Short Stories

Deep Down
(3351 words)
Flight
(708 words)
The Fellowship of Butterflies
(2650 words)
OPUS CHRISTI
(1521 words)
Unusual Safari Sightings
(1171 words)

(words)

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Flight


As depression slipped deeper and deeper under his skin and into his veins, he felt the tight grip of darkness trying to suffocate him. Lying on top of the four-poster mahogany bed, thought, like a shadow, moved slowly across his tortured mind. What if the body could be cut into, sliced down the middle, pried apart, the skin pulled back upon itself and the insides purged of all their rot. Like pulling apart a ripe passion fruit. But, instead of sweet, fragrant fruit pulp, seeds, and juice, he could already visualize his blood. His guts and tears flowing out over his new, clean, crisp white sheets, so carefully placed over the massive bed. He could feel his heart pounding as his chest vibrated to the internal, thump, thump, thump.

Trying to rid the mind of this unsightly vision he took a deep breath and hoisted himself, with some difficulty, out of bed. Slowly he made his way over to the bedroom window, where the star-speckled sky reached out to eternity. He stood there, in the darkness for some time with his forehead pressed tightly against the icy glass, resting in a state of numbness.

Slowly, he moved back and unlatched the window opening it as far as possible, letting a breeze drift into the stale, darkened room. The sweet fresh breath of night floated past unseen. It rustled curtains and bed linens, as the silvery moon flashed a ray of soft glowing light on the bedroom floor past the tall, thin figure in the corner.

With difficulty, he emerged slowly into the moonlight and climbed out of the second floor, grabbing onto the ivy-covered trellis. Clinging to the side of the house, he made his way up to the roof. There, he struggled for a few moments before finding his balance. Then, somewhat awkwardly he stood up and gazed out into the distance, searching for something.

The midnight air on the roof was cold with a heady scent of wisteria perfume coming from a vine infested pine tree near the edge of the house. For the first time, he noticed the color of midnight. It wasn’t exactly black, more an intense royal blue reminiscent of a medieval tapestry. As his eyes adjusted to this new color, he began to notice shades of darker blue within the immense sky, moving around in circles in front of his unexpected eyes. They appeared both near and far, stretching out into the distance as far as his eyes could follow. But, the more he tried to focus on the shadows the less he was able to see.

Eventually, he noticed the shapes were motioning him forward. And just as they commanded, he stepped nearer to the edge of the roof, like a sleepwalker in a nightly trace, one foot sliding slowing in front of the other. As the symphony of nightly creatures rose and fell and, rose again in crescendo, under the attentive and watchful eyes of millions of twinkling starry spectators, he stepped off into the dark abyss.

Buoyancy, that’s what he noticed, as he floated like an autumn leaf, round and round and round.. Gliding through the cold air he felt his body become lighter as fear rushed out of his veins and a sense of relaxation passed over him; weightlessness climbed into his consciousness.

Out on the horizon shadows began to appear en masse like a storm gathering. Multiplying, dividing, swirling weightlessly they come closer and closer, now floating gracefully like ghosts clinging to invisible matter. He recognizes expressions and faces, a smile here a laugh there, a cocked eyebrow and other physical similarities. The transparent, fluffy, white masses with round faces float closer and closer until they stand, with outstretched arms before him. A sudden awareness, and he remembers, Euphoria, Happiness and Laughter, he knew them before. Examining their features, there is no doubt, finding them identical to his own, he rushes forward. Joining them, diving into their billowy arms they melt into one, divide into many and float off into the purple-blue distant. From a parting in the thick clouds, he looked back to see his former shadow falling from the roof, slowly, slowly, towards the empty ground below.

* * *

2008 scm - 710 - 080207


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