Waiting [Flash Fiction]

starry-night

The liminal space – the twilight vale where anything can happen…

Here lies good; here – the possibility of such horror…

And here I stand, hand on the mirror, asking my reflection to give me some answers. In this endless waiting, these seconds ticking past threaten to shatter me with their chiming.

What then, does one do? Just go about normal life? Not stop at all? Not ponder or pray? Is there anything to do but wait?

Seems like years of waiting, just waiting. Hideous waiting!

Time piled on time. It seems as if I am seated on an open clay stove full of hot, spitting coals, shackled and muffled – totally trapped.

There was a time when I thought, I’ll have at least one space of happy calm. That some stretch of this life will be one of light. I kept trying to walk towards it. Sometimes, I even thought, ‘I’m running, running towards a better life!’

Just then I’d get the message for the next catastrophe.

I had hardly even recovered from the previous crisis when here comes a new one! Not quite here, but rumbling its arrival notes like a big old thundercloud, throwing out sparks.

I’ve prepared. A few practical details have been arranged. Contingencies put in place.

Still, nothing will be enough, not for this one. It seems that disaster will have its way, this time.

What is this disaster? It might not be so bad? Give me the details! : I can hear coming from the ether.

It’s one of those things. Horrible probably only to me, insignificant to the world. Still, I can barely restrain my screams.

My feelings, as dictated by PTSD, have shut down. There’s just this lingering headache that will not be banished. It’s as if my brain’s swollen and is slowly setting fire to itself. Creeping flames of pain shoot down my spine, explode in the middle of my brain, till I cannot keep my eyes open…

Maybe some herbal tea will help? The activity will help me focus on something else at least.

Ah! A little breath enters my lungs with the aroma of dried rose petals and holy basil steeping in hot water. The mellow sunniness of the honey fills me with warmth, helps with the shivers. My hands seem to be shaking a little less.

Let’s see, to maintain sanity, what do I need now?

To stop thinking about it. To relax. To sleep.

But it’s 4 am, and I’ve been wrestling with my waiting, wasting grief for hours. Every muscle is tense, vibrating in panic.

Where is sleep? Nowhere that I can find.

The cicadas though, just listen to the cicadas and the frogs with their merry chatter. No matter if my world is destroyed, their music will still ring on.

‘There’s music everywhere,’ she said. ‘You just have to be still and listen.’

I heard today, the night music of the hidden creatures, so close to the heart of the world…

I need the cold air—

Oh! That feels good.

A warm soothing drink and the fresh, rain-laden air, smelling of earth and pine and dawn-hope.

And there a sprinkling of shy stars, misted over, that light up infinity.

And here I am, infinitely small, with my infinitely small problems, letting them storm up my whole world.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a tree? Stand still for an eternity? Or a cloud, to float carefree awhile. Especially a happy, ephemeral rainbow!

It’s like the night breeze brought back echoes of my younger self to me…

‘And what would that self have done in my place?’

Music – the answer floats to me.

Music.

It feels right somehow.

I search for an instrumental classical piece, sink into the sofa, pop on the headphones and simply listen.

The crawling, wriggling, searing thoughts slowly slither away. The music claims my attention, as it weaves a melody intricate and optimistic and so—

Oblivion creeps up softly.

Sleep at last, even while waiting.

~~*~~

Image Credit: Pixabay

Leave a Reply