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Looking into the Eye of Death

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About the Author: Cierra Mincher (Creative Writing, Class of 2017) writes all the time when inspiration takes hold, which could be found anywhere and everywhere. She writes short stories, poems, and creative fiction from observances of everyday life.  She is currently enrolled in SVC’s Shires Press Publishing Program to publish her first book through the Northshire Bookstore in May of 2017. She is hoping to continue on this path of writing and become a famous author someday.

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The Blur

by Cierra Mincher

 

I feel alone. So alone. Like I’ve been forgotten. But how could I be forgotten in this world? In this world, where everything moves so quickly and the only time to take a break is when you squat down above the toilet to pee.

I am literally standing in a mass of nothing. Everything is white, but a dull white, like the color is slowly being stained with tiny specks of gray paint flying from the bristles on a paintbrush. I look down at myself and I jump at what I see. While I could see the outline of my spread fingers, my hands were almost invisible to me. Through them, I could see my feet pressed down onto the ground – a ground of nothingness.

Being able to see through my hands made one thing clear to me: this was all just a dream. There is no reason that I should be like a ghost: see through and wispy. I look around me again and I am still surrounded by just this off white area. There is no floor or ceiling or walls; and I realize for the first time that I am truly alone.

I question this place in my mind, where am I? And what am I doing here? How did I even get here? I sigh loudly, exhausted with all the unknowns running through my mind. My head is starting to hurt. I look down at my hands again and I can’t see through them like I could a minute ago. It’s like they’ve been slowly coming into form and shape, like my atoms and molecules are slowly being put back together to form me. Within minutes I am no longer see through; I am solid. I am colorful, but bleakly.

I look around again and still there is nobody and nothing. I lean down to touch the area beneath my feet, feeling to see if it is only a small platform I have been balancing on. I reach down slowly and try not to sway my body. My hand touches down onto a ground I cannot see. I swipe my hand across and I can still feel the cold area underneath me, around me. It is not a platform. I slowly bring myself into a sitting position, crossing my legs in front of me. There is nothing down here either. It all looks the same, except my shoes are closer to my face now. I start to question this situation again. Why am I here?

I think and think, and I can’t come up with anything. All this thinking is beginning to hurt my head, but I need to know so I keep trying to find an answer, a clue, anything. Then I hear something, a voice. It’s soft at first, and familiar somehow. I look around and there’s a shadow some ways down away from me. It’s a woman, she’s a shadow like I had been when I first arrived. She’s darker though, her shadow is more gray. I reach my hand in front of me to make sure that there is still ground there and I slowly move closer to her, inching my way across the floor. I can see her more clearly now. She has on a long skirt. It has a bunch of swirls on it, but there are spots where it has been torn, showing a section of her thigh the cloth had been covering. She was wearing a button down shirt and that’s torn apart in some spots too. There are some buttons missing and her dark hair is disheveled. I look at her again, moving a little closer.

I haven’t realized until now that she has blood on her. There is blood on her thigh and her chest and across her forearms, and there is blood running down her nose over her top lip. She isn’t bleeding anymore though, it’s just fresh, red blood. I keep waiting for her shadow to fill in like mine did. But it doesn’t. It stays dark and wispy — see through.

“Ma’am?” I ask quietly.

She doesn’t respond. She just keeps looking out in the distance. I cough a little to clear my throat and decide I should try again.

“Ma’am?” I ask again, but louder. She still doesn’t move.

I walk up closer to her and reach my hand out to touch her. My hand moves slowly through the gray around her and suddenly my head is racked with pain, so much pain, it feels like somebody is driving a nail through my brain! I pull my hand back quickly and grab my head. I look down and close my eyes, keeping my head in my hands.

“Oh my god,” I say under my breath. The pain is subsiding. I look up at her and realize she hasn’t moved to even look at me, like she didn’t realize I had touched her. Like she hasn’t heard me at all. I move closer to her side and then I stand directly in front of her, but still she looks out past me, through me; as if I weren’t even there. I look at her again. There are fresh tear streaks on her face. Her makeup is smudged and mixing with some of the blood from the large gash on her cheek. Her hands are clasped around something in front of her. I move a little closer, but make sure not to touch the gray around her. There seems to be some type of gold chain slipping between her fingers.

“Darryl!” she cries out suddenly.

I jump back and run a few paces away. My heart is beating hard now.

Maybe, I think, maybe that’s what a heart attack feels like.

I grab my chest and I can feel my heart thumping wildly. I look back over and there are new tears on her face. They are coming down in streams, gliding down over her cheek and down her chin, to drop onto her blouse and create little damp marks on her clothing. I feel sorry for her. I don’t know why she’s crying, but Darryl must mean a lot to her. Maybe it’s a memory?

I look down at my hands and clasp them together, deciding that I should pray for her and whoever this Darryl is. I just don’t want to cry in front of her, even though she can’t see me. I look up once more at this woman before I begin to pray and there in front of her is a man. He is about her age. I can see from here, he is handsome. He has dark hair. He’s slightly taller than her, only by a few inches though. He has on slacks and a dress shirt with a jacket. A sleeve from his jacket is almost torn off and his shirt is half tucked into his slacks and half untucked. His pants are covered in dark stains and he is missing a shoe on his left foot. I move a little closer and notice that he also has a gray surrounding him. He isn’t fully formed yet either, neither of them are, but they are looking at each other. The woman has stopped crying so much, but the man’s eyes are tearing up. They seem like they are a couple.

I look around to see if there are any other people here, but there is nobody else. Only these two. I move closer to them.

“Excuse me?” I call to them. They don’t even blink.

“Excuse me!” I say again. But they don’t move. They haven’t stopped looking at each other. I cross my arms and huff in annoyance.

“Well, either you can’t hear me and I am just talking to myself, or you can hear me and you are ignoring me, which in that case would be very rude and I do not appreciate it.” I wait to see if they respond, but alas, they do not. I unfold my arms and throw a hand in the air. The man turns around then and he is looking in the same direction as the woman.

“Jake! Bella!” Darryl screams out, like the woman had done before he appeared in front of her. His tears have spilled over now and are covering his cheeks, his nostrils are flaring, and his hair is no longer slicked back, but messier as if he had just woken from a nap. I look over at the woman and she is looking at Darryl’s back, her tears have returned.

I look up again and I see a young girl, about eight years old standing in front of them. She is wearing a tank top with sparkles on the front, some of them have fallen off. Her braid is tangled and messy. I look down and her skirt has a dark stain on it like Darryl’s, but her white stockings are ripped and there is blood running down her knee over her shin. She looks up at the woman and Darryl. I wait for the other person to join them; Jake, I think Darryl said. I never seen him appear though. I can only assume now that this is a family. They stand there a long time, all gray and wispy. Never fully formed and I am still alone. After a while they all come closer together and I see Darryl take the woman’s hand along with Bella’s.

“We need to go Melinda,” Darryl says.

She looks down at Bella and then back at Darryl.

“What about Jake?” she asks quietly.

“Yeah, what about Jake, Daddy? Is he not coming?” Bella adds in.

“No. Jake isn’t coming, Bella,” he says, looking down at his daughter briefly, before looking at the woman once more. “We need to go, Melinda. Bella is here, Jake won’t be here for a while.”

I can see her eyes are filling with tears again.

Darryl grabs their hands and turns Melinda away. They begin walking away, to where I am not sure. I watch them leave, and then they disappear from my view and they are gone. And I am all alone. Again. Forgotten, again.

Copyright © Cierra Mincher (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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