3TCreatives – Eleanor St Clair, Camila Fuentes Diaz, Sabrin Hasbun.
The teenagers’ lazy coughs brought her back. Her mind had been absorbed in the crane. The crane had always been there, she had seen it every single day coming home from work but she had never seen it in the mist. She pictured the crane’s hand striving into emptiness to find another illusion, trying to be strong enough to raise the black weight up again. She looked around her and felt altogether that weight inside of her, all around her, vacillating over all their heads. She felt sorry for those teenagers, and jealous, and old: the black weight already crashed in her grounds so many times, and it would crash for them as well… it always crashes. Still… she didn’t want that bus ride to end. She closed her eyes lazily, trying to avoid the image of opening her front door and facing the fulfilled emptiness waiting inside for her to come back, but it couldn’t be avoided.
The ghosts come in once the lights go out, when she closes her eyes. She feels this anger at having to deal with everything, every day, and not being able to express any of her emotions. No smiles. No tears, No thoughts. No words. She feels alienated: Does a mind know pain? Pain that feels so cold as winter and burns like dry ice on the skin?
When she got home, she wrapped herself in her blankets and wished she was anywhere but there. The stomach churned but she shed no tears. She wasn’t always like this. She remembered being happy and fun. She used to talk about big things, world events, politics, what’s for dinner… but not anymore, not after … She carries the pain like a talisman.
She woke up still shivering pathetically. The blankets had fallen off during her restless nap. She picked them up and wrapped herself in them before looking at her image in the bathroom mirror… she looked old. How much will lasting pain dictate how much of her she leaves behind and hates? Dedicated, secure, tradition, husband, baby, job, religion, she treats herself like an old nightmare…
She looked at the screen of her silent phone and her fingers follow the memorized pattern of that number. If she can’t talk, can she just pretend the phone is down? That these falling leaves are the same as last year’s? … ‘This number is out of service.’
She looked again in the mirror, as the mouth that looked upon her spoke that name, ‘Death’; her reflection showed her illusions, and expectations, and dreams, and loves as they had always been: day flies burning before the sun could disappear behind the horizon, making the crepuscule darker than the night itself. You don’t need good, if bad is there.