Posts Tagged ‘present tense’

I close the door behind me and look up at the spiral stairs. Those crumbling grey slabs seem to go on forever, just climbing and climbing, rising higher and higher.

Well, I think, standing around’s not going to get me anywhere.

So I start the climb, my hand clinging to the metal bannister, staying close to the cold grey of the curving wall. I take each step, my shoes striking the stone. It’s hard work. The steps are absurdly steep. They just keep on going.

Still, I feel more tired that I should. I can’t explain it. It’s like I’ve been climbing Everest, the way my lungs gasp for air, the way my legs scream, the way my back aches.

I feel like giving up. Like just lying there on the stairs.

Maybe just a breather. A quick break. That’s all I need.

I look up and I see it, right at the top of the ascending spiral.

A door, wood black as the blackest midnight.

If I weren’t so exhausted, I’d sprint the steps three at a time in my effort to reach it. No sprinting for me, but it does give me the energy, the strength of will, to go on climbing.

Just through the door, I think. Just through the door and I can rest. 

To tell the truth, I’ve half forgotten where I was going. It’s blurry, hazy, like my memory is full of fog and cigarette smoke. All I can remember is the climb.

At last I reach the door. I fumble at the handle, twist it, step through, feel relief seep through me. My journey is over. Over at-

I close the door behind me and look up at the spiral stairs. Those crumbling grey slabs seem to go on forever, just climbing and climbing, rising higher and higher.

Well, I think, standing around’s not going to get me anywhere.

END

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Here’s my response to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, which can be found here. I wasn’t entirely sure how this would end when I started it, but I actually really like how it turned out.

Word Count: 146

I look out past the streaking rain, at the watercolor scene beyond. It’s a blur of reds and oranges, so vibrant and alive. The rain patters softly against the window, a steady beat of water on glass.

“Do you see it?” she asks.

I look again, deeper and closer, through the rain, through the colors, through everything.

“Yes,” I reply.

It’s only a single spot, a splatter of midnight amidst the endless autumn colors, but it seems realer than everything else. I reach out and press my finger to it. I expect to feel the glass, but I don’t. My finger slips through, as if passing through a veil.

“It’s always there,” she says. “Just out of sight. Hidden.”

She smiles and puts a hand on my shoulder.

“Go on. Step through. Don’t be afraid.”

I take a deep breath, then step into the infinite unknown.

It’s Mondays Finish the Story again and, as usual, you can check out the prompt here. I’ve tried something a little weirder and more experimental this time.

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Word Count: 145

“I see absolutely everything.”

This is what I say, but it does not begin to describe it. Words fall short.

It’s more than seeing. I can feel everything, like it’s a part of me and I’m a part of it, like we’re one living, breathing thing. I can feel the connections, the strands and threads that bind everything together.

When I see the forest, I am the forest. The leaves are my hair, the roots are my feet, the branches are my fingers. The knots in the trees are my eyes, staring out at the life that fills me.

The forest is more than trees. It’s every living thing- deer, wolves, birds, insects. They’re a blur of living colors, a blaze of life. They are a fire- warm, bright and beautiful.

For a moment, I feel incredibly alive.

Then, just like that, it’s gone and I’m just me again.