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First of 23

by President Scree 

Posted: 16 March 2004
Word Count: 437

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She is lying down naked on the bed beside me as I write this. Her eyes are closed and peaceful; like she’s floating on a silent still river. The waters running deep below betray this peace and we both know this. If I could only give her the peace she wants, to kiss her forehead and watch as all her troubles disappear, or if I had to fight a thousand unseen dangers while thunderstorms raged I would do it, in a second. Such a delicate, beautiful body such as this does not deserve the tempest and the torments.
I follow her breathing, every breath going deeper and deeper, every breath carrying her further adrift from these shores, if only she could take me with her. I see her eyes closed and content, not straining to see, not distorted with anger or wet with tears. Her mouth is still. She cannot speak, and she does not need to speak or to shout now. It is difficult to think that in a few hours time those eyes will open and she will come back to me in this ugly world of ours. And her soft smile will break across her face, in conflict with the fears in her mind, also returning at her wake. If only I could hold the sands of time in my hand I would keep this moment for an eternity, not let a single grain through my fingers, and I would take this moment and build an eternity around it. Her breathing is deeper and more regular now. She has left me, and at the same time I feel happiest and most alive I have ever felt. A thousand thoughts enter my mind; shards of glass belonging to the same whole. How can I let her come back? I can give her this peace, but it tears at my heart day and night if I were to let this continue.
If I were logical I would ask myself this. You love her more than life itself, yes? And with one action you can give her this calm and tranquil peace forever. You would do anything for her. Anything? Tear out your heart and destroy it, would you not do that for her? You will be freeing her from all her agonies and troubles, all that makes her cry, and break down. If you loved her you would do this.

And I do love her. And I do want to free her. I reach for another cigarette, settle back, and look deeply into her face.

And I decide.

And nothing will ever be the same again.

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Comments by other Members

Jumbo at 10:44 on 16 March 2004  Report this post

First of all, welcome to WW!

This is a lovely piece of writing all though it carries with it some very dark undertones! And the ambiguity of your ending does nothing to resolve that underlying darkness - in fact it left me saying 'Did he? Didn't he?'

One small point: the word like in the phrase 'like she’s floating ...' seemed to jar for me. It felt hard and angular against the much softer words you used in those opening paragraphs. Just a thought!

Nice writing!



Account Closed at 11:18 on 16 March 2004  Report this post
Hi Jon,
I too want to know what will happen next but also what went before - what are her troubles (call it female curiosity!)

The 'like' didn't bother me too much although you don't need it. I wondered about 'lying down' - do you need the down. There is also the repetition of such.

Such a delicate, beautiful body such as this does not deserve the tempest and the torments

Maybe you don't need the first one?

Look forward to more

word`s worth at 11:39 on 16 March 2004  Report this post
Jon hello

I enjoyed reading this, and like Jumbo (John) I felt the dark undertones. It made me shiver because of the vulnerability of someone as they sleep. Especially when they sleep, thinking they are safe, beside a loved one when all sorts of thoughts are rushing through their head. Reminded me of a time (on my honeymoon) when I opened my eyes and found my husband watching me sleep. I screamed the room down. Makes me laugh now, but boy, what a fright that was! Anyway I digress...

'If only I could hold the sands of time in my hand I would keep this moment for an eternity, not let a single grain through my fingers, and I would take this moment and build an eternity around it.'

This is a wonderful sentiment but perhaps you could delete one 'eternity' to do away with the repetition. Is this a short story? I hope there's more to come, I think it can be developed into a very interesting read.



Interesting title too - First of 23. Makes me think that there is indeed more to come! 22 more??

Jubbly at 18:13 on 16 March 2004  Report this post
I was completely intrigued by this, beautiful images, not a word wasted. I also want to know what the other 22 are? I thought perhaps this was about assisted suicide then I wasn't so sure, wonderful writing, enticing in its brevity.



Dee at 18:25 on 16 March 2004  Report this post
I can only echo what has already been said. This is a wonderfully gentle and sensitive piece of writing.


roovacrag at 20:52 on 16 March 2004  Report this post
welcome to WW.

Most has been said and i enjoyed every word of it.
Like Jubbly want the other 22.
Well done

President Scree at 17:03 on 18 March 2004  Report this post
Just wanted to say thanks to each and every one of you for reading and commenting on my first bit of writing on the web. It is all very encouraging, something writers can always do with. For those of you who are curious, it is part of a greater scheme, and there are dark undertones to it, something that I was trying hard to achieve. I'm going to upgrade my membership soon so I can post more, watch this space...

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