MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “death”

The empty chair

armchairIt feels strange to enter a house, look around, see and feel the presence of the people who live there but know that some of them will never return. It is an odd feeling to look at their favourite objects – like the large armchair that dominates the room, and realise that you will never see them again being there with them. The feeling struck Ariana the minute she walked into the house. She had just said her last goodbye to her grandfather. The grandfather who raised her when her parents were overworking themselves in order to secure a decent living for their family.

She had held on to everything so well throughout the four days of his passing, the funeral service, and the condolences. She had managed to limit the demonstration of her grief to a few tears that escaped from her welled-up eyes. She was holding it all together quite well.

Until that moment when she walked into her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother was either hiding her grief all too well or she had made her peace with everything. After all, she knew better than everyone that this man did not deserve to suffer so much. It was better this way. He was relieved and she was calmer now that he was somewhere better. At peace.

Ariana could not bear to see her grandfather tubed-up. Neither of her grandparents allowed her to visit too often for this reason. It was better that she maintained in her head the image of the strong, resilient and active man who had raised her, who chased after her in the yard when she was small, who surprised her with extravagant gifts from his trips abroad, who consoled her when she was heartbroken, who made her laugh even at the most trivial things. That was the person she should lock up in her memory.

In the middle of the living room, facing the television set, there was a large embroidered armchair. It was her grandfather’s favourite and he had exclusive rights over it. When she was very young, Ariana would crawl up in his arms right in that chair and fall asleep, after which he would carry her to bed, the nights she would stay over. Ariana loved her grandparents to pieces and now a full-grown woman she still felt the need for them to be present in her life. But when she witnessed that empty chair, something instantly cracked inside of her and she stood in the middle of the living room facing the chair, the tears streaming down her cheeks. All her reserved grief suddenly caught up with her. In a silent overwhelming flood of tears.

She placed a single red rose and a large stem of white lilies on the chair, securing that no one would sit there. This was his place and at least for that day it should remain so.

In time, she would manage to view it in a different perspective. But for that day she had to accept that sometimes it is better to grieve and let it all out. In the end, it is all part of the healing process. It helps you move on and never forget.

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La Hora Gris

La Hora GrisThe first time she died it was around noon, on a stifling hot day. Her carriage had ran off-track. Something had scared the horses and they sprinted off course, almost inverting the carriage as they went, knocking it on obstacles right and left. She was already injured when the carriage fell sideways onto a giant rock off the stone-covered road. The horses were so terrified that they continued to run at full speed. So fast, that they never even realized there was no more ground left to trample on. And the carriage fell off a high cliff. And that was their end.

The second time Teresa died, it was during a tornado. It was monsoon season, and everything happened too fast. As the saying goes, ‘when it rains it pours’, and there was certainly hail that day too. She was caught in a stone-house, not built to last such natural disasters. She could see the whirlwind approaching, but there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. The feeling of getting caught up in this monster, was like being pulled into a roller coaster from which you can’t escape. And then it all goes black. And you remember nothing more.

The third time, death came silently. Teresa was aboard a large cruise ship with her boyfriend. They had just gotten engaged in the most romantic of ways – he had even arranged fireworks for her – and she was over the moon. They were cozy in their cabin suite, falling asleep in the early hours of the morning, when something immense, hard and bulky crashed onto the ship. They hardly felt the water filling up their room, and it was only seconds before this force of nature took their last breath.

Teresa’s fourth encounter with the Reaper was during a car chase. She was after a known-fugitive. She knew this meant a promotion, recognition and acknowledgement that she was good at what she did. And that women could be just as good police officers as men. But when she finally trapped the fugitive and there was no way out, out of seemingly nowhere, he fired a gun that hit her straight in the heart. Her consolation lay only in the fact that she managed to fire right back and get him for it.

They say if you have one encounter with the afterlife, you would always remember it. Teresa had five. And she remembered every last minute. Even the shark bite that took her fifth life, when she tore her foot in the ocean outside a reef she set to explore. She remembered how she screamed and splashed, but there was no-one around to hear her because she had drifted too far out.

But somehow, she never remembered what happened afterwards. After the light at the end of the tunnel appeared. After she had crossed over.

It always felt like waking up from a dream. She was simply starting a new life, as if that was where she left off. It was strangely natural. But she never gave it too much thought.

Until now.

Lately she had always been tormented by a thought – an obsession that penetrated her very being. It was the only thing that terrified her. La hora gris. The grey hour. When it is neither night nor day. But when it is better to fall than rise. That was how it had been imprinted in her brain. That hour of day scared her, more than anything.

It was that hour that she felt her end would come. Her final end. That hour that would take away everything from her. And that is why she rarely kept anything other than the clothes and jewelry she wore.

She spent a couple of years worrying about this fatal moment.

Until she met a man on the pier by her house. He appeared oddly familiar, and for some inexplicable reason she felt she knew him, deeper than any other person she had ever known. She felt a connection with him. A mysterious, incomprehensible feeling of trust, affection and attraction for this man.

And it was all realized when during that grey hour, he came towards her, smiled, and said: “Don’t drive yourself crazy and enjoy this moment, because you never know when life is going to hit us again.”

Instantly she knew. He had been with her all this time. He had accompanied her through all five lives. He was the carriage driver, the owner of the wooden shack, her fiancé, her police chief, her scuba instructor. He had failed to protect her all those times. But now he was right there. And everything would be all right.

Tragic but no comedy

vin__s_glass_dagger_by_laurorag12-d4x074dJustin looked down at the body that lay lying between the rubbish dumpster and the ladder which would have served as his escape route. It was pitch black outside still and if it weren’t for the growling cats on heat, nothing would have been heard. Not even cars rushing by. It was a peculiar night. A full moon always pre-empts something strange. Justin believed his ancestors’ belief to be true. And tonight it had become a reality.

Two hours ago he was standing there in the living room of his fourth-floor apartment drinking an Irish beer with his friend. “Friend”. He had just met him a week ago. How well can you get to know someone in such a short time? Even if you did spend an unusually large proportion of your time each day in their company?

Why? Because what they shared went beyond the ‘normal’. And the ‘legal’.

No, they weren’t smuggling, selling or growing drugs.

No, they were not into human trafficking.

No, they were not into something disgusting or perverted.

They were running around town all day, trying to do a good deed to change someone’s life.

They smiled at everyone in the street, no matter if they got sworn at or nearly hit in return. They truly believed that one single smile, one good deed, no matter how small, may one day save a life.

It was good karma if nothing else. And it certainly made them feel their day was worthwhile.

Until that moonlit night.

Justin remembered that they had even joked about the only thing missing from that “twilight” sky was a howling wolf.

It was ironic that a cat howled like a wolf when the body fell four stories down and crashed onto its tail.

He didn’t mean for it to happen. He never wished anything bad for anyone. Not even him.

It did not matter that he caught him stealing money from his wallet. He offered to give him more if he needed help.

But Justin did not understand why the aggravation and the change of tone all of a sudden. What was with this attitude? The person who said a smile would make anyone’s day now suddenly lost his own. Without reason or explanation. He didn’t use to be like this.

And then it happened. The irritation brought about a quarrel which turned bloody. And then, he asked Justin for some water. Those fatal drops of transparent liquid would seal his fate.

For as soon as Justin returned with the glass in his hand he barely managed to avert a dagger stained with blood flying towards him. And his “friend” was falling butt-first out the open window. As if he was diving in a water-park fun pool.

He just made sure he would seemingly signal the culprit.

Thirty minutes had gone by, with Justin playing the scene over and over in his head. The sirens had become louder now.

He drank the water, placed the dagger in the glass and hid it in his inside coat pocket. He would leave no trace.

Only one.

An Italian gold carnival mask.

He was not known as the Harlequin for nothing.

The victim had after all smiled at his Colombina… And things, even a smile, are never what they seem…

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