I am the beast that soars in the sky… wings so large that I block out the sun… eyes so sharp that I look into souls… talons so strong that I shred the hardened. I feed on the snake… the vicious venom that flows through souls. I scavenge the carrion… the conscience that is long dead.
I am the man who floats upon water… who cuts across the seas. I leave ripples in my wake that touch every shore. Everything here is mine for the taking. I create, I protect, I destroy.
His love is like the waters that lap against the shore. Gentle, mellifluous, capricious. His every touch leaving me damp and supple, his breath upon me the caress of tender breeze, as he plays with me, lapping and receding, yet never relinquishing contact. His ebb and flow consume me.
Then suddenly he surges. A tidal wave of passion sweeping over me. Drowning me into complete surrender. Until he and I are one. And when he recedes, I rest, satiated and vitalized by his love. I dance in harmony with his melody, all the while waiting to be consumed again.
I have to move forward. But the memories keep me frozen…
“You’re driving me up the fucking wall with your me me me. I am trying to create something beautiful here and your constant cackling is interfering with my process. A little fucking peace and quiet, is that too much to ask for? Bloody selfish bitch.”
“How dare you! Four years. I’ve been patient for four years.”
“I never made you any commitments. It was you who imagined that this was some sort of relationship.”
“You lead me on. You said you need more time. Every time that I asked you, you said that you needed to finish one more canvas… then one more… and one more. You never said never… you just said insufficient. Four years of cooking and cleaning…. Did you actually think that was an altruistic booty-call?”
“No. That was you living rent-free. And we never talked about any pregnancy. That’s on you.”
“I told you I was late. What did you think? That my period was being tardy!”
“Hell if I know… and how do I know if that’s even mine?”
My hand instinctively goes to my belly as the cruelty of that memory strikes me again.
I look ahead. How ironic to have a women’s clinic right beside a church. I steel myself. I have to move forward.
For years I done nothing but study and work. No drinking, no shooting ball, no dating. I was a straight A student. Had it all planned out. I was saving every damn penny for my bike. The grades were going to get me into college and the bike was going to get me to college.
Then he comes home piss drunk, beats up my ma, breaks my cupboard and takes it all away.
I find him at the bar treating all his friends ‘cause he just come into money. My money.
I’m not mad. I’m not crying. I’m not feeling nothing. I just know one thing – It’s either him or me.
Time and technology had moved on. There were new standards to be adhered to. I had served my purpose.
But did I not merit an honourable disposal? To be tossed out like worthless trash… left at the mercy of the elements… scavengers ripping me to pieces… helping themselves to parts of me like I was some common whore.
The years when I held you and your children in my arms, the many knocks that I took to protect you, they had meant nothing.
Ironic. I am made of metal, yet it is you who has the hard cold heart.
I never noticed the freeze until the thaw started.
Joy… pleasure… happiness… new feelings. My heart speeding up without my mind shutting down. The subtle difference between anticipation and apprehension. Initially it was all a little overwhelming… familiar yet confusing. So, this was how it felt to feel. To dare to want, to express without fear. The slow realization that what I had imagined to be my resolve building was actually my heart freezing. I do not know when I entered the ice age. Perhaps it was when the pain stopped.
I’d like to think that my heart was hibernating. Now it’s ready to live, love and feel again.
What do you do when you look into the lens only to find that the lens is looking back at you?
For the 16th July Friday Fictioneers prompt I wrote what I believed was a piece of fiction called The Railway Child. Today, I met a railway child.
Riku was sent to us by Child Protection Services. He was found abandoned at the railway station.
Shy and polite, he does not speak the local language. He knows nothing of his past or who his parents are. We could extrapolate that he has worked as a bonded labourer in a coal mine from the age of 5. His only exposure to the world is through the television. Based on his build we assume that he may be 15 years old.
No fiction can capture the cruelty of this real world.
The hunger pangs, his mother’s tears, a drunkard father’s abuses, a shrivelling sister hopelessly waiting to be wed someday. There is money to be earned in the big city he had heard. On an impulse he boarded the train.
He was scared now. Scorning looks, lecherous touches, sweaty bodies shoving his emaciated frame around as they rushed about their business. Which way should he go? He walked towards the kiosk hoping to ask for a job. “Get away… useless filth…” He ran. Huddled in a corner, he wept.
“Across the world millions of children are forced to survive alone on the streets. In India, every five minutes a child arrives alone at a railway station. Immediately, they face violence, exploitation, trafficking and abuse. These children make money any way they can, scavenge for scraps of food and sleep huddled together in groups for safety. Their lives are typified by violence and often cut short.“
I’m a long way from nowhere. A long way to nowhere.
Even aimless wandering has an aim – to wander. Me? I move only because no one will let me stall.
Have you heard of death by a thousand cuts? That’s what they done to me. A thousand invisible cuts to my heart. You cannot see the blood or the scabs; that’s all in the inside. Outside, I’m just a crazy bum in a too-smart world. I don’t fit here. I don’t care that I don’t fit. I don’t even care enough to get out of here. I am the walking dead.