Welcome to Art Stories. Today, I have written a story based on and inspired by art I created for this here cozy corner. To really enjoy the art in relation to the tale, it has been placed after the post this time around. Enjoy the story, enjoy the art.
I like it when you come at night. I like when we can just lay here and share the silent stillness of the dark together. I remember the night all this started again like it was last night. You came and laid beside me like mama would have, to ward off the ghosts, but unlike mama would have, you stroked my wet, trembling cheeks and planted a kiss on the one nearer you.
I remember the nights before you left and returned. The midnight dawn of a beard on your face as your chin brushed my tender skin. I remember how long before dawn, your face would again be as soft and tender as mine and the feeling of you kissing me goodbye before I, or even the sun, woke. I remember the dread that overcame me as you left for work. I remember those days. I remember these nights.
I enjoy our silent nights now, almost as much as I enjoy how you’re letting me chatter away at you while you do nothing but stroke my round face, the younger, feminine version of yours. Nights like this, it’s my voice going on and on that makes me embrace reality and feel more at peace with the ghost in the room. It’s the only way I won’t run out into the night screaming from the same blue fear that pushed and dragged and hurled mama away. That raging fear that I could feel in the room as she lay beside me whimpering blue murder and insanity into my ears; to ward off the ghosts. Like she wasn’t a ghost herself. The ghost of her former self. The ghost, period.
It still amuses me how for all her ghost-warding, it wasn’t until I watched her flail away off the small gilded balcony outside your room and into the darkness wrapped in the white bed sheets and trailing blue fear… it wasn’t till then the ghosts went away. Not until you returned, making the exchange. The bad for the good. The good for the bad.
You shouldn’t have ever left that first time. It was that morning, before dawn, that I held unto you and wept into the freshness of your freshly-shaven face, pleading, begging you not to leave. How else could I have let you know you would not be coming back? How else could I have shown you what I saw? That I had lived and was reliving every moment of your death even as your cheek rubbed against mine and my scraggly arms clung to your neck, my tears soiling your tie and the collar of your shirt, the dribble from my lips soiling my chin. Even as your left hand stroked my back, making futile attempts at soothing my troubles away, your right gently pried my arms from around your neck. I even desperately tried to speak just to pass my message across. Tried to disentangle my tongue from its withered, twisted state. My tongue refused, like it had all my nine years at the time. And then you left.
I didn’t need any pictures to know, didn’t need your wife to give me an account of how mangled the accident had left your body. Didn’t need to be told that you’d been so thoroughly swept off your feet that they couldn’t find them. I had seen it all for myself without ever leaving here. Seen it all before it occured, and could not utter a word about it. Or any other thing for that matter.
That recurring dream finally becoming reality, my first ghost, would then be replaced with my second, that of your dilapidating, wailing widow. I don’t know who she was trying to prove the extent of her love for you to when she finally snapped and jumped. Don’t know why she ever thought it was a competition who had your heart. That night when she climbed the railings and jumped, I bet she was just trying to win; to leave me here and jump into your arms. How could she have known she was only jumping to the other end of the scale, finally bringing some balance to our world? Even I couldn’t, not at the time.
Oh look, dawn approaches again. You are about to leave again, are you not, papa? Go well o. Greet your wife for me. I just hope the tortured, torturing soul found respite. *sigh* I can already feel the miracle of your presence leaving me. I have come to accept the twisting upon itself of my tongue as your visit comes to an end. I must say my goodbyes before dawn when complete silence again returns to me.
You will come again tomorrow night, will you not, papa? You will come and ward off the ghost of my perpetual silence and give me the solace of your presence yet another night. You will let me speak again, even it is only to another ghost. You would do this, won’t you?