From Houston With Love

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Testimonies of Things Forgotten | Penance

    It was upon this lightly stained and brown chair where I clasped my jaw and held on for dear life. They came to me early, just as the sky was pink and the birds were waking up. It was, for lack of anything better, my penance, for I had invited them. I asked them to come with glorious, elaborate bouquets, but instead they came barefooted, empty handed, wrapped in old and ugly towels. They, these faceless things, they floated towards me, and I, I just clasped my jaw. For lack of anything better, I was afraid. I had soiled the hedges that they had asked me to look after. I had neglected their fine china, all tarnished now. I had wrung my hands over and over, not because of the wear from hard work, but because of my own anxious lethargy. And I held on for dear life as they approached me.

            They opened their crusted and worn towels, and as their bodies arched golden and wonderful, I felt my ears ring. From their bodies spewed such confident and terrifying words. Icy and decadent threads of harrowing truths parlayed on my bedroom floor to find some way, any way to capsize me. Then, on my lightly stained and brown chair, I began to wonder, desperately wonder if I would ever make it to the island.

            Solitude is but a vain mirror in which we stare longingly into our own eyes and wonder how we could ever love anything else. And it was in their light that I could finally see that. As they drifted closer, I quickly looked around the room. It was obvious, painfully obvious that I had become a vagrant hoarder of terrible things. I looked at the glowing jars on the shelf, the perfumed scarves on the coat rack, the golden plaques on the wall, and the mounds of glass and plastic and aluminum that rested on my floor. It was then that I realized that these things were nothing more than a galley of tools with no real purpose, sailing out towards the sunrise. Au revoir. 

Filed under fiction short short fiction story literary literature