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Posts Tagged ‘sketch’

Once there was a girl with eyes blue like the sky.

When asked where she was from, she began to cry.

Her voice was like honey and she sang to the trees,

she flew through the town like a soft summer’s breeze,

I loved her but one day she just died.

 

My pen hovered over the page, sweat beading on my forehead and the nape of my neck. My breathing stuttered and slowed, stuttered and slowed. I closed my eyes to steady myself. Then I began again.

Once there was a girl with eyes blue like the sky.

When asked where she was from, she began to cry.

Her voice was like honey and she sang to the trees,

she flew through the town like a soft summer’s breeze,

I loved her but one day she just died.

One day she just died.

She just died.

Just died.

Died.

 

My head spun as the words filled my eyes; the weight of the black letters sat on my chest like a thousand pounds of cement. I dropped to the floor with a cry of panic.

“Jimmie!” Sheryl’s voice echoed through the hall as she ran into the room. “What’s wrong?” she dropped beside me, rubbing my back as I clutched my head in fear, trying to stop the words from crushing me.

She looked over at the desk, seeing pages and pages of the same poem written over and over again in my hand. She sighed. “Again Jimmie? Geeze, give your hand a break.” The strong scent of marijuana clung to her breasts as she pulled me into them, hugging me tightly. “She’s gone, Jimmie, she’s been gone a whole month. She ain’t ever coming back.”

“She’s dead,” I mumbled.

“By now, probably. Who knows. She probably just went back to wherever the hell she was from.”

I jerked her aside and abruptly stood up, knocking her off balance. She fell flat on her bulbous behind with a thud. “You bitch. Maybe you should just go back to wherever the hell you’re from. Oh yeah, I forgot that they kicked you out of hell. Guess you’re just stuck in this run-down town like the rest of us.”

She stood up, and in one swift movement, swept all of my papers to the ground while spitting in my direction. I remained motionless as she stomped back to the living room, back to her real lover, her bong.

Damn dirty bitch, I thought as I opened my window and looked across the dark sky. How dare she spew that kind of bullshit about my Nina. How dare she. I grabbed the flowers from the vase sitting on my windowsill and crushed them in my fists, the image of Nina’s broken body behind my eyes, lying in a pool of dried blood, a psychopath standing over her with a machete, or a gun, or maybe a kitchen knife. Who knows.

Sheryl crawled into bed beside me around 4 in the morning, her breath rank of alcohol as she whispered into my ear to wake up and fuck her. Like always, it was numb and passionless; a dried up old whore on top of the town recluse, both once again falling prey to the flesh.

She drifted into sleep quickly and easily, unlike me.

At nine in the morning, I woke up, after once again spending most of my sleep dreaming of a barn with Nina’s dead body lumped in the corner. The places my imagination drifted to while unconscious was unnerving.

I sat back down at my desk and began sketching the dreary barn from my nightmares. Its walls were of a dark wood, its floors grey concrete; from the ceiling hung strings of paper. To finish the sketch, I drew Nina, eyes wide and frozen like lakes of ice, hair as dark as ebony, mouth hanging open with dried blood at the corners, hands and feet bound together with coarse rope, as if she were an animal being taken in for slaughter.

I again let out a scream of panic, causing Sheryl to run into the room and hold me again.

“She’s dead!” I screamed, pulling her closer. “She just died!”

After a while, she pulled away and drew my face to hers. “How do you know?” she asked, brows furrowed in bemusement. “Why do you think she’s dead?”

“What?” I mumbled, pulling away.

“That she’s dead? Most just thought she ran away. How come, from the moment you knew she was missing, you thought she was dead?” Her voice was low, careful.

“Because she loved me!” I screamed, once again pushing her aside and stomping to the window. “She told me how much she hated her family! She told me what her father did to her! She told me about all of the times her mother just left her places. Forgot her. And she told me that being with me was the first time she ever felt safe. Safe. Why would she leave safety? Why would she leave? No. No way. She wouldn’t just run away. She would never just run away. She would never just leave me.” I drew in a deep, shaking breath, my vision blurring.

“Nina was just a slut lookin’ for a good time, she didn’t love you,” Sheryl scoffed. “She was using you for a place to crash and someone to keep her warm at night.”

“Shut up!” My voice tore through the room, piercing Sheryl in a way that made her tremble. I shoved her against the wall, my nose pressing against hers, my breath heaving in through my mouth. Her eyes glinted with flashes of panic, but she stood her ground all the same. “You,” I whispered against her wrinkled face, with foundation cracking off of her skin and her eyes lined with black like a raccoon. “are the slut. You, are the whore. You are the dirt underneath my stinkin’ shoes, and you deserve nothing. Get the fuck out of my face before I kill you.”

I expected her to scream, or cry, or kick me. I expected her to start trembling like I was. But Sheryl, for all of her faults, was not one to show weakness. She just stood there, cracked a grim smile, and shook her head. “You got issues, Jimmie, and clearly you got some things to remember. Nina was a slut, she probably just got murdered by one of her dealers that she owed hundreds or thousands to. Get over it. Get over that slut.” With that she left the room, slamming the door to the bedroom and not coming back out. That was one of the things I loved about her, she never showed fear or vulnerability.

I started laughing. Laughing so hard that my stomach hurt. Laughing so hard that I fell to the ground and couldn’t breathe. Laughing so hard that I didn’t even hear Ralph knocking on the door, or walking into the house, or standing over me with a puzzled expression on his face.

“Shit!” I yelped when I saw him. “How long have you been fucking standing there?”

“Just a few minutes. What’s so fuckin’ funny?” he asked in his high-pitched, whiny voice.

“I saw your face, that’s what.” I stood up and sat back down at my desk. “Where’s mom?” I asked. “Been tryin’ to get a hold of her for days. Dad keeps sayin’ she’s at Bingo. Can’t be at Bingo all the time.”

“Bingo is code for Aunt Sally’s. Mom and Dad have been fightin’ like crazy. They should just get divorced already.”

“Fightin’? ‘Bout what?”

“You, mostly. How you’re a neurotic basket case who can’t get over a girl that left you.”

“Didn’t leave me, Ralph. She died,” I murmured, my energy levels falling below the line of normal.

“What’s this?” he asked, picking up my sketch.

“The barn I keep dreaming about. It’s the one I keep imagining Nina’s corpse rotting in.”

“Shit man, looks like Aunt Sally’s barn at her old farm. Remember? She used to rent it out for parties and wedding receptions all the time since it was so beautiful, that’s why it had those paper streamers hangin’ from the ceiling always. We used to play there as kids.”

“What?” I asked, trying to recall this barn. “Can’t remember it.”

“No, I swear. Looks exactly like it. You’re probably just unconsciously recalling it, Jimmie. Don’t worry, Nina will come back. She ain’t dead. She probably just needed a break, like Sheryl needed from me,” he said in tones of hopefulness.

I bit my lip, looking up at him apologetically.

“Anyway, just wanted to see that you were okay, man,” he patted me on the back, squeezing my shoulder. “I’ll see ya later, okay brother?”

“Yeah man, I’ll see ya,” I said, walking him to the front door and closing it behind him.

I walked back over to the bedroom and began pounding on the door. “Jesus Sheryl, you still haven’t told Ralph you’ve been staying here? If it comes from me, he’ll have my balls. You gotta tell him.”

Only silence came from the other side of the door. I opened it, stepped inside. The room was freezing cold. The window had been thrown open, and Sheryl, gone. “Shit,” I muttered under my breath, realizing that she had run away. “Gotta find her before she does something stupid.”

I ran outside, shouting her name. I went up and down the block, nothing. I went over to her sister’s house. Her sister was just as lazy as Sheryl, sat on her ass all day and collected disability checks for an ailment she was cured of years ago. “Where’s Sheryl, Dolly?” I asked her. “She ran away, again. I gotta find her before she tries to hitch a ride to California and ends up in Mexico.”

Dolly laughed, a throaty guffaw that made my dinner from the night before stir in my stomach. “Good old Sheryl. Every time she’s upset, tries to go down to the Golden state in hopes of marryin’ Clooney. I think all that blow really scrambled up those brain cells of hers, if she had any to start with.”

“So you don’t know where she is?” I sighed.

“I might. She might be visiting cousin Susie. Just got married to some Chuck or other, probably went to hit her new husband up for cash.”

“Got an address?”

She scribbled it down on a receipt from the Beer Store and handed it to me. “Now you be good to my sister, you hear? She ain’t no trash that you can be throwing around.”

“Yeah screw you, Dolly,” I bolted from the rank smelling house before she had a chance to throw something at me.

It took me a half hour, but I finally made it to Chuck and cousin Susie’s. They lived on a small farm just outside the town, quaint little place that seemed so familiar. I stopped and observed the area before approaching the house. The fields were a yellowish colour, seemed like no one had taken care of the place in a while. No crops were really growing, just a small forest in the distance, lined with thick evergreens. I spotted a small barn amidst the field, dark and gloomy like the one from my nightmares. I looked at the house. Then back at the barn. Back at the egg-shell coloured house of my Aunt Sally’s that we used to visit all the time as kids. Woman died of a heart attack; bank must have reclaimed her place and sold it. That was the barn Ralph was going on about.

I spotted Sheryl through the window of the small house, laughing with her cousin in the kitchen. Curiosity filled me, and I began creeping over to the barn.

A memory hit me like a bullet through my brain, instant and painless, but shot me dead. “No,” I whispered, quickening my pace. Once at the gate of the barn, I ran my hand up the door frame, analyzing its rotting wood, my body becoming sweaty very quickly. “No…” I continued.

As I entered the barn, the bullet somehow embedded itself further into my brain, causing more memories to sputter out like a leak from a pipe. “No!” I screamed as my legs became numb and I fell to my knees.

There, in the corner of the run-down, rotting barn, lay Nina’s decomposing body. The smell overwhelmed me but I continued to crawl towards her corpse.

“Nina!” I cried, crawling still, the smell burning my eyes. I reached her body and swept her up in my arms, holding her as I gasped for air. “Why’d you try to leave? Why’d you try to run away from me?” Her ice cold eyes looked up at me, the blue now forever frozen.

Beside Nina lay the machete I had used to murder her, covered in dried blood.

The barn grew cold as my memories continued to flood back, and I continued to gasp, haunted by the screams of my dead girlfriend.

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