I didn’t get around to performing the Friday Fictioneers prompt-100-word-story this week…having gotten sidetracked by a prompt that has haunted me all week from the writings of Lynne Tillman…finally, something worked out of me related to this… as follows:
“in an embrace, something may be confirmed, avoided, or resolved”
A kind of “there was.”
Sinking into his arms, strong and coily, warm almost gruff. The dusty smell of oil and denim. She felt small, she felt memory. She closed her eyes as in sleep, and allowed. So much to confront and to question, perhaps to ignore, but now, just this now, this embrace.
He’d wounded her for years. Secretly whittling strips from her heart with a scalpel. Holding her mind under liquids and spells, the sky and its stars, overwhelming her with presence while silently working dissection. His voice anesthetic, a narrative of dreams. She was victim.
And part of her knew. Wanted. Would rather. She with her own confused expectations, demands. Her ownership. Defiance. Some part of her vision selected this blur. Macroscopic. Details out of focus, the essence of place. Embrace.
She had shouted, threatened. He had thrown. She began her crumbled march as he grabbed her. He corded her in arms, shackled her to his chest. She, unable to move, to breathe. A little dizzy. Anger and fear. Him holding. Him safe. He panicking. It held. The embrace.
She struggled, she sobbed. She squirmed and struck out. Refused. He held. He tightened. As if in a last expiration, the lungs clinging life. She stabbed and she stabbed and she stabbed. He bled. He held. A braced embrace.
Eventually collapsing. Exhaustion disabled the leaving, dismantled the stay. Floor and furniture took them in and supported. And held by receiving their burden. Stasis. Time, embraced.
That morning – the fog – the waves – all the greying of sands. They’d wandered alone for solitude’s space. To be lost. Unbeknown.
A moist, briny chill had embraced him. Swallowed him up. Become him. Immersed, he released. Saturate, evaporate. Began. Unwinding like a mummy’s cloth he disrobed. His anguish, his anger, his hope. Dissolving out to sea in trails. Emptied. Cleaned with a salty sludge, he weighed. He grew heavy. He blended in with the mist.
Enough moisture to formulate drops, her tears joined the air. Embracing herself through the wind off the water she shook and she stumbled, she clutched. Unseeing, she fumbled along. Desperate. Undone. Like the thick cover of sky, her past and her present, her future combined and ran away down the rock. She was hollow. Held only by her arms, her hair keeping her head in its place. She wept out her body until drained like a sieve. The charcoal of sands embraced her. Falling.
The hesitancy. Two scarred bodies full of wounds, slowly exposing. The want for another. A crave and a care. Some tendering need to devour. They approach gently, allow touch, speaking perimeters. A leg crosses over. Eyes keep locking and unlocking with an almost audible click. Food is had. Hunger remains. They move and they walk, learning hands and arms and shoulders. They gaze.
Arriving at last at embrace. Caressing the soreness of worlds. They mate at their bruisings. It becomes more. Ravenous and fearful, they struggle. Wrestling and huddling, they carefully voice every play. The directions. No pain is no gain. And they gain.
Become more in the matching – four legs and eight limbs, doubling heartsize and brains, and they fitted. They enter, they receive. Exposing and sheltered. In opening wounds they are bandaged. They had not believed, they were doubt. This, a healing embrace. A beginning.
In death they are laid side by each. Before long the roots will take over, a tendrilled combine. The skin will grow lax and more fluid, the moss and the mold remedy. Bones become ashen and dust. Filtering one for another. Transposed. There will be one flesh, this earth, the conglomerate of bodies and beings with rain, moon and sunshine. Planted there, embraced in all that will hold.
They take to the breeze like powder and spark. Knuckles and teeth cackling the stones. A huffed form of cloud, they merge, they seep. Skein on the water, grain on the leaves, one and the other, the other again. No one can tell. Salt sugar sand shaken together and forever sifting. Their love, their lives, its embrace.
N Filbert 2012