When the Moths Return

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just a short thought on love and loss. An insider view on how bitter and necessary grief is.

Submitted: June 19, 2008

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Submitted: June 19, 2008



When the Moths Return
The figures of moths dancing around the lamppost above cast shadows across his shoes as he passed yet another picket fence. The gleaming white stakes encasing a happy suburban charade seemed to glare out at him, mocking. The picturesque houses revelled in a happiness he could never again experience. Those damned silhouettes of families, parked in front of their favourite television show, screamed of what he could no longer have. Such simple thoughts, the placid moments time had twisted and mutilated into bruising memories.
Shaking the painful images from his gaze, he skulked past the local hospital. The harsh fluorescent light blanketed the sound of newborn babies taking their first breath, of fresh mothers sobbing in a primordial mix of pain and pride. He knew however these bittersweet arrivals were a pale sun breaking through honest cloud; the cloud of death and loss that seemed to loom over all in days of late. He knew while these miracles were being bathed and tended to, some lost soul would be jammed into a plastic bag and discarded in a crude, temporary metal tomb. Their earthly remains would be left to freeze and rot, surrounded by strangers and the impersonal perfume of bleach and cleaner.No, not everyone would leave that building basking in the after effects of elation. The scarring reality of life dictated some would not be leaving.
He was tempted to cross that deceiving doorway and warn all who entered that things were not as they appeared. Perhaps he could protect the unwitting victims from a fate such as his, save a few souls from spiralling confusion and loss. He could do it.
As he took those first determined steps, a guiding light shone from between the contemptuous homes in his wake. The self-righteous anger that had previously consumed him quelled in place of curiosity. That inquisitive edge grew as he stalked closer to the blinding glow expanding from the unseen window.
The cracks in the pavement were illuminated like a cruel ohmage to his existence and the ever still glare at his feet told him the dancing moths had departed. That arched window held its own moment in time; not an insect moved, not a breeze dared ripple. Was it real? He came to stand before ivy covered pillars, framing the beckoning light as it gently called to him. Fear, apprehension and anxiety all welled to form a sickening doorway to his past. What was it about this light that drew such horrifically sweet memories from the darkest, most forbidden depths of his mind? What called her chiming voice from behind a lock and key even he dared not turn?
“Come play with me Daddy.” An angelic echo came crashing violently around him. A part of him, previously destroyed, flickered back into existence at the sound, as a flame of hope, unsustained, sparked within him.
“Please Daddy, come with me.”
His feet, unrestrained by his consciousness, moved in grateful submission. The glow was warm around him as he ventured closer, like a wayward embrace finding its way home. Real or fake was no longer a consideration, it was there and it felt right; what more could possibly matter? The feeling approached him, threatening to engulf without apology and he paused. The light flickered, in anger or anguish he could not tell.
“Don’t leave me! Please don’t leave me!” The bells pleaded in a tone agonisingly familiar.
Finally within his control, he shook his head. The flame disappeared and an old void fell open abruptly, sharply in his chest. He could survive it.
“Please! I don’t want to lose you.” He could hold on.
Ignoring the pain, he stared directly into the bright shadow that was once his life, his everything. At last unafraid, unfazed and without the bitter sting of despair, he knew...
“I have already lost you,” he whispered. “But I’ll be damned if I’ll replace you.”
The light vanished and the moths returned.

© Copyright 2018 Eden. All rights reserved.

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