The One After

The clock struck midnight and she was gone.

There was no spark of light, no crackle in the air, not a single silver shoe left behind.

She had simply vanished- vanished, not dead- when just the second before, she had lived. Her arms had hung limply at her side, breath held in, eyes fixed firmly on the clock as it ticked, closer, closer.

11:57

11:58

11:59

Voila.

And I was there, in the very place that she’d relinquished, breathing in the air that had whooshed out of her lungs, feeling the phantom touch of her, tingling.

Sparks of guilt and anger flaring up, uncalled for and unwelcome.

I felt like a snake slipped out of its skin; pristine in a way that is distinctly unpleasant, the knowledge of my own transience clouding the loss of my former skin.

You are reborn, renewed, they would say. Replaced is more like it.

She was gone, and I had never met her, never seen her. And yet, I knew her, like no else ever had.

She was a memory as faint as a song in a dream, a certain inexplicable sorrow accompanying it. If I pictured her, it would only be as a bright unravelling spool of colour that hung from the cusp of recollection, fleeing away into the wind at the slightest threat of capture, tangling in the smatter of stars ahead.

And she would never return now, her time here was over. Over. That grandiose thought, the utter finality of it, it scared me. I had taken her place. And I would follow.

The longest hand of the clock reached twelve, and I was a minute old.

I had just twenty-three hours and fifty-nine minutes left.

I wonder if the one after me would remember.

 

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

 

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93 thoughts on “The One After

  1. Rêve ou réalité ? Une étrange manière de renaître sans être vraiment né… très poétiques ces minutes d’angoisse ! Bon dimanche au plaisir d’échanges et d’une visite peut-être chez moi ! 🙂 Bruno

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  2. “…you’ll find something that speaks to you.”
    It indeed does speak to me, about someyhing I feel so much about! That’s what you call true art, I feel! Thanks for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Masterfully written!! You had me on the edge of my seat. Your diction was whimsical and prosaic, but my particular favorite line has to be this one: “She was a memory as faint as a song in a dream, a certain inexplicable sorrow accompanying it.” Seriously, how gorgeous and devastating is this line? (The whole piece, honestly.) thanks for the fantastic share!! 😊 ~Kelsey

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    1. Glad you liked it!
      I must admit, I can’t figure it out myself… it’s one of those piece where I started out to write something completely different but the words took a life of their own, and I had no choice but to follow. Maybe the readers will come up with their own interpretations, as they always do, something I’m personally waiting to read… or maybe, there is simply no meaning ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the metaphor and abstract analogies! It drew me in, let me float a little, then wrapped up with the gentle reminder that each day, every moment, are gifts!

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    1. That really means a lot, Sunil. It does take me a while to come up with something satisfactory. I do try to stick to a twice-a-month postining schedule, but I might be shifting that to once a week during the course of the next year, maybe?
      Thank you for your readership ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think some things are beautiful because of their ephemeral nature. Like all of us. Trying desperately to be immortal, but settling for leaving behind a pleasant aftertaste. You capture that very well, I think. Your prose flows more like a river. Structured, but not rigid. It’s a good change, and I look forward to the one after this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was such a coincidence; I was literally just thinking about that!
      Though Ifeel like I might have some trouble in continuing the story after one day passes seeing how she pretty much loses her memory each midnight. But the idea is intruiging so I’m trying to work it out…
      Glad you liked it, Mantra! ❤

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  6. Beautiful. You’ve captured Spirit leaving the body, on to the next lifetime. Our endless cycle of embodiment where there really is no space or time. Hopefully we remember what came before to take into this present life. That’s the goal – to remember. Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was such a fresh perspective, Julia… I’ve honestly never thought about it that way. Thank you so much for offering a new viewpoint and taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

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