Imprisoned in the Meadow – Short Story

The lush green grass playfully tickles my bare feet. The sweet scent of pollen and innocence of summer days seeps into my nostrils, tantalising my senses. I sit cross legged, my back resting comfortably against my dearest friend, the old willow tree. He greets me warmly, waving his ancient limbs in the gentle breeze. The breeze grazes my cheek playfully, the whisper of a touch. The cicada masses chirp their mating call in a symphony of sound and life. Yet our spot remains peaceful never the less. The ability to leave a person with such a carefree peacefulness, as if all your worries were eternally distant, a rare quality summer never felt the need to share with the other seasons. The sun above is an ocean of blue brilliance, the clouds taking their time as they stroll across the heavens. The warmth the sun blankets me in is pleasant, comforting. I open a basket and take out an ice block. I take a bite. An icy tingle shoots through my teeth. The taste of winter during the hottest part of the year was a concept that I always found humorous. They don’t want me to come and see you anymore Mum. They say it’s not good for me. But I can’t stop seeing you Mum. I can’t.

I’m back at our spot. Summer’s departure and autumn’s presence is clear. The smell of death is in the air. But not the foul decrepit smell of someone killed tragically before their time. More like that of an old friend peacefully passing into the beyond, after a long lived and fulfilling life. The willow tree’s limbs always droop this time of year, as he goes through the process of shedding his leaves. Many have fallen but some still cling desperately on to his branches. Each leaf a splinter of the tree’s life, and a memory the tree shared with me and Mum over the previous year. The leaves lay in clusters around me and under me. I lay within one of the many piles, each one a collage of crimsons, browns and golds. I let the pile swallow me as I sink lower. I feel a sense of safeness within the leaves like nothing can hurt me. The leaves remind me of your arms. Nothing could touch me when I was in your arms. I haven’t been happy for a while now Mum. Why does every aspect of my life leave me with such an empty bleakness? They are becoming anxious. They have called in men who reek of judgement and loosely veil the illusion that they possess empathy. They say they are trying to keep me safe. Why don’t they understand that the safest place for me is with you? I feel the crinkle of leaves between my fingers as I clench my fists. I hear them crunch and smile. Do you remember when we played in the leaves, I haven’t laughed like I did then in a long time. My smile fades.

It’s hard to recognise our spot at this time of year. It has covered up in its winter coat of white and mourns just as I do. The old willow always sinks into depression around this time. I try convincing him that he will once more bud with life. That even though all he sees now is darkness and misfortune, the spring will come, and he will be able to see the light. I tried to convince you of the same thing Mum. You had trouble believing me too. But you weren’t as strong as the old willow.  The snow that carpets the landscape remembers all who pass through it. Foot prints and forgotten snow men. Tattoos upon the snows flesh. As far as the eye can see is white, until it meets the horizon of course. I used to revel in the unexplainable beauty of this winter paradise, but those thoughts are tarnished by other memories of this time of year. The wind hits me hard in the back. The wind is rougher, more aggressive than it is in the summer. Its touch is icy. I always feel hurt when the wind treats me this way. I never understand what I’ve done wrong. Something small and wet drops onto my forehead. I look up and am greeted by the first drops of rain from an oncoming shower. A gang of stormy faced clouds had snuck up upon me.   I stick out my tongue. The droplets of water taste cool, refreshing, relaxing. I miss you mum, why aren’t you here with me. I close my eyes and listen to the delicate pitter patter of rain falling.

 

Spring has returned at last. The return of warmth, the return of life. Young animals are brought into the world and the flowers awake from their slumber and finally begin to blossom, their scent sweet and strong. The sound of life is everywhere. It fills my ear drums, and I smile as two blue birds sing to each other. Delicate creatures announcing their passionate love for one another, the lifelong bond they now share. The scent of the old willow joyfully budding once again fills my nostrils. I lie on my stomach, feeling the soft grass upon my cheek. Remnants of the morning dew still on each individual blade. Meanwhile the sun begins to warm my bare back. Its heat a precursor of what is to come. A sign that summer will soon return. This was our spot Mum. You were smiling in the meadow in the summer. You changed in the autumn, I never saw you smile after that. You died in the winter. You never saw the spring. I don’t blame you for what you did. I’m ashamed I didn’t try harder to make you happy. We came to our spot in the meadow every week, I still do. Are you here with me now? I hope you are. This is our spot, it always will be. I miss you, Mum.

And although my body remains, I died with you

I’m desperately trying to cling on to the last whisper of sanity I possess. But I only have the strength to do it when I’m here with you.

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Muse – Short Story

The day has slept in. I have awoken before the world has and sit humbly with pen and paper on a rickety beach chair. The early hours of the morning used to be a forbidden time, only ever greeted with resentment. But in this remote region I now reside in, where the world’s beauty stares you dead in the eye, I relish each sunrise. As the veil of black is lifted and perfection is revealed. I wake up this early because it is a time few others dare to wake and allows me and the world our privacy. I lay back and consider what will inspire me today. What will inspire me to put pen to paper and write feverishly until my hand cramps, the light dims and my pen runs dry.

I look around me and soon begin to regard this beaches trees with a newfound curiosity. The trees snake their way out of the sand. Standing like food deprived models at an abstract art exhibit, or perhaps the serpent like appendages of a creature far more frightening than conception allows. Yes, a monster. I like that. The small ferns, which jut up from the ground at regular intervals, are tufts of the beast’s hair. They seem delicate and idle when viewed at a glance but when a playful child rushes down and tramples on them……..

I put down my pen. What a pathetic excuse for literature. To think I still call myself an author. How humorous. I am a shadow’s shadow of the literary giant I once was. What I wrote at breakfast sold millions of copies around the world. An idea that sparked my interest over lunch inspired a generation of readers. But then I lost you. My friend, my lover, my partner in life, my muse. I spent so long moving from woman to woman. Using my wealth, fame and confidence to charm and arouse. Nothing more than a game. How many could I get, how quickly could I get them. No real feeling involved, other than immediate pleasure. This admitted mistreatment of woman’s emotions wasn’t entirely my fault. They just didn’t offer me anything that I believed valuable of my love. Or perhaps their flaws just outweighed their offers. They were too immature, unable to maintain a complex conversation. Or too submissive, always agreeing with me and feigning interest in whatever I said. So much so that I doubted they had a personality of their own. Or sometimes I just concluded they weren’t pretty enough to be seen with me. I’m not ashamed to say that my shallowness extended that far.

Then you came along. You were, in my mind, just like the rest. I knew little about you but still made the assumption that you would fall for me as easily as a rock falling from the sky. But you weren’t like that. We spoke over the phone for hours and hours, just as I did with every other girl. Yet you proved immune to my techniques. I persisted and persisted and all the while you remained ignorant, un-swayed. Then mere moments before I admitted defeat, you asked me out on a date. Something I would usually decline, due to its emasculating nature. But for some reason, I accepted. Once more I made the mistake however of viewing you just like I did every girl before. We met at a restaurant and I waited for the usual flow of things to begin. I pictured it in my mind. You would sit nervously, while I slowly but surely smooth talked my way into your pants. But once more you proved your uniqueness to me. You did all the talking, discussing your family, friends, your interests. In fact to my utter disbelief I was the quiet one and admittedly a tad nervous.

You were everything I desired within a girl. Instead of constantly having to make you laugh, we both entertained each other. Instead of having to suffer through discussing your interests, I found you and I shared a similar palette of tastes. At one point during the date you showed me a long scar that extended down your arm. I asked of its origins and immediately regretted. I was about to set you off on a tangent of insecurity. But instead you grew excited, daring me to touch it, bragging of how you got it while playing with a knife. Your confidence was refreshing. Throughout that date and our long relationship, despite your many flaws and my high standards, you proved to be everything the other girls weren’t. Everything I desired. Everything I needed. I can’t explain why I loved you so much. Your presence was decadent. You were my friend, my lover, my partner in life, my muse.

Before I had experienced success, but the words your beauty inspired when I wrote them made me a literary phenomenon.

But then I lost you. With time I grew careless, selfish and ignorant to the fact my jealousy was pushing you towards a life without me in it. I lost you. I looked for something else to inspire me, another muse. But nothing seemed adequate. I travelled the world looking for a beauty that could rival yours. I traversed one side of the globe to the next until I found myself on the remote untouched shores of Vaniwhakaluta. It is called the pearl of the world by travellers. The locals say that this is the land that bridges the earth to the heavens. It is not enough. Even here, it is not enough.

The sea is clearer than glass, shimmering on the surface, as it reflects the sun like the scales of a gargantuan fish. In comparison the waters of other shores look like tar. Yet your eyes harbour more beauty in their topaz irises. I dig my feet into the sand gingerly. It’s as if I’m sinking into liquid cotton, yet I don’t experience the same chills as when you pressed your delicate lips to mine. I breathe in and smell the sea’s salty scent. Fresh, cool, revitalising. Yet your aroma sent my nostrils into shock with its tantalising nature. The clouds begin to coat the sky in a foggy grey paint. Signifying that the world’s mood has shifted. Removing some of the beauty from my dazzling view. However no matter what mood you were in, you always retained your elegance.

I walk down to the sea and feel the water longingly grip my ankles, begging me to be inspired. I remain indifferent and begin the long walk down the beach back to my batch. In the distance I hear the malicious roars of the waves as they pummel the coral reefs, but by the time they kiss the shore, they sound like the fizz of a freshly poured beer. It’s soothing but once more to my annoyance cannot compete with you. The sound of your voice could send me into a transcendent bliss that I was never able to escape from. I view the entirety of what this world has to offer and it cannot compare. Nothing inspires me but you. However I am not willing to be a failure in the eyes of my audience. And without you I would never have written another book.

So yes, I still write. It has grown somewhat difficult now and the amount of books I publish is fewer and farther between, but I manage. I feel like writing right now, so I’m coming to see you. You’re still exactly where I left you, buried under my house.

I’ll dig you up, smell you, taste you, touch you, and study you. I’ll write words that have more power in them than the words of god. Then I’ll bury you again as our saviour watches me with jealousy. So that no other man experiences what I experienced. You will be forever mine.

You are my friend, my lover, my partner in life and you will eternally be my muse.