MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “short story”

Split between worlds

http://perfscience.com/sites/default/files/styles/nodeimg/public/field/image/Mars_Jupiter_Saturn.jpg?itok=QJIicVzwJupiter was born and raised on Saturn but fell in love on Mars. She knew well what it meant to be split between two worlds. Literally.

 When she was born, her parents, native Saturnians, decided to give her the name of another planet, simply because it seemed so majestic from their view of the solar system. She grew up on Saturn, a planet where everything had the shade pf blue. From sky blue, to aquamarine, to turquoise, to dark blue, to blue black even. She liked her planet a lot. But Jupiter was restless. She wanted to go out there and explore. She was certain there was something more out there. Something other than just this blue.

 She soon found herself on Mars, a planet filled with shades of red – ruby red, dark red, pink red, rose, coral red. She decided to stay a while and discover a different way of life. Variety always intrigues. Together with that, however, she found a breath of fresh air and a soulmate that made her heart beat a little bit faster.

But he was on Mars. And her family was on Saturn.

The distance was minimised by rapid-speed vehicles that helped make the light-year journey seem like crossing over to another neighbourhood. But it still entailed travelling between planets. And no matter how often or how long she stayed on one, it never seemed enough. So Jupiter decided to do something. She took out her heart and split it in half. She gave one part to her family to remember that even if she wasn’t constantly physically present she was always with them. The other she replaced in her chest and flew to Mars. Her soulmate would complete the other half, and she would always be whole when she returned home.

Mishaps to fortune

https://us.123rf.com/450wm/Prometeus/Prometeus1508/Prometeus150800012/43156028-venetian-masquerade-carnival-elegant-lady-wearing-beautiful-lush-dress-and-venetian-mask-stands-in-a.jpg?ver=6Carol had purchased five tubes of glitter. It was silvery-blue, like the one she had so often imagined adorned the bodies of fairies. She was going all out this year. It might seem as an extravaganza of a costume, but she wanted to feel good and in doing so, she wanted to breathe life into a fantasy. That entailed living it out in full.

But karma has it that some things don’t always turn out the way we imagine them too.

The first clue was when the heel of her shoe broke, while she pranced around the house in her fairy dress to make sure she could walk a sufficient amount of time as a few inches taller than her natural height.

The second was when the hem of the dress got caught at the corner of the living room table, while she was spinning, tearing a very noticeable hole at the bottom of the transparent tulle.

The third was when she noticed that most of the glitter tubes had for some reason cracked open, filling the inside of her shopping bag with a splutter of gluey tinsel.

Carol gave up. She sat on her bed crying at her misfortune. All that time and energy she had spent; all those images she had concocted in her head of her entrance to the masquerade party; it all vanished in a few seconds.

She now no longer had a costume to wear and had lost all desire to join the carnival this year.

A cup of tea and an hour later, nerves calmed and rationale restored, Carol decided to search the attic for a costume. Surely there was something forgotten up there.

She wanted to dress as a fairy, but found something even better – a Venetian princess costume. And with just the right amount of glitter on her chest and shoulders, she embodied the essence of the renaissance itself.

Some things indeed don’t always turn out the way we imagine them too. But sometimes this happens for something even better to occur.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Glitter

The perfect gift

http://5pz91qmfi1-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Screen-Shot-2015-09-03-at-1.49.24-PM-640x250.jpgWhat does anyone really want on Valentine’s day? What does anyone want on any day, really? Because 14 February, in essence, is just another day. But it happens to be one on which couples suddenly remember they’re in love, and singles feel the need to demonstrate why they’re better alone.

Susy and her husband had agreed that they were in love all year round, and they would show it to each other as often and as much as they could. For them, this was just another day on which they had an extra reason to go out and enjoy themselves.

Jonah was racking his brain for days trying to find the perfect gift for his wife. He wanted something special. Something different. Something memorable. Apart from the standard flowers and chocolates in a heart-shaped box, that is. So he decided to take her for dinner to a restaurant they had never been before, but one which was acclaimed and seemed to match her liking. She was the person who would get excited with the little things, so she was bound to be thrilled.

Susy, on the other hand, had difficulty in planning the perfect gift. Because what amounts to perfection? She thought of a framed photo of them, but couldn’t chose just one. And she didn’t want to fall into the commercial trap that took over this specific day.

So she did something different.

She took the day of work on the eve of V-day and stayed home to surprise him. She prepared his favourite dessert and planned a relaxing walk along the beach at sunset. The sparkle in his eyes and the smile that stretched across his face when he found her home, unexpectedly waiting for him, was all she needed as an acknowledgement that sometimes the perfect gifts aren’t things; they are moments, people and actions that show us we are loved and cared for.

Something to hide

gondola08She was tired. In fact, she was exhausted. But he refused to acknowledge it. He failed to see how she strived to make her daily routine seem so effortless, while she was camouflaging the pain in the smile she always wore.

He worked hard. And she worked even harder. She tried to support him as much as she could, without asking for anything in return, other than a simply gesture of appreciation, a humble ‘thank you’, a hug and a kiss.

She was sick. But he failed to see it.

Not even when her light was dimming, could he see that he was losing her. She didn’t speak out, of fear that she would upset him too much and that he would overreact, as he usually did when trying to gain control of a situation.

Instead, she allowed herself to wither in the silence of her progressive departure. He was too fixated on his own beliefs to see that something was wrong. And it was only when she left that he realised what had happened. That fateful morning when she was no longer there. When the sky darkened and clouds brought on a tremendous storm.

But it was too late. He had allowed her to drown in her own secret, alone, because she loved him too much to make him worry.

She left with a photo of their last trip together hovering over their bed as an eternal memory.

The loudness of insecurity

girl-umbrellaIt was the first time Max had found himself in a psychologist’s office. He was postponing it for too long; he needed someone to listen to all the things that had accumulated inside him and were causing him stomach aches. The main problem he had to face was that he cared too much – he over-thought and over-worried about anything. Maybe this doctor would be able to show him how to care less, or at least how to not allow things to affect him as much.

Outside in the waiting room was a sign on the wall, a blue canvas with the inscription “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.” It resonated with Max, as he thought about all the people in his life who annoyed him the most and who he wrongly permitted to distress him – they were all people who claimed center stage, those who thought that everything should be about them, who adopted an attitude close to that of a bully, and who pretended to mask their low self-esteem in (often overly) socialization.

For an hour, Max poured out his feelings to the person he had just met sitting across him in the small, yet cozy, room. He found himself telling him stories and emotions that he had never even admitted to himself. Psychologists, he realised, have a way of making you feel comfortable enough to share your inner most thoughts without dwelling too much on what you’re saying.

When the psychologist’s turn to talk came, Max took out a small notebook to write certain things down. They may have been just phrases, but they would help him in changing his own attitude and facing the situations he was forced to deal with on a daily basis.

“Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people you don’t even know. More so, insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident. Insecure people seek approval. They try to talk everyone down so that can feel superior. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. Try, as much as you can to ignore them. Just don’t interfere in their lives so that they won’t interfere in yours. Remember, you only give them more power the more attention you devote to them. So simply turn the other way. Demonstrate your own confidence by shying away from the spotlight; let it chase you, not the other way round. Do something different instead: build people up, remind them they’re worthy, tell them they’re incredible; be a light in an often too dim world”.

Max left the office feeling uplifted. Sometimes, all it takes is some words of encouragement to view the situation in a different aspect.

Resisting the mind

roger-bultot-flower

©Roger Bultot

“It all begins and ends in your mind,” she once told him. “What you give power to, has power over you”.

Right now, he was fighting not to call her. To tell her how much he missed her and wanted her back.

There was still snow on the porch outside. She would have been thrilled by it.

And her orchid by the window was waiting for her too.

He stared at the dials on the phone; Ralph Waldo Emerson had said, “we gain the strength of the temptation we resist”. But he did not feel any stronger. Quite the contrary.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Also part of Daily Prompt: Resist

Keeping it simple

https://tphogan.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/fountain-pen-blank-paper.jpgPen in hand, he stared at the blinking cursor on the white background. He was stuck. There was nothing to write about. They told him to keep it simple. But simple is not as easy as it seems.

His head was swarming with fairy tales of magic and dragons and princesses and kings and monsters. But they were all asleep somewhere, unable to be driven out of his head and brought to life.

He fixed his posture, straightened his back and inhaled deeply. He then slowly let out the air that had refreshed his lungs and looked hopefully at his computer screen.

Still nothing.

Where had it all gone? He was a person whose imagination ran wild and who could write about anything at anytime. But not now.

His emails bleeped away with newsletters and greetings from colleagues, but all he could hear was the clock ticking and his deadline drawing nearer.

All he had to do was write about something, anything. It was supposed to be simple. Supposed being the key word.

He moved to the couch to clear his head. But he soon fell asleep. Two hours later he leapt up like a damaged spring and raced to his computer.

Something. Simple.

Sometimes the things we take for granted, the simple things, are not merely as simple or as easy or as abundantly available as we may think.

He had found his topic.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Simple

The things that matter

pink-rose

@MCD

The day she met him she had found a penny on the way to the store outside of which they were to bump into each other. She thought it was good luck and gave it to him for their three-month anniversary. She told him it might be silly, but she enjoyed looking out for all the small details that for her made a difference. She kept souvenirs and memories of their outings, even dried-up flowers he gave her, in a small box in her nightstand. She felt they granted a special energy to their relationship and strengthened their bond.

He didn’t really pay attention to the penny and it got lost. Or he might have even spent it somewhere; he didn’t remember. He wasn’t the type of person that gave attention to material goods. He felt people and the time spent with them were more important. He tried to offer her as much of his free time as he could. And he tried to please her as much as possible.

But something always seemed to go wrong.

On the day they moved-in together, she found a penny outside his door gate. She gave it to him as a token that it would bring them luck in their new endeavor and in sharing their lives. She found it a few days later still on the TV table where he had left it. She smiled, thinking that he valued it too much to spend or lose. But a few days later, the penny disappeared. And so did her optimism.

He wasn’t too much of an organiser, often leaving things lying around the house for days, even scattered between tables and drawers. He complained lack of time was the perpetrator. And he could not understand why she made such a fuss over insignificant stuff.

She felt he didn’t care enough to cherish the things she brought him.

He felt she was becoming too quirky, too hard to satisfy.

She was about to leave in tears, when he walked into the bedroom, opened the top closet door and brought down a rectangular silver frame. He handed it to her and said, “I pay attention to the things that matter; and that means having you. That’s all I need. That’s all I want”.

He had framed the note where she first wrote to him that she loved him.  She had given it to him the night of the day she gave him that first penny.

Every story has two sides, you just have to have a mind that is open enough to see them both.

The homeless keyowner

http://gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/keyswhere.jpgWhen Oralia was a young girl, her grandmother had given her a set of keys as a present. She told her that she would spend all her life trying to find a lock, so she might as well be prepared. Oralia didn’t really understand what it meant, but she was proud to own something so significant.

When she grew up, she had the habit of carrying with her sets of keys – be it for her home, the storage room, the office, even her closet doors. For some reason it made her feel important, granting her a sense that she was responsible for something so significant.

When the economic crisis broke out and homeless people began to appear more abundantly in the city streets, Oralia was saddened by the thought that apart from not having a roof over their head, these people didn’t own any keys.

One day, however, the unimaginable happened to her. She got locked out of her own house. And she couldn’t find the keys.

She had left her precious set of keys on her desk at the office that evening, when in a rush to get home, change and meet her friends at the movie theatre. The office door locked automatically and she was not the last to leave, so she was not concerned about that. But when she reached the front door of her apartment building, she felt her blood freeze in her veins.

City life was so asocial and distant that she didn’t even know any of her neighbours who could buzz her in. But even if she did get into the building she couldn’t enter the apartment. And she would have to call a locksmith to change every lock, from the apartment door, to even the closets so she could access her belongings. It was a nightmare she would rather not even think of.

So she decided to go back to the office instead and retrieve her original set of keys.

On the way, she saw two homeless people, one snuggled in a quilted blanket on a park bench and one sitting at the steps in front of another tall apartment building.

She no longer felt sorry for them not having a set of keys. It wasn’t the keys themselves that made them important; it was what they unlocked. And that is what her grandmother meant all those years ago.

Flakes of excitement

http://cdn.pcwallart.com/images/snowflake-clipart-wallpaper-4.jpgAs the first flake of snow fell on his nose that evening, he could feel his entire body jolting with excitement. It was snowing in the city centre and everyone was thrilled. Perhaps a little too much, acting as if no-one had ever seen snow before and posting it all over social media. It wasn’t that strange a happening. It was winter and it was snowing.

No matter how many times he had seen snow before, he would always feel that same rush once the snowflakes began to fall, like cotton balls gently dropping from the sky. Everything seemed calmer and more silent when there was snow. And there was something so much more magical going to bed or waking up to a city dressed in white.

What he loved most was the white lumps gathering on the trees. They were usually among the last to dissolve in the morning sun and added a different sort of wintery glow to an otherwise routine stroll around the city.

No matter the years that passed, he would still rush to the window to see if the snowfall was continuing, and would often refuse to go to bed unless it stopped snowing, anxious to see how thick the white carpet would get.

It didn’t matter how old or young you were after all. What mattered was that you enjoyed those small, often seemingly insignificant, moments in life that make you feel grateful to be alive.

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