MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “fiction”

Frames intact

© Mikhael Sublett

“What do you see?”

He took the picture and examined it.

“Destruction”.

“Why?” she pressed.

“Just look at the ruins on the floor. The crumbled wall, the pieces apart. Broken fragments of what they once were.”

“What do you think that represents?”

“Human relationships”, he uttered. “They break in an instant and it’s both frightening and tragic that someone you once couldn’t imagine your life without can become a complete stranger”.

He pushed away a tear.

“But look closer. Don’t you see the frame lying almost intact? It’s simply upside-down but unscratched. Life is what we chose to focus on”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Travelling stories to tell

https://mentalitch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/6-Steps-to-taking-great-Travel-Photography.jpeg

When things got rough, they used to just leave. Together. They would travel to someplace new, to fill their hearts with adventure and their minds with enthrallment at how vast our world truly is. They believed that travelling – by car, motorbike, train, airplane, boat, whatever means available according to the destination – opened a person’s heart, broadened their minds and filled them with stories to tell. And they had many.

But lately, they became alienated from each other. And consequently from all the things they did together.

She was always excited when travelling with him, because he became almost a different person; someone more relaxed, more serious, yet thoughtful at the same time. He became the person she fell in love with. As if breaking the bonds that held him captive to his daily routine liberated him into becoming a better version of himself.

He loved travelling with her because it lit up a spark in her eyes; she let out a childish enthusiasm and reminded him all over why he fell in love with her in the first place.

Now, they travelled in different directions.

She went to places that were new to her, where they had never been before together.

He, on the contrary, went to all the same, where they had.

Because one wanted to forget. And the other to always remember.

Words left unsaid

https://reductress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/letter-820x500.jpg

He had walked out a month ago, but still had his keys. The keys to the home they built together, the one that would house their common dreams.

They hadn’t spoken since.

She didn’t know what he was doing, where he was, what he worked on, how he was feeling. She only had her viewpoint. And that was biased.

It was pitch black outside when she got up. Even the lights had all been turned off. It was the usual hour she felt forced out of bed, too tormented by nightmares to remain lying there trying to sleep.

She took a pen and paper, rarely nowadays abandoning her keyboard, and this meant it was too important to type. It had to be handwritten to reflect the emotion it contained.

At night, when I can’t sleep, I write to you. Letters, I’ll never send and you’ll probably never read. But it helps me calm down during the nights I’m tortured by the thoughts in my head. When the chaos inside me overwhelms and devours me. I write to tell you what you can’t seem to hear from me. I write in an effort to make you understand. To make you see that even a dragon hides a frightened mouse inside. That sometimes all you need is the reassurance and certainty of having someone next to you at all times, no matter what and above everything and everyone else. I thought that was you. Not to heal me. You wouldn’t do that. But to help me heal myself. Love won’t heal wounds. The feeling of safety and being loved no matter what, who and when, is what makes a person stronger. What helps them heal themselves.

You were supposed to stick around for the hard times too, not just the good ones.

We were supposed to grow stronger together, to grow with each other, helping one another to develop into the best person they can be. We were supposed to form a unit as one – a force to reckon with, a single corps against the world. We were supposed to be ‘us’. A power couple. We were supposed to be allies to one another. Not to demolish each other, ripping ourselves apart from the inside. We were supposed to close each other’s scars, not create new ones.

Yet despite everything – all the words said, all the actions done (or not) – I still wait for you. In the sounds of daily life, in the phone calls that ring, the doors that knock, I longingly hope it will be you. I see you in every single thing that reminds me of you. I still hope you’ll come into my darkness and turn on the light. The light that faded and is now lost. My light that I allowed to be extinguished.

Yet you never do.

That itself should be a sign. Just like all those things we didn’t do: the trips we never went on, the plans we never followed through. All signs. An answer to all the ‘whys’ that won’t let my mind rest.

Yet I still wait. Hoping even now for something to change. Because hope is all we have left.

In the morning, she booked a plane ticket and left. That same afternoon, he used his keys again.

People like handcrafted plates

https://previews.123rf.com/images/kasto/kasto1402/kasto140200033/25987982-traditional-arabic-handcrafted-colorful-decorated-plates-shot-at-the-market-in-marrakesh-morocco-afr.jpg

“Sit. Take this plate. Look at it closely. Examine it. What do you see?”

“It’s decorated,” Jill replied, her young age obstructing her perspective.

“What more?” her aunt pressed.

“It’s colourful. Artfully decorated. It seems handcrafted. And there are so many details. You need to look closely to see them. To appreciate them”.

“Good. Now throw it down”.

Jill glared at her aunt.

“What?”

“Throw the plate down”.

“But…but, it will break”, she uttered, scared.

“That’s the point”.

Jill let the plate go, reluctantly. It fell onto the ground and broke into numerous pieces of all sizes.

“Pick it up and try to place the pieces back together”.

Jill tried, but there were many smaller pieces that had fractured and were too small to find or stick back together.

“Now what do you see?”

“It’s broken,” Jill sighed, genuinely saddened.

“It’s not the same. It’s not as beautiful. You can see the cracks and even if it is glued, they will still be evident. And the colour seems almost faded because of it”.

“Isn’t it still the same plate, though?”

“I guess”. The little girl seemed perplexed.

“People are like this handcrafted plate,” her aunt finally explained the meaning of this exercise. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. You need to look closely to see all those details that make each person special. But people, contrary to objects, have feelings. If they are pushed aside for too long, like a plate on the edge of a counter, they will fall and break. And once they do, they will carry the scars within them. No matter how much they try to pull themselves back together, to survive and go on, the scars will remain, perhaps faded, but they are still there. Time won’t heal them; it will just make it easier to live with them”.

Jill stared, listening attentively to every word.

“Always be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know what scars each person hides. And treat people as softly and sympathetically as you would want to be treated. Not everyone sees the world the same way, but kindness is universal”.

Black shopping

https://cdn.bisnow.net/fit?height=489&type=jpeg&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fcdn.bisnow.net%2Fcontent%2Fimages%2F2016%2F10%2F57f4df4b4dc15_8211477590_8381c9cf96_b.jpeg&width=717&sign=814-jKMdMEWC-5OA4Z7blpE3dVRa7v0An-LvnIsKZgg

He was racing with his motorbike on the highway even before the sun came up. It was still quiet in town and in the city he got to in less than half the time he normally needed. It was the calm before the storm.

That day was Friday.

But it was not just any Friday.

It was Black Friday. The day all shoppers go crazy, waiting outside stores hours before they open, then fighting each other inside for items they don’t really need but are misled into believing they are a bargain, and then standing in line impatiently in order to pay for them by maxing out their credit cards.

The worse thing about this day was that everyone found something they needed to buy. So the majority of people were out shopping at one part of the day or other, leading to increased tensions, rows, noise and an incessant irritation that seemed to be diffused in the air.

He set out early, exactly because of this.

He wanted to get in and out of a store he found a large TV he had set his eyes on for weeks now. He had saved money and done his research.

He was prepared.

But not enough for how the day would turn out…

Storage surprise

©J Hardy Carroll

It took them almost a week to plan their way into the storage room. They had to find a method of entry that couldn’t be traced back to them. And a time of day when they wouldn’t be seen.

They entered during the early hours of a stormy and thunderous night.

But what they found, was not what they expected to see.

The wooden locked closet-like doors of the room made what they stored even more intriguing.

But it also meant spending more time inside in order to acquire what they were after.

They hoped it would be worth it.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

Needing something you don’t know you do

https://www.kochiesbusinessbuilders.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/online-shopping.jpg

The thing with shopping is that you don’t know you want something until the moment you see it. And despite not really needing it before, in that precise moment you can conjure up so many different uses for it that it becomes a must-need purchase. And just like that, you become a shopper.

Jenny was an avid shopper. For all kinds of things.

The most dangerous type of shopping is the online one. Because there you spend hours on end scrolling through sites, experiencing a different kind of window-shopping, to the extent that you forgot what you actually needed to do, or how you even ended up on that particular site. But in seconds, you become so mesmerised by the need to acquire something you only see on a screen that you end up rapidly spending money you don’t actually ever see to buy products you cannot feel or test. And then there is the added anguish of having to constantly monitor your order to ensure that it will eventually arrive to your doorstep. And if not, there is at times an endless bureaucratic procedure to get your money back or at least the product at a delayed arrival time. It makes you wonder if it is worth the trouble of actually going to a store and purchasing things in hand.

But Jenny loved online shopping. It somehow offered the therapy she needed from the comfort of her own couch, scrolling thorough different interesting products and styles and imagining how she could wear or make use of them. She knew that online offers were a lure. A cheeky one often, because they were targeting consumers like her who couldn’t resist. But she would always fall into the trap and then rummage for cash until the end of the month.

She was somehow compensated for it all though when her digitally-purchased package finally arrived. And the unboxing process filled her with joy. As if someone else had given her a gift.

Sometimes the things we give ourselves are what make us happy, even if they do decrease our funds.

Roundabout questions

https://olympiada.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/78fd75cb-ea74-414b-8c43-7018c4396681.jpeg

So, what do you feel like doing tonight?

It’s a question that entails the freedom of decision, the willingness to abide by it, while also placing the ‘burden’ of finding something to do on the other person.

For indecisive people, this is a challenge.

“I don’t know, perhaps see a movie? We can either go to the cinema or order in and watch one at home”.

He smiled. She wasn’t finished. So he held back his reply a little longer.

What do you prefer?

The question-bounce-back, that returns the responsibility of choosing an activity to the original question-setter. Like a boomerang returning to the one who threw it.

If the person who initiated the conversation continues the questioning of the type, “whatever you want” or, even worse, poses another option, their indecisive interlocutor becomes lost and even more agitated by the daunting task of having to pick an entertainment. And doing something fun suddenly becomes a chore.

Let’s go out. I know you want to see the latest blockbuster and go for a stroll around town tonight”.

And just like that, peace is restored, tranquillity reigns and the smile returns to her face.

He was used to reading her mind even when she herself couldn’t.

A social condition

https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/c_fill,g_auto,h_1248,w_2220/f_auto,q_auto,w_1100/v1555923605/shape/mentalfloss/94471743.jpg

They called it a condition. He called it honesty. But sometimes it made him seem rude. He couldn’t tell the difference.

He was used to speaking his mind without camouflage or fake kindness. If he didn’t like something he would say it, if he disagreed with someone he would point it out. Simply said, he couldn’t feign politeness in a world filled with people wearing masks.

He wasn’t the one to hide; from anyone or anything. But that often got him into trouble. Because not everyone appreciated the sincerity in which his words were uttered.

His belief was that if people couldn’t handle the truth, they shouldn’t be doing or saying things that were contrary to it.

In fact, he was convinced, that if people followed the norms of proper social conduct, so many fake masks would not be necessary.

But that was simply his thoughts. He lacked tact but that did not make him any less of a person than anyone pretending to be his friend.

Post Navigation