to show you.

I saw myself lying on a cold concrete floor, surrounded by bloody cat prints, a dented dehumidifier and a misplaced screwdriver.

At first I thought, maybe I have a concussion, or am dreaming. Though, before I become too complacent I was ripped out of my hopeful hallucinations by a being that was assumingly my hapless guide.

Next, I found myself to be an unwelcome guest at my own funeral.

Family and friends dressed in black filled the pews. On the altar lay my coffin, half open. My guide stood beside me as I scanned the room. Long forgotten friends sat side by side with grieving family. All heads were bowed in mourning and prayer.

I made my way down the aisle, my guide stayed back and none of the guests paid me any mind. I approached the altar to see the unsettling sight of my body lying in a box. In an odd moment of clarity I realized I, or should I say my corpse was wearing a new suit. She must have picked it out.

She was there of course, kneeling in front of my body. She wore a black dress, also new. She was beautiful. She always was. Her hair was pulled back tight; her mascara ran down her cheeks. She sobbed as her chest heaved. I wanted to hold her still. I wanted her to know I was there. I tried to reach out, but I only grasped air. I looked back at my guide, he simply bowed his head.

My job in life had been to hold her when she was sad, to make her smile when she thought she couldn’t, to take away the pain if only just for a moment. It could be as simple as a stupid joke, a silly dance or a fast drive out of town.

Here I was helpless. No jokes, or dances would do. I knelt beside her. She mumbled prayers in between sobs. I prayed with her, but soon found myself whispering apologies in her ear.

There was a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see an outstretched hand. It was already time to go. I begged and I pleaded to be able to help her, but my guide stayed stoically still. I sighed and took his hand. As I came to my feet I turned back to her and said:

“I love you…I am sorry I failed you.”

I turned and started to walk down the aisle. I was half way down before I noticed I was alone. I looked back to see my guide standing over her. He stayed with her for a moment before joining me. He offered me his hand again and with the slightest of hesitation I took it.

I closed my eyes and could hear children laughing. I opened my eyes and found myself to be at the beach. Children splashed and ran in the sand and waves while parents lounged sleepily in the shade in a scene of familial bliss.

I turned to ask my guide where we were, but was startled by a teenage boy running past. He leapt in the air to catch an incoming football and came crashing down on a sandcastle. Towers were crushed as sand flew in the air.

The sandcastle had been tended to by a young girl, who abruptly burst into tears. The footballer didn’t even acknowledge her presence. He simply dusted off the sand and ran laughing back to his friends. The resilient girl, in a last ditch effort for retribution threw her pail, which bounced meekly off his leg.

I walked over to the girl. She still cried as she manically pushed the sand around. I passed by her pail, and out of extinct I reached down to pick it up. I grabbed it, and stopped. How did I do that?

I let the thought go and walked up to the girl and crouched down beside her. I held out the pail. I half expected her to run away screaming with the sight of her pail floating in midair. She did not. She sniffled, and wiped away her tears. She took the pail from me and looked me right in the eyes and spoke.

“Thank you mister.” She said as her bottom lip quivered.

“You’re welcome.” I replied and smiled.

“That mean boy destroyed my castle!” She yelled. Then continued in a calmer still annoyed tone. “I worked on it all day to get it just like the one in my favorite princess movie, and he ruined it.”

“I saw your castle before he ruined it. It was very pretty.” I held up a second pail that was lying on the ground. “Can I help you fix it?”

She sniffled again, but the tears were gone. She smiled. “We will have to start aaaallllll over.”

“Well we should get to work then.” I immediately filled my pail with sand and dumped it upside down to make a tower. We worked together pushing sand into piles and I carefully sculpted bricks of sand under my new friend’s direction. She was very serious the whole time, and everything had to be perfect. I followed her instructions to a tee. I got so caught in the simplicity and normalcy of our interaction that I forgot my current circumstances.

Much later when we were both adequately covered in sand the girl yelled out: “Done!” She stood and grabbed my pinky finger, pulling me up. “Over here….” She dragged me a few feet away. “We must look from over here.”

“It’s beautiful.” I said.

“It’s even prettier than the last one.” She giggled and jumped up and down, still holding my pinky. “Thanks mister.”

“Well anytime you need some castle repairs, you can call me.”

“Okay.” She giggled more. “Hey Mister?”

“Yes?”

“What’s your name?”

I told her, then ask hers. As soon as she said it I wondered how I didn’t see it earlier.

The eyes, they were the same. The will, the wit, and the fire; it was all there. Yes, it was definitely her.

“What’s wrong?” She asked sweetly.

I could barely speak. “Uh…..nothing….nothing at all sweetie.” I crouched down and looked deep in her eyes.

There she was.

“You just remind of someone.”

“Who?”

“Someone very special to me. Someone I miss very much.” I held back the tears, but a couple slipped out. Without missing a beat she stood up on her tiptoes and wiped away my tears with her little sand covered hand.

“Why are you sad?” she asked and it broke my heart.

“I’m not sad sweetheart. These are happy tears.” I took her hand off my cheek and brushed away the sand. I clasped my other hand around and held her tight. “I am just so happy to have met you.”

I looked over the girls shoulder to see my guide in the distance. “Sweetheart, I think I have to go now. I want you to know that today was the most fun I have ever had, and thank you very much for letting me help you build your sandcastle.”

She started to frown again. “Will you come back and play with me again sometime?”

I smiled. “I promise.”

Her frown turned into a big toothy grin. “Okay, thanks mister!” She gave me a big happy wave, ran back to her castle and started to play. I watched her as tears rolled down my cheeks.

I smiled as his hand fell on my shoulder.

THE END.

Written by :
Jason Mailhot

 

 

Advertisements

I have that fantastic urge to write something. Yet, I have no idea what I want to write about. Zilch….. What an odd word…Zilch..Hmmm. What is the etymology of the world ‘zilch’? Let’s find out together…..Here I come Google…..

zilch (n.)
“nothing,” 1966, from earlier sense of “meaningless speech” (1960), originally Mr. Zilch (1931), comic character in the magazine “Ballyhoo.” Perhaps from U.S. college slang (early 1900s) Joe Zilsch “an insignificant person.” Probably a nonsense syllable, but Zilch is an actual German surname of Slavic origin.

You know what? I am no better for having known that. I am zilch better than I was 1 minute ago.

I believe the previous few sentences may be among the worst things I have ever written. That is including the stapled together pieces of construction paper that held my first novels….The Adventures of Mr.Bear….They were classics. Check them out on Amazon…..Nevermind I just checked, must be sold out. Printing and binding construction paper with staples is hard, hard labour.

This is sad….I really have nothing to say. You would think I would stop now, but you are not so lucky dear reader….It does beg a question though…I know why I am still writing, but why are you still reading?? You must have something better to do…Perhaps refinishing that old bed side table you keep telling everyone in your family not to throw out, because you are “getting to it”. (Even though you know it looks worse the more work you put into it, but damn it! You said you would finish it, and finish it you shall!) Or watching a Degrassi Junior High marathon (Because you are holding out hope that this time Shane won’t take the acid and do a swan dive off the bridge)….Oh I know, you could read some of those books on your shelf you have been telling people you read back in college. (The Wikipedia ending of The Grapes of Wrath is waaaaayyy better). Wait…I got it…Have you had a good cry recently? Maybe it is time you realize that you have three fingers pointing back at you. It might just be time for some you time. Light some candles, put on the best of Sade CD, light some incense and get down on your knees in the middle of the living room and wait for the water to start flowing……It is ok, let it all out. Sob to your heart’s content. Those really deep hard ones that hurt your chest, that’s what you want. Don’t forget to breath. Oh wait…Shit! Someone is home. Yah you really shouldn’t have done that. You really should have checked first. How am I supposed to know if someone is home at your house?? Oh now they think you are crazy. You managed to survive the time you stabbed them in the thigh with a fork…But this is too much. They are gone. They will be back for their stuff later. You say you will be out, but you won’t be will you. Nope, you will scare the shit out of them when they come in and find you sitting in the dark, smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table, drinking straight vodka and methodically tapping the fork on the table.

See?? There is a plethora of fun-filled productive activities you could be doing rather than reading this…

Ok, so now that you are sad, alone and watched your fill of poorly produced yet effective Canadian melodrama, I can tell you why I am still writing when obviously I have nothing to say. I am writing because it is the only known cure to writer’s block. You want to write something, but don’t know what? Don’t over think it. Just write…It doesn’t matter if it is dogshit. It doesn’t matter if it is nonsensical dribble (see paragraph above). The sheer act of writing will help you get over that seemingly impassable mound. You will most likely throw out every word you wrote (or you will publish it online). But maybe, just maybe there is an idea, one line, even a perfectly worded phrase that somehow escaped the rest of the literary bile that spattered over your page. It is now your job to cut the fat. Clean off those few precious words and run with them. It might lead to something great….Or nothing at all. But maybe you will take even more from the next piece. Just keep going. You will never, ever write anything worthwhile by sitting around trying to think up something to write. In the most ideal of circumstances it just comes to you…In the worst of times you have to work for it. Which means you have to write, and really is that not the whole point anyway??

As for me…Well I am off to explore the literary wonders of love scorned, fork wielding serial killers.

Check ya Later,
Jason – @gskewedview