Celestial Death

Reads: 154  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young girl who grows old only to have her ghost at her death bed. Being the only male figure and friend in her life, she is on the edge of loving this ghost, as the only being she's ever loved.

Submitted: June 14, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 14, 2010

A A A

A A A


Every morning I sit here alone. Every morning the ticks of the clock on the wall catch me thinking to that same rhythm. Every morning that same clock never stops. It keeps going, going, going. Every morning I try to impersonate that clock. Its ticks never cease to impress me because, like others, I have ceased my ticking.
If I were, by any chance, like that life count down machine, I would feel like a murderer. It does nothing but consumes and captivates the lives of people. Counting slowly, taking away the very little time they have. Our era is in those small noises-those small noises are cries-significant cries we avoid hearing, for fear they call our name.
When in such doubt as to when we die, or as to when we mentally subside, we will never find an answer; because life is a story and a play with no ending.
Do you, or rather, would you know what will happen as I inhale my last breath? Will my security fail me, or will my security remain strong? If I had any, I believe it would fail me. I would assume, being so close to death, that all my pride-whatever it may be, would collapse with my body. The real question I ask, was there ever security?
I have within my life always stored my feelings away. With my surroundings I constantly suffer from emptiness raging inside me. I on no account had happiness; I on no account had anger. I however, always carry a feeling of depression; a depression which only increases the depth of emptiness. Still, I allow nothing inside these walls. Perhaps, it was because nothing ever wanted to be.
This room smells as it’s always void, only because it is all empty except for a mattress, chair, and that terrible machine that hangs in front of me. There is no use for a phone, so there is none. There is no use for the chair beside the bed so I question its existence. As I said, every morning it is just me.
These walls have been painted many times, but there is no one to scrutinize them so I do not color them any longer. Scratches that commemorate my past are written all over the four corners. These four lonely corners were the home of my history. My life was only a dream never obtained or fulfilled to its highest ability. My past was a nightmare that continues with each second I persist to remain here.
Only a small portion of hope was ever served to me. That small portion was actually a false anticipation. It seemed though, as if my road was always moving towards, not for success, but failure. Never again could I think of life any different-not after a series of fateful mishaps; because not only was my life unpleasant, it was soon to be over.
How could I ever imagine something different than everything I had been showed? Had I been previously exposed, I would not find myself here. Many times, I wish I could be like the ones we hold account toward. They are the ones we can look high up to, past all the gruff gestures and rude remarks we seem not to catch as well as those we hate.
I now have the time to indulge myself in things pleasing, having no one to hinder me. Unfortunately, I cannot ever be satisfied now because now, I have no one to dissatisfy me. We wonder why others may want someone or something to be pesky and attachable when we spend all our lives fighting them, or it. That it-could be a human, or it could be an emotion, a feeling that attached itself to our hearts by purpose to torture.
I am left here maybe to observe and reflect on all these things. I believe I am here because life takes a while to get together before leaving it. I never thought these thought until now, until this moment when I lie here-on my deathbed.
Most of all, I am sorry to say I cannot give you much of a story. This is only because I have never quite left this place to the extent of having something happen to me outside my walls. There is, however, one exception.
Sometime in August, when I was very young and witless, I took a peek outside my father, Peter’s front door. I saw everything from the window sometimes on the back porch but not the front. I also had never felt the windy breeze and yelling of the neighbors so clearly. I decided it was a bad idea to poke my head out into things when Dianne, my mother, hastily walked towards me waving a thick newspaper in her hand. I got swats for that. She told me it was never my business outside.
I never did that again. She continued to remind me if I poked my nose into other’s company I’d be in for it. I never really questioned her or Peter’s authority. They scared me far out of my mind.
From then on, I could only perceive the world by books, sneaking a view at the television, and stealing Dianne’s magazine subscriptions. I hope that my knowledge of the world is not demented; I tried to get as normal as Peter and Dianne. I still don’t get why I’m not suppose to leave the house, let alone, let my head out. I did, however, get the impression that everyone is not like Peter and Dianne, who were quite different.
I watched on the television how children went outside and parents were fun. I asked Peter why it wasn’t like that at his house He always said, “Because the TV is only for entertainment, Susan, it’s rubbish, garbage, unreal!” I simply took his word and sulked back to my corner. I didn’t dare ask how they made episodes with families outside, when it wasn’t real. But I had seen it.
Peter and Dianne were old. I never knew how I came to be with them. I don’t even know if they are my real blood parents. They never liked me calling them mom and dad. They never showed me off like the neighbors did. They never did those parent-child moments I saw on the TV.
June 15th. This is my Happy Birthday. I never got why they put “happy” in front of “birthday”. They have nothing to do with each other. I guess it’s one of those phrases like “God Bless You” after someone sneezes, never really made sense to me.
Every Happy Birthday was the day Peter and Dianne put more on my chore list. I never cared; I had nothing else to do besides retrieve the stolen magazines from under my mattress to read at night; so I never really had anything to do in the morning but clean, polish silver, and like so. Once a year I heard the same thing:
“Susan, you are awake I hope. It’s June 15th and there are cobwebs in Peter’s house.” The footsteps prowled the wooden floor and slowly shifted away. Then, a distant muffled sound could be heard with the anti-chivalrous remark with sarcasm-“Happy birthday….to you….”
I thought:
Not happy, just birthday. WHY does she always say that? It’s a Normal Birthday! There, that suits it much better. It’s my Normal Birthday. I suppose it would be happy if I had the cardboard hats and strings of random color all around me. Or maybe if I had a gift like Peter gives Dianne on Happy Christmas, or was is just Christmas? Better get up before Dianne gets angry with me.
As I got older, I was interested in animals I saw in books that I got from Peters attic. He had so many boxes full of things for children at the age I was; I wonder why he never mentioned them. While they slept, I crept silently into the attic to get more books and with the night light Peter gave me. It was the only thing he had given me besides the mattress, food, and clothes.
I read things about Unicorns, Ferrets, and Snakes; all things which I hadn’t seen. So I dreamt about them. Sometimes I would see one of them on the TV, but I also saw many others too. I thought I was perfectly normal.
My favorite to read, still, was about purses, scarves, perfumes, embarrassing stories, and hair out of magazines.
I would compare what I had to things in the magazines. I tried to ask Dianne for make-up and belts. She told me I wasn’t ready yet. I was fourteen then. I saw girls on the TV that were younger and wearing very ‘fashionable’ styles. I also thought it was time for my hair to change, so I grabbed a pair of scissors from Peter’s kitchen and tried to duplicate a cut from Dianne’s Make an Impression magazine. I turned out not like the other girls. I fancied it very much though. 
They became even stricter as I had more Normal Birthdays. I didn’t get it. I was required to not move from my room. So my world became not a few rooms, but four tiny walls. Dianne brought me food, and Peter grunted as he passed. I suppose he meant to say, “Hello, how are you?” I guess it just didn’t quite come out that way.
Every time he paused as he passed by I expected a, “You can leave now. What are you waiting for? Go away, go outside!” But that never happened. I just had to keep waiting for it. Maybe I even hoped each shadow of them would shout it to me too. I just wanted to be thrown out of my room and out onto the street
I’m too old and feeble. I’m tired of telling my story. I’ve told it to myself many times over and over just to remind myself I’m not anything near human. Every night I dream about it. Every night I think about how different my life would be if I had not been involved with Peter and Dianne; how different I would be if I was allowed to venture outside. I wonder how it would have been to go-there-to the street with no rolled newspapers hitting me.
“Many times I have forgotten about the past-” There was a silhouette. Evidently, she knew of this. There was silence and this foggy figure spoke dimly. “My entirety was downright rotten. I, however, was more fortunate as to become, what I am, the fate of my soul, restless and shunned. Nothing could have been much worse, from the night-“ It drug itself nearer to the bed. A grieving mood was slowly spreading through the air and a pacific sadness dawned. “I am mistaken, perhaps, but death was a gift. I had maybe, unwrapped it too soon. It was underneath loads of wrapping and paper. I dug in-I tried to get as close as possible. I got through all these things rushing then-“ It turned its head upwards.
Rays of golden sun beamed down into the dusty room, illuminating the particles in the air. It was gone. The shadowy form had left the end of the bed post. The rooms let out a slight breath as the creaky walls made sounds of despair. She was alone.
The window of her cold room became slightly open, but being so molded over and frosted, it did not make a difference in light. This window had always been so covered with filth and so high up. It nearly reached the ceiling with its odd placement in the room. Bars lined it, making the room acquire a dense atmosphere. It made everything hostile.
The old woman began-“No, no, not again…not again my dear soul.” Her hand was pressed harshly against her chest and her heartbeat filled the void building. “No, no, not again….no….no…”
 
*
Straining to be seen, the sun beams tried with all their might to push through the barrier of rusty glass. Squinting half-heartedly the woman pulled the blankets over her eyes and cursed the sunlight. “Go away, you never wanted me eighty years ago!” Her voice cracked as these last words were spoken, she fell asleep. She was asleep.
Winds surrounded her every side. The walls around her broke. Glass shattered in her face. She closed her eyes. A tormenting scream emerged from the sea of water. “Drown..”  She was afraid. She crawled on the ground in fear, flinching at every roll of thunder. The lightening lit up the sky like never before. The cracks and whips of thunder yelled louder. She lifted her weak hands above her head as she bowed down to the ground-she was safe? The earth spit up fits of anger. The soil split into quarters. Surely, she would die. The soil never stopped diving as she ran farther away. She never could get out of this broken room, no matter how fast she went. Winds became stronger, a current of heat swelled around her---
She was awake. Gasping for air, she sat up quickly. Sweating profusely, she kept swerving her eyes around the room. Hastily, she pulled the covers higher. Sleep was no longer safe. A figure appeared-
“Hmm, nightmare?” The figure spoke gently. Shocked with hysteria, the old woman yelped. “Sorry, I forget this isn’t normal. I only died months ago-“
“Please-silence”, the elderly asked. Her crazy eyes searched the room and her ears seemed alert. “These walls-they talk you know….hmm…yes….often. A rather rare speech; they mumble and moan. They creak and whisper. Do you believe me?”
“Eh, I suppose one might be open minded, but-“
“You don’t, sir, you don’t”
“No.” The figure lurked in shadows. “I’m afraid not. I never believed material objects could speak. Forgive me.” He sulked back, slouching in a corner; an odd scene to witness, merely because he was obviously a ghost.
“Why did you have too many things to do and never listen to the walls? Or, maybe, maybe it’s just these walls…they are, after all, rather special.” Her eyes wandered the room slowly now, a change from when she recently woke. She seemed so interested, only because she seemed so bored.
“Eh, I don’t suppose you could tell me what they say? The walls Miss?” His eyes now, with faked curiosity roamed the grotesque wood. He lingered a few inches closer now.
“Er-perhaps it’s not so wise to say if you cannot hear yourself.” Her uncertainty rose and again the sun tried pushing its way in. The ghost was gone. The room once again was void of all presence. The foul noises of shuttering were left. Alone, she again slipped silently back down into her bed.
 
 
 
*
 
Being so far from normal, I made the oddest friends. My contacts were mice, rodents, insects, and normal pest that traveled into Peter’s house. I named them even though I wasn’t sure which was which, I just called them what came to me first.
My favorite was Mickey. He was the only distinguishable friend of mine. He was a mouse. He had a cut tail; I supposed Peter or Dianne set those terrible traps out to kill him. I would always her yells…”Peter! Peter! Get that rodent…get away you rat!”…snap…”Damn! He’s escaped again!” I dreaded hearing those screams. They wanted to kill my only friends.
I never heard them yell so much about Timmy, Tom, or Tyler. These were my cockroaches. Sometimes they would confuse me because there would be four or five approach my room at a time, though I only knew three. Or maybe only three appeared at a time, and they were all different. I never was sure.
I would sometimes peer out my door to see Dianne spraying the floors with Rodent Repel or see the Pest Control car outside the house-then of course I’d get a whack on the head.
“Being nosy again!” Dianne would say. “…Always butting in to me and Peter’s business! Go to your room!” I would go, of course, but I hated it. I just walked away. I was more than used to being confined, straight jacketed from grasping my own ideas. In my mind I was trying to work things out-but had no space. I had four walls, four tiny enclosed walls.
Sometimes, I sat in my room, wondering what it was like to call someone your parent. To call someone mum, dad, mom, daddy, mother, or father. I never had those. I had Peter, and I had Dianne. I wish I could address someone that way, but not Peter and Dianne. I would never claim them as parents.
I wondered late at night, as I lay in bed, if other children wanted to call their parents on a first name basis. No, that’s ridiculous! I thought. Who, in the right mind, would want to dement a relationship like that? Or maybe it’s normal that most kids do it. Maybe it means they are closer…definitely not my situation. Well then, I don’t know. Maybe sometime I’ll crawl out of this place alive enough to ask before I get swatted by unforgiving Peter and Dianne. Peter….dad….Dianne…mom…no…mom and dad…..Peter and Dianne...sounds better.
That’s just how it went until day break when I was interrupted by a common voice beckoning me to clean.
 
“Ah”-the voice sounded from the corner again, depressingly entering the moon lighted bed post. “Too bad, I would feel terrible, but I cannot. Maybe, if I had a soul. A part of me remembers the anger, but it seems a soulless one can only acquire a gloomy, distraught appearance. Trust me though, it is sympathetic. I may not have a brain, but I’m sure even us ghosts have a sense of decency!” He stopped realizing he’d been over excited and the gloomy mood was no longer approved.
Susan lay there, discouraging being worked up. Resentment took over all emotions. Others were not permitted to convey their message outside her body.
 It seemed when she thought about the people she lived with, she felt a fiery anger pass over her body. She remained though content, with her eyes furiously roving the room. I don’t believe she quite knew what she was looking for. Perhaps anything to pass the time as the counted her last breath in unison with the clock hanging in front of her.
“Do not”, she started, gasping for air to finish the sentence, “pretend to feel as you don’t. I understand how fabricated and fictitious people are.”
“Er-but, by any chance do you know how fabricated and fictitious ghost are? I am surely not a person! Surely no person has suffered a death and lived to know how fake it is? Eh? Do you agree mam?” She was astounded.
“By all means, you are a person! You know how it is being human! Do not pretend you do not know! I know damn well that-“. Her words were running out. She coughed a bit and scrounged for air to fill her lungs to conjure more words. “You know damn well that humans pretend many things! And caring for my feelings, sir, would definitely be nothing new, so please do not pretend any longer! Do not be so juvenile as to expect me to believe anyone would have any cares for me! I am nothing but an old, feeble, unreliable, broken down woman.”
The ghost, stunned by this random reproach, wheezed for air he did not need. “My! I do not hide anything my dear Lady. I have compassion with you and only wish to see it through with you ‘till the end. Mam, I wish you only grant me favor of trust.” He glided towards the center of her bed, closer than he’d been before. “I understand, mam, you have not been near enough people to understand trust. Perhaps I shall help you?”
She was slightly repulsed by his sudden approach near her face as his hind floated upwards and his chest puffed near hers. His eyes seemed to glisten, though not possible being a mere apparition and all. There was, however, a spark of something unfelt that arose from the depths of her.
Trust him? What does he think I should need that for? Hmm…he does seem a bit serious, sticking his face in mine and everything. Though he should back up, this shows intense dedication to grab my attention……trust him? A ghost! PAH! What am I thinking? These years I’ve spent here has made a sure client for the loony asylum! Now I’m seeing ghost? Dear…dear…dear….but he is a rather good listener. Wait! If I have not shooed him from my walls all these visits and told him my dreaded memories I have already….trusted him?
She ended her thinking. This time, he had made his path away from her face, now only a few feet away. His eyes wide and his fingers tapping along one another, his excitement over something, she had figured, were already settled.
“Well?” he said as she looked as if just snapped back into life.
“Well what?” She acted incompetent as she forgot what she recently pondered and had forgotten he could not particularly read minds.
“Oh! The—er—thing about the—er---‘t’ word? Hm? Eh?”
“Pah! Why do you speak in riddles! Haven’t you noticed it was a silent agreement! There, there now. The clock is on its way back to counting my life down….see there? Look. Six a.m. it says…yes it does…the light is coming. Off you go now. See you tonight, dear sir, please do not let me sleep!” She shooed him with her hands.
Sure enough, the clock had set its hands to six o’ clock. Birds were chirping at an audible volume. She, as always, pulled the sheets over her face, leaving only her eyes to watch the departure of her trusted friend as he waited for the first daybreak.
The ghost had now retreated once more to the corner he always appeared at. It was dimly lit now by the sunshine peeking through the small cracks. It entered with a muzzy manifestation. Again, she glanced back over and her listener was gone. He disappeared again, into who knows where. She was, undoubtedly, alone again.
A buzzing noise fell over the room-then the ticking. The ticking seemed louder and louder with each visit the apparition gave. The clock turned many times now. Hundreds upon thousands of turns and ticks erupted from this white-circular-clock.
She looked up to the clock; it was ten on the dot. She sunk deeply into her fluffy sheets and settled. Her body unwound and began to become weary. Her eyelids slid down over her soft, gray eyes. She fell, deeply asleep.
The walls shook heavily. The rumbles vibrated her bed side to side. Her body was alarmed so that her legs flailed in the air underneath the blankets. Pieces of the walls slowly shot out. Beams sprang through the holes and the ceiling was-was gone. To her dismay, she hurled herself out of bed and attempted going underneath. Before she could crouch herself down, being so high in age, it collapsed. Thunder arose quickly and lighting shortly after. Storming rains poured into her room like a flood. The laughs of the deceased Peter and Dianne filled the hopeless air.
“WHAT DID I DO?” She yelled out, waving her fist at the sun, still beaming gallantly through the storm and clouds that surrounded. “Oh dear, please, leave me alone!” She began to weep uncontrollably, and her eyes turned red from tears. Her face began to redden for the reason that she was so distressed. The laughs had not left yet. Who was haunting her? Why could she never sleep? “Please! Wake me up dear visitor!”
At this the winds worsened, and her body weakened. She fell, lying on the floor. She did nothing but cry-what else could she do? She glanced upward to see what was happening. This only made things worse.
To her disappointment, it was all the same. She turned her head around still observing everything. No, this wasn’t good for her. She was furious that her visitor was not there, and that she had fallen asleep to this. She became so upset that her tears became heavier. Soon, she couldn’t even cry. Her eyes became dry, and her cheeks sore from puckering. The earth shook.
She awoke.
“You’re late!!” She screamed at the ghost in the gloomy corner.
“Yes, yes, I am sorry indeed.”
“Oh! Pah! What does a ghost do all day that make him late to appear here? Eh? Is being dead so hard? IS IT? Well, I wish I could be dead, maybe then I’d live better!” She had much lost her point, for her anger was tainting her words. She got back to the reason she had yelled after all. “You let me dream! I thought I could count on you!” Her chest came in and out as her deep breaths shot wheezing noises in the air.
“Oh dear, dear, yes I understand. Er-it is very well hard to be deceased. I am always struggling to live! I am always struggling not to go to a pre-destined place! You are not-you see nothing but walls and earth. I see much more. It is much more difficult. Please, though, I ask your forgiveness, being known, I have never been late since the day I met you.” He sank into the darkness. 
“Not a night have I gone sleeping without nightmares. I haven’t been afraid of the dark since you came. Now the nights go back to doom-treachery and doom. Faithful thieves rob my happiness. They cheat me of my night-they steal my daydreams.” Her eyes searched the room. Her hands began to cover her eyes. “Not even this can keep me from seeing them.” Her hands resigned to her flannel sheets and down comforter. “Do you see what I mean? I cannot, ever, escape anything.”
The ghost, perhaps feeling bad, came closer to her face. His foggy soul reached her bed post. “My, my, my, I will, upon my word, never let you have another horrendous vision again.” He was gone as the sun beams leaked in through the opaque window.
Although this left her body weary, her mind was ecstatic. She, for once, believed that at this promise from Ghost would sincerely be keeping up his word. This was the only time she had found security. Her heart, also for the first time, sank deep into her chest.
She rose from her bed; her robes of blackened red drug to the floor as she slowly walked near to the covered window and reached upward. She pulled her sleeve over her hand and started to clear a slit in the window. She pulled the chair to where she was, which was hard for her, being so old in age.
She gradually stepped on top of it with great struggle. She then saw outside through a slightly foggy view not including her bad eyesight. But when she saw just fog, that simple musk she had seen already, she felt completed. Oddly enough, she didn’t at all think she missed out on anything. She stepped back down after making sure the window was securely shut.
“I never needed to see light anyway. I don’t see why people make a big deal about it. Yes, I have to keep it out anyways to make sure Ghost keeps coming to visit me.” With this last line, she almost seemed a bit prissy.
She lunged herself back under her covers, waiting for another visit from her trusted friend Ghost. Soon as should be, night came. As the last light beam was pulled away, he appeared.
“O! Hello!” Susan seemed, from some unexplainable reason, surprised. “Er-A bit early eh? O well! Longer the visit then huh?”
“Hmm, yes I suppose. I felt eager to come, was it a bad time?”
“No!....I mean…er…no Ghost, I’m glad you came.” She began to have a flushed face and she looked nervously downward. “Ahem, good travel I-er-hope?” Both acting rather out of character, there was an awkward tension.
“Yes! Yes! Good travels. Not really so hard….ghost traveling. We kinda---em----appear? Yes, em, appear. Nothing tricky really, er, gotten a bit used to it. Good day I expect? Em, no more sun now, you must be happy?”
“Oh! Most happy, I was sure you would appreciate me closing the window completely. I noticed the sun beams—“She cut off her speaking with Ghost approaching nearer. Again, tensions rose.”—B-beams poking through, er, agitated you? Ghost-?” With a silent glance over, he had realized why there was such tongue-tied nervousness. He turned his head a bit down and to the side while holding loosely to the end of what some might call a chin.
Has, he pondered, this woman fallen for me?! A ghost? PAH! No, no, perhaps no sleep has gotten far into her head. Too many sun rays prodding her? Er, o dear, I must respond though-He lifted his head back “Yes, yes, sun doesn’t bother me, but I am no longer visible after sunrise-or audible. So, above all, I am gone. I simply must leave! Hard to rather, er, explain.”
“Ah,” She let out a faint smile, “I see. I suppose I’ll have to understand only in death? Which in death,” her smile turned opposite, “do we part, Dear Friend.” A sigh loudly left her lips. “I-I must be honest to myself.” She now had her face aimed away and her eyes drifted along the floor. “Nothing good would ever happen to a wretch and stay that way.” She put her hands on her face and caressed it. “What has happened to me? I am not in the young skin I was, what has happened to me?”
Tears began to flow down her cheeks. Ghost looked hopeless, and it reflected on his face. “I am not who I was. I am not who I was. I am not…who I remember.” Still tears flowed.  
“Susan?” Her eyes turned swiftly to Ghost.
“Yes, yes Ghost?”
“You are old in age, no doubt.” He spoke calmly and gently. “I say this not to offend you but to ask you, do you mind if I end you?” At these words her attention was grasped. What did this mean? She didn’t mind too much, Ghost was, after all, a trusted friend.
“Yes, Dear Ghost.”
“Say not one word. Rest yourself on your pillow. Do not fear to sleep, for you remember my promise.” She rested her head back on her pillow, looking tense. He came an inch from her face. Her eyes closed. He kissed her lips tenderly and her body became contented. Her breath stopped. He retreated from her bed. The sun came in and he, for the last time, disappeared.


© Copyright 2018 Danielle Shalom. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Literary Fiction Short Stories