MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the category “Short Stories”

The many forms of love

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So what’s the secret to a love that lasts forever?

She sat cross-legged in front of their old armchair where grandma was sitting. Grandpa just arrived with their morning cup of tea and a rose on the tray. They were by far the most loving couple she knew. Their relationship counted decades and was filled with ups and downs. But they were always there for each other. Supporting one another all the way in their common life journey.

There’s no one answer to that,” grandmother smiled.

It’s all the tender things that show each other we care. The fact that we never stop laughing. Or having something to talk about. We trust in that we’ll always have each other.”

The not giving each other a reason to nag,” grandpa added poking his wife.

It’s the smallest of rituals like having dinner together, or going for a walk. Cooking or cleaning in turn. But it’s also about remaining attractive to each other.”

Keeping the spark alive,” he winked.

Love has many forms,” grandma stated. “You’ll know it in your heart. Because no matter how far you reach that cliff, your partner will never let you fall. We don’t give up in times of trouble; we become closer and fight it off as one”.

Grandpa kissed her on the cheek as he handed her the rose and grandma blushed like a teenager still in love.

Space is a concept

©Alicia Jamtaas

There’s no space for everything,” was a constant complaint. Hoarders have this incessant problem. No room is every big enough for all their ever-growing belongings.

We’ll make it,” he would reassure.

She was further agitated by his tranquil tenor; how could he not be worried?

There were boxes all around, inside rooms, out in the yard, in the attic. There was a bike in the living room and a cupboard on the porch.

It was too disorienting, and it aggravated the stress.

She left for a walk, but soon returned to find he had actually taken care of it all.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Dream it, live it

©MCD

“Imagine a place where you’d like to be. Picture it in your mind. Breathe the air there. Take it all in.

Do you feel it?

Can you see yourself there?

Now open your eyes.

Can you summon the determination to do your best to get yourself there?”

The therapist’s instructions made everything seem so simple.

All you had to do really was envision your life, your goals, your presence. And work hard in whatever way you can to accomplish these aims.

Sometimes all it takes is the will to act and the determination to change things.

Light and colour

©Trish Nankeville

There’s something inspiring about waking up to light and colour. It helps awaken your senses and boost your mood. And when you emit a positive vibe, you feel more confident, like you can take over the world if you have to.

He would bring her flowers every morning simply to see that radiant smile of hers.

She would beam like spring in bloom and he would boast of a mission accomplished.

It was simple things like that that made every day special. Monotony was dangerous, and boredom was lethal. It was keeping the spark alive that made it all worthwhile.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Shine a light inside

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There are two types of people in the morning: the chirpy one, who chatters, sings, and is hyperactive from the moment they get out of bed; and the one who doesn’t want a single noise to interfere in the still sleeping zen phase they are painfully trying to get out of.

Miranda was the second type.

Alan was the first.

You can see the problem.

The worst was when the only chance they had to discuss about something was before going to work in the morning because often their shifts did not coincide and they could spend entire days without seeing each other. Despite living in the same house, they didn’t always have the energy after work to talk about anything.

This made it all the more complex.

Because she was also the type to keep everything inside. She restrained herself from expressing what bothered her, be it from the slightest of things – from their online presence, to his behaviour towards others, to her problems at work, or financial difficulties.

The body had a mind of its own, though, and it began to demonstrate its anguish and exhaustion in various forms. The signs were ignored and neglect led to stronger pain in every form.

He saw what she refused to.

How she faded her own light and began to personify that “what doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness (Marcus Aurelius).

So he surprised her with a week away.

To a place she only dreamed of; where mice and ducks were favourite cartoon characters; where laughter was the only sound you could hear; where to feel the innocence and carefreeness of a child was mandatory.

Learn to believe

Life is not like a fairy tale; if you lose your shoe at midnight you’re drunk!

Oh come on, you’re exaggerating”, she confuted. “Sometimes, we do meet a Prince Charming. Life can surprise us pleasantly”.

Sure, but how often does that really happen?” Her pessimism was disarming.

The teenage girl grinned and lowered her gaze.

We need to believe that wonderful things can happen. You’re never too old to dream”.

Hm, but like Eugene O’ Neill once said, ‘obsessed by a fairytale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a last kingdom of peace”.

What’s wrong with that?” she questioned as she turned on the Disney channel. “We become intelligent through the stories we read because we cultivate our imagination, we learn to dream, and we are convinced that dragons can be beaten. Isn’t that the point, after all? To believe that we are as strong and confident as we set our mind to entrust? And that nothing is as impossible as we think? If we don’t try, we’ll never know”.

She left her interlocutor speechless. So much, that all she could do was get the popcorn and share the couch as the movie began.

Booster talks

© Bill Reynolds

I talk to them”.

The globally renowned herbologist’s answer to how her plants grow healthier and faster than average stunned the reporter.

Studies have shown that talking to plants helps them grow faster. I believe the sound of a soft, caring voice is perceived as vibrations, and plants can sense the love you give to them. Kind of like humans or animals do”.

“But they also give something back. When I’m in my greenhouse, I also get a much-needed psychological boost. Spending time with and around my green-leafed friends can be calming and it promotes good mental and physical health”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Breaking the silence

©MCD

What’s wrong?” Miguel asked as he wrapped his arm around her.

He knew sunsets were her favourite hour. That golden moment when nature seemed at peace, and you could feel serene.

Nothing”, Adeline feigned.

He read through her reflex reaction that everything was not as fine as she claimed. Her eyes weren’t as shiny as when she really meant that. Other times, he could see the last of the sun’s rays reflect off her glistening emerald pupils. And her smile was genuine. Now she just seemed tired. Or, rather, exhausted. Emotionally.

He perplexed his mind for a minute, wondering whether it was worth asking again, pushing for a different answer.

What he couldn’t tell was that she was restraining herself from saying everything that caused chaos in her head.

She couldn’t figure out how it was all roses one minute, and in a single second, due to a single phrase, everything was upturned.  She was upset not only with the way he behaved towards other females – in her presence even – but most of all by the fact that he could hardly identify the problem.

People want to feel they are exclusively loved and valued. Much more so when they’re in a relationship. They want the security that their partner places them above all others, regardless of history or social connections. And it goes both ways. Every kind of relationship needs compromise and concessions. From both. Otherwise the balance doesn’t work.

By the time she decided to say something, the ferry boat had reached the port. And now the time was unsuitable.

He continued as if nothing happened.

But for her it was not as easy.

Silence is hard to keep. But when you break it, you need to be certain that what you’ll say is more important.

Caring or not

©Fleur Lind

People lack sensitivity these days; they can’t get into another’s shoes”.

The voices from the adjacent table were distracting Meg’s thoughts.

Perhaps those insensitive were happier, though, she rebutted silently. They hardly care enough to be worried or stressed about anything.

The problem with being too sensitive is that often you sacrifice your own well-being out of fear of hurting the other’s feelings. You stay silent too long, and someday it all erupts uncontrollably. As a result, it pains both you and the person you’re trying to shield.

Perhaps not caring as much isn’t that bad.

But not for all.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A bad ally

©MCD

Just give me some time”, she muttered as she stormed off.

Tiredness is a sneaky feeling. It gets you to the extent where you want to punch something to let off steam, but at the very same time, you feel the urge to break down in tears.

Time is vital. It helps you regroup, regather your thoughts, and re-energise yourself to be able to keep going.

But solitude also works. Particularly because it constrains you from saying something you shouldn’t or cannot retract.

When you’re exhausted, go somewhere alone. Perhaps even better, sleep it off.

Tiredness is never a good ally.

He showed up with a flower, after what he deemed a revitalising period of time.

She couldn’t help but smile.

All we really want is to feel important and appreciated, and that all the work we do – regardless how meaningless it may seem – is noticed and valued.

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