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Title: The Blinding Brightness
Author: keppiehed
Word Count: 484
Prompt: this pic: here and "glare"
A/N: Written for musemuggers, Challenge #538, Option # 2 and brigits_flame

I’m reading a book about dying. It reminds me of you, although I didn’t choose it for that reason. I thought it was going to be a mystery, or maybe a thriller. The cover was blue and the title was cryptic, and it seemed like one of those stories that people read when they are in the mood to figure out something. Instead of a wizened detective, the first page was full of pathogens and microbes, and I knew I’d wandered far afield from fiction, but I kept reading anyway. The words are dry as wood, stacking higher and higher, where you wait. I don’t want to see you peeking down, but I can’t stop each unwanted letter from soaking into my consciousness until I climb to meet you.

We say nothing for awhile. I watch you pick at your nails, an old habit that I find suddenly endearing. It’s a bit of a relief to know that I haven’t forgotten everything. “Is it as bad as they say?” I finally ask.

“What, the end?” you ask. “Nah. Well, yeah. I guess.”

I don’t have to tell you that I don’t understand.

You sigh. “I can’t describe it. You’ll just have to see.”

I am embarrassed that the tears start so soon. I was never one of those beautiful criers; my face swells red and snot flows. In the absence of a tissue, I wipe the mucous on the back on my hand but it just leaves a trail of slime on the skin. We both ignore it. “I don’t want to wait and see.”

You shrug.

“I miss you,” I say, but even that, in all its yearning, seems inadequate.

“I know,” you say, and I know you do.

I sniffle and try to stop crying, but the fear keeps rising. That book has put thoughts in my mind that I have tried to smother, and now I can’t. “I have to know that it didn’t hurt. They said you didn’t feel it, but it looked like you did. It looked like you were awake. Were you scared?”

The wind blows a strand of hair across your face, obscuring your eyes. “You know I can’t say. Ask me something else. But we only have a minute now.”

I blurt out the first question that comes to mind. “What’s your favorite memory?”

You smile, and it lights up your face. “That day with you on the lake.”

“In the boat?” I ask.

You nod, still smiling. “I’ll never forget it.”

As I reach for your hand, the light behind you intensifies in to a glare. My eyes water and I close them against the blinding brightness.

“I love you,” you say. “I love you.”

I wake up alone in darkness, your name on my lips. “I love you, too,” I say, and I imagine that wherever you are, you hear me and know it will always be true.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
Bliss. This is beautiful. " I watch you pick at your nails, an old habit that I find suddenly endearing" I love detail like that. Sign of a great writer being set free.
Mar. 2nd, 2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
The concept that the dead would have a distinct memory above all else I find intriguing. As well as going through my own memories.

As for the writing, you continue to grow, which as a reader makes me glad.
Apr. 14th, 2014 06:16 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. A last, stolen moment together, and a memory that transcends it all.

Thanks for sharing :)
Apr. 16th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad to know that you liked it.
Apr. 15th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
That nose-wiping... so explicit and real. I do it. ugh - and I weep often! This is full of those teeeny moments that happen. A voice comes alive in you, just for a moment, reminding you that once... once upon a time....

And I am SURE we have memories after we're dead. What are memories for but to become our full suitcases when we take off?

My Gran when asked what Heaven was, told me that it was the places where we go where we were happiest. Lots of places. I think that's a lovely thort.

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:54 pm (UTC)
This was just a little short one; a bit melodramatic! But I did rather like the little details that connect us all--like that I KNOW we all wipe our nose like that! :D

And of course our memories remain after we are gone. If there is one thing I am sure of, it's that the good things we have done are the most real thing about this place.
Apr. 20th, 2014 02:58 pm (UTC)
It was beautifully written. I like how the story starts, with the words as dry as wood stacking up.

And reaching out for their hand. I can't tell you how many times in the first year after my dad passed I woke myself up reaching for his hand.
Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
That made me tear up. That is a fond remembrance of your dad to share. *hugs* Thank you.
Apr. 20th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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