Of the many ailments that plagued her, reminiscence was the worst. It was a cruel fate that left her physically debilitated but mentally alert. If only she had alzheimers or amnesia!
The last several months had been spent lying helplessly in her bed, looking out of the window at the pale blue sky, listening to the waves lapping, drowning in memories or counting the ticks of the clock. Occasionally the myriad of colours that dawn and dusk spilled would remind her that this was not a tomb. But sometimes, when the birds flew by, squawking and splashing, she could almost feel the sand tickling her toes, the waves splashing against her ankles, almost smell the aromatic fragrance of the pine trees, bringing back memories of beautiful summers gone by.
She had been blessed once, with the love of a good man, the adoration of a beautiful daughter, and this beautiful cottage by the lake, far removed from the hustle-bustle of people so that she could paint in calm silence. But one disastrous accident had robbed her of everyone and everything she cared about, leaving her with nothing, nothing but this life of miserable confinement and the scorching guilt of having survived.
The compensation had been considerable and a niece had moved in, supposedly to care for her. Very soon the boyfriend Jake moved in. Once he moved in all the valuables started moving out. She knew, but she did not care. Then one day the niece disappeared.
“Laura’s gone, I’ll be taking care of you,” was all Jake said.
It was shortly after that the distasteful smell had started wafting in. “Just wood rotting in this decrepit old place,” Jake snarled.
But she knew.
She knew the difference between rotting wood and rotting flesh, and all that she could do was to wait to join it.