Neither Here Nor There

Image taken by me

Cold was the morning you frosted away like a slender white shadow escaping the sun. Freezing, if truth be known. A displaced moonbeam marked your demise. A creaking branch acknowledged my own. Such inglorious departures for two once lovers on this our final goodbye. Perhaps we were never meant to be.


In veins cut and blood lost, I departed.


The malaise came in breaths made mists. They gathered. They loomed. I cowered.


There was no moon, no setting sun, just an eternal twilight, or closer, a damnable dusk.


Time passed.


Memories, however, were never so easily vacated. Tidal in their surges, relentless in their crashing intent, all that I, we, and everything in between had been, regathered. The pages of our book un-tore themselves.


And still, I wanted more.


Lost in the fogs of neither here nor there, I wandered in a landscape of dread morbidity. To the passing recollections of others, I appeared furrowed of brow and dangerous. To those who’d had less than we, I gleamed. Ghosts avoided me. Nature abhorred me. They were right to. 

As for her?


I wished to forget, no longed to, to move on to other planes of existence. I determined to build such thorny, impenetrable barriers as to have bricked her away in my mind’s darkest recesses. And I tried. Yes, I tried.


But those emerald eyes were hard to stifle, lush spring grasses dripping with dew. That’s how I remembered her, weeping. Always weeping.


Days became months and months became more, the centuries amassing in insurmountable massifs, my own private Himalayas. Yet, I climbed with intent and rejoiced in the starlight, for the stars were what I imagined. Some latent wish to stand atop the world and scream her name, persevered. A desire so strong it dragged me up, up, up and away towards the light. My legs pumped, growing stronger with every step. My flexing fingers crushed granite, grappled with purgatory itself. But it wasn’t purgatory, not limbo, not any of those self-titled places between places. As I said, neither here nor there.


I heard her voice as a rainbow all bright light coruscating through the rain clouds. She burst from above and drove me to distraction; it was all I’d ever hoped for and more. No echoing torment was this, no indeterminable dream. It came again, a sonic confirmation.


The veil dropped as though from a blushing bride, and Hell dropped away with it. The Earth with all its colours lay before me in its patchwork perfection. Heaven’s gates rested at my fingertips.


Say her name. Just say her name. Say her name and all shall be returned to you traveller, for your love is binding, tied tighter than infinity’s restrictions.


And I wept as they spoke, or sang, or kissed my stone-cold cheek. Blessed were the angels. I was back. Well, almost.


Lips that had not spoken in eternity pursed through my smile. They readied. They dared me to stop them.


Sweet release.


But everything one wished for was never so easy. Death, like life, was never meant for cheating. And though it rattled around my cavernous mind like an avalanche down a mountain, her name had gone.


I tired. We all do eventually. I tired of remembering, of forcing what time had lost. I succumbed.


Only when the fog once again entwined my soul in its lover’s embrace did I remember. Only then. I remembered why I’d forgotten it, too, and wandered forever away.

 

The End.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

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Un-Blue


Photo by Silas Baisch on Unsplash

Her eyes were the colour of the open sea, transitioning from calm to storm, rippling in sargasso blue, almost indigo, deep and dark, yet tepid. This changed as she changed. Her demeanour ignited. The calm still of the soul she hid so well rippled into being. Those waters that were her eyes pulsed a cerulean mirage. She brooded. I gulped.

Seconds became minutes became more, or so it seemed, and the storm she’d often threatened whirled a maelstrom of frothing cobalt. Hurricane winds tore at her kelp fields for lashes. All the energies of all the seas manifested as a single violent ocean. She churned. I feared.

The abyssal depths had nothing on her, as she exploded in ultramarine, a devastating tsunami. The tears poured forth not from sorrow, but absolute rage. Her world was my world, one of liquid purification. She laughed as I wept, as I fell, as I dreamed a torrent of lies.

I awoke to a strange sensation of bobbing, and her calm again cyan orbs.

“Sorry,” I murmured.

“I know,” she breezed and leant in closer.

She pressed. I dipped beneath the waves. The blue faded to something darker.


The drowning didn’t kill me, just the reality of my foolishness: Her eyes had never been blue, but as black as her cold, dead heart.

The End


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

The Blackbird Sings

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

I wake. I weep. My blackbird alarm clock chirps all the louder, only adding to this hell. 

I dress. I fall. The belt I wrap twice about me fails to secure. Will I ever learn!

I eat. I drink. The race to the toilet is a mismatch, and I’m the loser. 

I dress… partly. For once, I use my head and don’t bother with pants. Take that fate! Yeah, take that.

I mow. I rake. Several women and a few giggling schoolgirls shout or point or scream or jeer.

I work. I slave. There’s always a distraction, but never a distraction enough. 

I avoid. I blur. My beat-up Volvo hovers on the periphery, catching the light in concave shadows and rusting browns. 

I vacate. I climb. The shower beckons a sweat-stealing pleasure. But I don’t deserve pleasure, so head to my room, instead. 

I undress. I collapse. My eyes close like shutters this evening, midnight filling the void. 

I dream. I scream. They are here, as always, unblemished by blood or glass or broken bones, or my drunken incompetence. 

I hope. I pray. Perhaps this time that blackbird named Death will let me die in peace. 

Chirrup! Chirrup! No release today. 


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

50 Word Stories: Unfortunate Times

Image courtesy Zoe Holling on Unsplash.com

It was an unfortunate situation, she and I, an overlong affair. We had our good times, or hours, or first moments, which were longer than most. I should have counted myself lucky, really. Honestly, I should. But I didn’t, and neither did she. Shame! After all, she was my mother.


Thank you for reading

Richard