clockblind

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is an entry for sloth in the seven deadly sins contest.

Submitted: March 14, 2016

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Submitted: March 14, 2016

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I am clockblind.

Time doesn't matter to me and it never has. 

When you see the world as black and white, with shades of grey,

you just don't have any use for those who want to fill it with vibrancy.

 

Looking at color requires effort, and I just don't want to make the effort. 

I can tell the difference between pewter, charcoal, and platinum.

If I really wanted to tell that blue and red exist, and matter, to me, I could.

I just don't care.

 

My bed was my comfort from the moment I became pregnant.

Oh, how my husband was so pleased when I found out I was pregnant.

But by then, our hot marriage had cooled.  I just didn't care.

I did the work a wife is supposed to do.  I cooked and cleaned, bred, and didn't care.

 

When my parents died, after my marriage, so sudden in their deaths,

my world ended.  Colors all turned to grey and nothing seemed to matter anymore.

I just went to bed.  My husband touched me and loved me, and tried to console me.

But his touch and his words had no meaning to me. 

 

And the pregnancy had no meaning to me.  Except illness, discomfort, and pain.

Those things robbed me of my bed, my consolation, my happy place.

Where else could I see my parents again, live the life I really wanted to live?

Only in my dreams, the one thing I could control and direct.  Pregnancy robbed me!

 

I couldn't stay asleep.  So I learned to fake it.  After a while, it did not matter.

That is when I first noticed that I was clockblind. 

Looking at a clock, a watch, anything at all that told the time was nothing but a blur.

A blur in shades of grey.

 

I learned to love the shades of grey, and over time, they came to be all that I had.

Grey produced shadows, living dreams, though at first they talked of nightmares.

Up until my husband rushed me to the hospital because he said something

about water breaking without my noticing, they talked to me.

 

And when my son was finally born, I looked at him and I saw grey.

I realized that I did not care.  He was of no importance to me.

My husband asked me what to name him.  I said Grey, and he said Lawrence.

So Lawrence Grey became his name.  And he never cried at all.

 

My husband disagreed, or so I thought I heard him say.

After a while, his words fell silent.  His mouth moved, but I no longer cared,

and found that his voice no longer touched the air around me.

Only the waking dreams, the shadows, could still speak fully.

 

I could get out of bed when I chose, but once my daughter was born, I had no need.

Beyond the whims of the body.  Sometimes, I didn't even care and let my body win.

It could empty itself and do as it pleased without my having to be concerned

until the voices convinced me that I should do something, which took . . . how long?

 

I couldn't tell, for I was clockblind. 

And I am still clockblind now.

As I was clockblind when my husband finally flailed his arms around at me.

He didn't touch me, and I barely noticed.  Just that we never shared a bed again.

 

He slept, I don't know where.  He faded from my life and one day the shadows

told me that he had died by his own hand.

As it had been so long since we had last spoken, since I even last cared to see him,

we were strangers in the same house, not at all who we were in youth.

 

I lived in my dreams, and he wouldn't understand that.

Nor would my son, my daughter, nor anyone else who may have come by.

Doctors came, and yet I paid no heed.  Their touch seemed unimportant.

And they said something, I don't know what.  Only that the shadows said I was safe.

 

My husband's sister came into our house shortly after his death,

and the children spent their time with her.  There was only one thing she said clearly.

"Don't bother your mother!  She needs her rest!"

And so my children, neither of whom truly touched me anyway, faded from my sight.

 

My husband's sister died.  An English nurse in green with hair like wildfire came.

She looked at me, and in a flash of green light, she tore away the shadows.

Yes, I saw green, for the first time in years.  Still, I did not care.

She jerked me up and she forced me to look in a mirror, and I saw myself.

 

All of my youth and beauty were gone, replaced by a feeble, fat old unkempt woman,

who was covered in her own wastes and bodily fluids because no one was around

to wait upon her any longer.

"Is this what you still want?" she asked me, then she offered me her hand.

 

"You are not sick and you are not ill," she said.  "What you have done is surrender

to an apathy that I can pierce, but only you can end, for you are not speaking to

your deceased parents.  The shadows protect you only insofar as they can feed

off the life force that you so freely grant.  You're not using it, why shouldn't they?"

 

She helped me as she made me bathe myself and change my sheets. 

She also set up a timer, but I had to have her watch it for me, for I am still clockblind.

It was also up to her to see to it that I ate, and she cooked for me,

but only because I had long since forgotten how to use a stove for anything.

 

I asked her where my children were.  And she told me they were gone.

They hired her to check on me, for she was the best healer they ever met.

But they, themselves, knew nothing about me.  No one did, for I talked to no one.

No one mattered.  Not to me.  None but the shadows, and she drove them away.

 

"How old are my son and daughter?" I then asked her.  "And where are they now?"

But when she told me of their ages, I could not hear her, which she guessed.

She told me of their lives, but stopped when once more I was losing interest.

And rekindled it only when she told me their whole lives had passed without me.

 

"Your children called your sister-in-law mummy, and never spoke of you at all."

Those words cut me to the quick worse than any knife she could've weilded.  I cried.

So she looked at me quite boldly and she drew two cards for me.

One card I could barely see, The Empress, which depicted a flourishing family.

 

The other card, I saw perfectly, in its shades of perfect grey. 

It was The Hermit, and it showed me, back in my bed with my shadows.

"Who do you want to be?" the nurse asked.  "Choose and you shall have it."

Because I missed the shadows, and found I did not care, I chose the Hermit.

 

And with that, even she seemed to cease to matter.  Nothing did.

The shadows came back, even stronger than before. 

I know, because they told me, that she led me from my house into a home,

because she refused to leave me in neglect, and wanted me cared for.

 

"You have chosen incorrectly," she said to me once in a dream,

pushing aside the shadows once more with her sorcery of green.

"What a life you could have known, had you just but let me help you.

But it's not too late.  Make yourself care enough to see your final chance."

 

She disappeared, but left behind a green clock in her wake.

And in my dream, I almost wanted to read it. 

"Don't look at that!  Just stay with us.  You're better off in dreams."

I chose to remain clockblind . . .

 

"Now there's nothing left of her," said a shadow as he drunk the very last of her chi.

The other shadows gathered 'round him, feeling both victory and pity.

The shadows moved on to other victims, save but one, her halfway friend.

He and the nurse in green both wept over her, and for all that might have been.


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