Ohhhh, I liked mine this week. That doesn’t always happen, you know? If you’ve been with us for any length of time, I have no doubt you do.
So, regardless, did you have fun?
Poor R.A. Evans, @raevanswrites had a hell of a time picking the finalists. It’s tougher than it looks. But thanks to him for pulling it off anyway. And be sure to check out his really scary horrol novel–which I have not read because I don’t read really scary anything–Asylum Lake.
Here are the finalists:
So now read their stuff! And vote in the poll at the bottom, send everyone you know, and then come back tomorrow morning at 9:00E to see who wins!
“I’m just feeling a little blue, that’s all.” Sarah’s voice sounded small in the dark bedroom this morning. I was running late and raced through the house getting ready for work.
“Do you want me to call your office again, honey?” I wanted to be helpful, but never really knew how to deal with Sarah’s waves of depression. When they took hold it seemed all I could do was hang on and ride them out.
I had no idea how heavily life weighed upon her.
I’d tried calling her twice before lunch. I figured she was asleep or hoped vainly that she was in the shower.
When she didn’t answer at all after lunch, I left the office and headed home.
She’d cleaned up before she’d gone. The house was immaculate. As if she didn’t want me to be embarrassed to let people in afterward I started making the calls.
Even the bathroom was sparkling and fresh. She took care to keep her slit wrists inside the tub and under the water.
The last few strokes brought him to the beach. Sand underfoot at last. In the distance, the ship’s bow saw the sun before disappearing forever.
He turned to the ragged man who seemed the only inhabitant of the scrap of an island.
“Am I the only one who made it?”
The ragged man nodded. “Yeah, only one. Only one.”
“How long you been here?” He asked. “Are you alone?”
The ragged man didn’t answer but only indicated to follow.
Soon they were in a labyrinth of debris, salvaged from some earlier wreck – or wrecks.
The ragged man sat and he did too. That’s when he saw there were others there. They were resting. Sleeping away the heat of the sun.
The ragged man nodded. He slid over to get a glimpse of the others. Then recoiled. “What the fuck, they’re wrapped in plastic. They’re fucking blue!”
From behind him a sheet of thick poly covered his face. He choked and gasped for air.
The final thing he saw was the deep tropical sky that stretched above like a blue shroud.
Her grief was blue. The color of cornflowers and winter skies and despair.
I watched her fade away. Over days, hours, minutes. I think I saw the moment death entered her eyes.
Three days later she hung herself, a neatly planned and executed departure. As quiet and unassuming as she always was.
I think she thought we wouldn’t find her. In her hidden glen down by the lake. But I knew about her beflowered hiding place. I’d crept down there many a time, to watch her watch the clouds roll by. To fall in love with her.
I took her down from the oak just beside the weeping willow she used to hide herself within. And there, in private, I buried her and my heart along with her.
Leah’s grandmother called her outside to sit with her on the porch swing. She hadn’t been happier since Leah moved in with her only a few months ago. Made her feel useful in a way that she hadn’t felt in years. Sad how once you get older, the people in your life take you for granted.
At least she was being useful. At least Leah could use her for something.
Leah laid down on the porch swing, her head resting in her grandmother’s lap. They sat there, staring out into the beautiful day.
“The sky has never looked so blue,” Leah muttered, sighing as her grandmother stroked her hair.
“Oh, baby. I’ve seen some beautiful skies in my life. Some bluer than this one. Just be happy it’s blue.”
She could feel Leah’s head nod in agreement on her lap.
“I wonder if the sky is this blue where Carter is.”
Leah sounded so far away when she said this. Her grandmother paused for only a second and started stroking her hair again. “Would it matter? You aren’t there to see it.”
“I know…it isn’t that I don’t want to be.”
“You ready to tell me what happened, sugar?” her grandmother questioned.
Leah merely sighed. “He doesn’t want children. How could I fall in love with someone who doesn’t want children?”
“You can’t help who you love, sugar,” her grandmother’s soft voice replied. “And running away doesn’t solve anything. How do you know if he’ll change if you’re here with me and he’s back there?”
She felt the wetness of her granddaughter’s tears on her skirt. “He doesn’t want children, Gran. What more can I do? If he had more of an open mind, I wouldn’t be here.”
“Did you talk to him?”
Leah was silent.
Deep down, she knew she didn’t try hard enough. Leah held on to her stomach, rubbing the skin that protected her baby. She couldn’t help but remember the explosion of feelings she felt the moment he said he didn’t want children. It ruined her. Turned her whole world upside down. Made her sadder than sad to leave him…
But, she did what she had to.
“I’m scared, Gran,” she finally admited on a sob. “I’m scared love just isn’t enough to fix this one.”
Her grandmother didn’t press her to talk further. Instead, she pulled her grandchild closer, allowing her to get out the tears. And there she tried to comfort Leah under the clear blue sky.
I spend too much time blue. I tug at my sleeves and my collar to hide the patterns my flesh revealed. Too many would know just what they meant and ask me to attempt something I’m not strong enough to manage.
All the stages of the “love” he feels for me.
Blue. Black. Purple. My melancholy made of some dark end of the spectrum.
Yes. Some day.
But not know. Not yet.
I’m not strong enough.