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

PS In May 2019, I will be moving to a new web address. I’m shifting to a personal domain and I’m so, so excited for you to see it! Buying my domain is giving me so much more freedom for new features, design, and I can’t wait for you to get started there.

But on the downside, all those of you who’ve subscribed to my blog here WILL NOT be notified of new posts anymore. I’d hate for you to miss out just because I’ve shifted addresses, but WordPress doesn’t offer anything to straighten this out.

So to make sure the change is as smooth as possible, I’d be so grateful if you’d enter your email ID below so we can stay in touch. You can opt-out any time, no hard feelings. I hate spam and I’ll only be reaching out every two weeks or so for blog updates, I promise.

Thank you so much for all your support. ❤

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.



Advertisements

119 Comments Add yours

  1. Nicely done, Natalie, so beautifully expressed! Thank you for sharing. 💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it! Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Écrirature says:

    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

    Liked by 3 people

  3. become1one says:

    Each day is a gift………..leaving that which, no longer is, behind…………..so beautifully written

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. jenanita01 says:

      Our pleasure, Natalie…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    “…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 2 people

    1. So glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  5. Tom Burton says:

    Another fantastic read! 🙂 You really pull the reader into the scene with such beautiful prose! Thanks for sharing! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it, Tom! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. G. Paul Randall says:

    please teach me how to write 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. bunnerbooky says:

    Magnificent! ❤ I have no words.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. amwordism says:

    Wow! I’m moved! This is confusing in a very clever way, because it makes you think, and I love the way you’ve paced this! Definitely one to keep thinking about, well done!! X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gkad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  9. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That means so much to me, Kelsey! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment! You just made my day ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. CathyHiggins says:

    Reblogged this on Cathy L. Higgins and commented:
    This is so compelling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy! That really means a lot ❤

      Like

  11. Beautiful. Just beautiful! Awesome job!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting…though I find myself lost to the meaning of the story.

    Nonetheless, I do like your writing. Keep up the great work

    Liked by 2 people

    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 2 people

    2. jacklantic says:

      Yes! This. This is the most fun in writing; when it breathes on its own. Totally agree

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Great reading, thank you!🙏👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  14. Oh my gosh! This left me breathless (literally).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha thank you so much. Glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Janzajma says:

    Thanks for sharing. I know I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy your writing style!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. And the most compelling fear…would the one after me remember?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. David Gaines says:

    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!

    Like

    1. That’s such a beauitful way to put it… thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  18. Jon says:

    Slipping away to the next journey and untold adventures…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. sunilmdabral says:

      You are welcome. You came here after a while. I wish you would share more and more.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 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

    3. sunilmdabral says:

      Once a week. That would be great. Waiting for many more good pieces form you.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Tom Austin says:

    The photo is more than appropriate…it’s perfect

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Tom! ❤️

      Like

  20. Tom Austin says:

    The photo is more than appropriate..it’s perfect

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Susi Bocks says:

    An incredible way of writing about new days dawning. So creative, Natalie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Susi! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I love you ethereal language in this piece – it is a great read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jane! That really means a lot ❤

      Like

  23. justMEpoetry says:

    This is BEAUTIFULLY written.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  24. Shagnik says:

    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 2 people

    1. That was such a beautiful way to look at it, Shagnik. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share such a lovely comment! Glad you enjoyed the piece! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Ashley says:

    I read this out loud–delectable. Such interesting timing for me too considering my recent thoughts. I love how much you captured in such short form ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it, Ashley! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Mantra says:

    You could turn this poem into a great fantasy story! Love it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    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! ❤

      Like

  27. Macxermillio says:

    I have such admiration for your writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That really means a lot to me. Thank you so much! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Wao Natalie, you expressed in such a wonderful series of thoughts and imagination as a reader is living through your words. Felt the depth. Awesome work

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That really means a lot to me, Raushan! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

  29. PERKY says:

    Your composition is truly Marvellous…”tangling in the smatters of stars ahead” truly wow👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  30. Gulraj Bedi says:

    Hi, would like to talk to you regarding one of your written pieces. Do let me know a good time to talk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, Gulraj! You can contact me through my Divulge Your Thoughts page: https://themidnightember.wordpress.com/contact/
      Looking forward to hearing from you! ❤

      Like

  31. netdarpan says:

    Nice article.I have an important topic to discuss with you.so may we???

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! You can contact me through my Divulge Your Thoughts page: https://themidnightember.wordpress.com/contact/
      Looking forward to hearing from you! ❤

      Like

    2. netdarpan says:

      Not here.Join our facebook page NetDarpan.com or email us at netdarpan@gmail.com .we will discuss there.

      Like

  32. Beautifully written ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤️

      Like

  33. Écrirature says:

    The one after, Always one after ? Dead wins.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Jesus, Natalie, this is so very powerful…intoxicating, really. I was immediately drawn into that space, teetering between the fear of unraveling and the anticipation of liberation. You have a gift, of that there is no question.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That means so much to me. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Kalliope says:

    Gasp. Natalie. That’s beautiful…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  36. Julia Novak says:

    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 2 people

    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

  37. Your use of language to communicate thought and emotion is superb.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  38. gatesinlife says:

    What an interesting mystery, and very colorful descriptions! I enjoyed this one. Will this be continued or is this one people call “flash fiction”?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! No, not a series. I guess it is Flash Fiction then.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Wonderful images! I wonder what I will do with the remaining minutes of my day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  40. raajashok says:

    It’s so beautiful and haunting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤️

      Like

  41. Before reading this, I acknowledge the fact that every day one becomes a new self, but it never touched me. So beautiful and moving 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!<3

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s my pleasure! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Ruthie Rose says:

    This is incredible… wow !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  43. Powerful, I would to know a little of the back story to this piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I’m afraid it’s open to interpretation as of now. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I wrote it, though my readers have already come up with a couple of excellent theories. What do you think?

      Like

    2. I was originally thinking reincarnation or reinventing yourself. But the 24 hours to the knew one comes is throwing me. I will have to think on it more .

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Looking forward to hearing what you think! ❤

      Like

Leave a Reply to my valiant soul Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s