FROM ONE HEADSTONE TO ANOTHER

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This flash fiction tells of a woman who thought she saw a woman knitting at the cemetery.

Submitted: April 20, 2008

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Submitted: April 20, 2008

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I noticed her today for the first time. One headstone separated us. Click, click, click, click. I realized she was knitting. The needles clicked against each other, rushing, rushing, faster and faster, racing against an imaginary bullet train. Except for the rush of the needles and the echoes of the clicks, silence pervaded the place.

But the woman knitted like there existed no tomorrow, her needles practically flew. She sat straight-backed on her folding chair, revealing the long slim legs of a dancer. The tight set of her jaw indicated tension she endeavored to hide as she stared at the headstone in front of her. Her long eyelashes curved upward without a flicker, complemented by her brownish hair that fell to her shoulders in curls. She wore a white jumpsuit and a pair of puple tennis shoes on her size five feet.

The scene brought back memories of typing lessons in my freshman year in high school. I keyed five words per minutes on the typewriter. When I got bored doing the exercises, I played the piano on it in a slow staccato click. It was slow going. By the time I got to my senior year, my typing had progressed to 80 words a minute.

The next day I hoped to catch her attention. She ignored me completely. She just clicked away. I practically burned with curiosity. It was frustrating.

The third day she arrived minutes ahead of me. I coughed as I passed her. But she neither stirred nor turned her head to my direction. She carried on clicking. I hesitated for a second but out of decency, I decided not to approach her.

For a whole week she sat with her knitting without a hint that she knew I existed. I didn't hear her footsteps, although I strained extra hard to detect her arrival. Had it not been for the clicking of her needles, I would have been alone.

I waited for her the following day, watched the road, hoping to catch her attention before she started her knitting. The day turned to early evening. But still she did not come. For a whole week she stayed away.

At the second week of her absence, I yearned to hear the click of her needles. She was company for me at this desolate place, even if we did not speak. I wished then I had taken the courage to talk to her. A simple "Hi" may have broken the barrier between us.

The third week came with wispy dark clouds in the eastern sky. As I passed her headstone, I noticed a new one beside hers. I stopped to read the inscription: "This 5th day in October, Marisa passed away with a broken heart and lies here next to her only beloved son."

A cool breeze enveloped me and shook every fiber of my being. Beads of cold sweat formed on my brow. That was the very first day I noticed her clicking away in front of the headstone.

The End

(C)liciary2008


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