Naked Soul

Reads: 73  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Old is a mental state, totally mental.

K, an old man sits alone in the dimming light of his dingy living room. The sunset of this fading day matching the sunset of his fading life. It was a special day, a spark in the mediocrity of his humdrum doldrum existence. Sometimes at low points like this, he thought that she’d been the lucky one. She’d shuffled off this mortal coil before the cold cracking ice of old age had formed over the memories, the moments of joy.

He can see the light fading out of her picture, like the memories of her were fading from his mind. It had been ten years since she passed, since he was robbed of his centre, the focal point of his very existence. He missed her so much it was no longer an icepick of pain in his chest, he’d grown used to it almost, and now it was just a dull aching throb where his heart used to be.

As the last of the light left the room, you could just make out, the small glint of a tear slide down his cheek. The thief of time that took her from him, had come back again and again, stealing parts of her smile, a little of the glow off her silver hair. A chuckle of her laughter, a tiny bit of the warmth of her hand in his. Day after lonely day, year after heartbreaking year.

The only thing he had left to fight off this thief demon, was today, the biggest weapon in his arsenal. On this of all days the memory of her would come rushing back to him. Her birthday would always be the day he held out for; the one last bastion of hope left to him in his dreary life.

On this day he would let his mind drift back without fear of the pain it would bring. He would delve deeply into every part of her glowing being and faithfully dredge up every scrap he had left of her. As her memory solidified in his hungry mind, he could almost smell her in the room with him.  Then, he closed his eyes and lifted his face up, to a sun only he could see, and smiled warmly into the darkness.

Against all odds and in the face of that damn demon thief, he laughed quietly at first, but growing louder and with ever more conviction as the seconds ticked by.  Whispering through his grateful grin, he said no, and yes, intermittently, then landed on yes with a small nod to no one and a knowing chuckle. A creaky old sound so unfamiliar and out of place in this darkening pall, that it cast the demon thief of time aside like so much fluff off a dandelion in a stiff summer breeze.

With two creaks, a crack, a couple chuckles, a burp, a fart and more chuckles, he was at the window, with his hand on the gizmo that closed the blinds.

“Fuck you demon thief” he spat into the dying light of the room.

Then he made his way through the darkness to the plug-in thingy, a small but excited smile played across his lips, a smile only he knew was there... and maybe her. Yes, he thought to himself, her too, for certain and for sure.

With a final grunt of satisfaction tempered with determination, the plug slid in, and the room was blasted by a cornucopia of colors, the strings of Christmas lights still shone with perfect purity.

As bright as they did on that day long in the past when he’d first put them up for her. Strung around the corners of the room, from corner to corner. She’d called him a fool through her musical laughter, Christmas lights in June, she shook her head at him up there on the stepladder. And even though her honey halo of hair shook no, cascading around her perfect face, he could see the yes in the sparkle of her eyes, and the tug of a grin at the corner of her perfectly kissable lips.

“I think you’re crazy.” She’d said through her laughter.

“Crazy for you.” He’d said in that oh so long ago. She’d bet him he wouldn’t have the guts to pull it off, she’d lost that bet, every year since he’d first thought it up.

“Crazy for you.” he murmured to himself, in the present, with another almost-maniacal grin.

As he undressed, clumsy with anticipation, but still folding his clothes and draping them over the chair, he tried to think of a good song...

It was her birthday suit birthday dance after all, it would have to be special.



The End

Submitted: September 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 chrispy. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Danni Lee

I love this story. The sadness is so felt and then the joy of doing something for her. It is wonderful

Sun, September 26th, 2021 3:46am


Thanks Danni, It's nice to be appreciated.

Sat, September 25th, 2021 11:31pm

Jonathan E. Lee

I feel like we may share the same sensibilities, since I wrote a piece of flash fiction myself about an old man reflecting on the past. It doesn't have as much whimsy as yours, but nevertheless curiously reminiscent. It's called "A Moment" if you wanted to compare.

In the mean time, definitely excellent writing. I enjoyed the comical and yet bittersweet image of a man dancing in the buff to a cherished memory.

Sun, November 7th, 2021 2:58am


Thanks Jonathan, I will definitely check out your story. I'm glad you liked it, in this one I just wanted to show that loneliness and despair were not the only options when growing old or losing someone dear. I actually have Christmas lights around the corner of my living room all year round, just in case I feel like a party atmosphere, I haven't danced naked under them yet, but I'm not dismissing the idea out of hand, lol. Have a good one.

Sat, November 6th, 2021 11:02pm

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