Twelve: Wishes (1149 words)

I usually only post once a week on a Tuesday but I was inspecting the past eleven posts and realised I hadn’t posted any of my writing. I decided that should change. I can’t talk endlessly about writing and not show any of it. I hunted through some old pieces of work and found this one – “Wishes”. It derived from a prompt that we did at writing group a few years ago. I haven’t done anything with it so thought why not share it on my blog.

I hope you enjoy. Any comment/feedback feel free to leave it at the bottom.

Wishes

The lights along the bridges illuminated the water as it rippled gently. She walked alongside the canal, up and over the bridge, across a road and then up and over another bridge. To her it felt as though the path was undulating underneath her, with her. The rows and rows of houses, all squashed tightly together, overlapping. The houses to her left looked out at her, watching her as she floated along by the water. All the windows that adorned the house, those numerous transparent panes, distended greedily after her. She stopped and turned moving closer to the railings until she could reach out and grab the cold hard metal that stretched on infinitely by the waterside, she gazed down at the water and watched the reflections of the houses, wobbling, swelling and rippling with the movement of the canal, the lamp light drifting down and over her head caused the water to bulge monstrously. The bike beside her, locked to the railings, extended and stretched out ahead like a rubber band, she couldn’t see the handlebars they were so far out of sight. Despite the infinity of the canals and roads ahead of her she was eager to get home. She longed for her little room on the fourth floor of a terraced house, it was just around the corner and she knew she could make it.

She let go of the railings and moved further down the road, her little abode crying out to her, pulling her with its brick arms, closer and closer until she was stood facing her front door, dazed and searching for her keys.

When she made it inside and up the four flights of stairs she went straight to her bed and sat cross legged in the centre, facing the wall.

Her living space was tiny, open plan except for a toilet squashed into a cupboard at the back. Her walls, covered in Indian throws and Chinese tapestry pieces that she had picked up at carboots, small shops and funky markets. One particular piece attached to the wall behind her bed, the size of a double duvet, had a sitting, closed eyed Buddha. She looked at him. She watched as his eyes opened, as he began to uncross his legs and stand up.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” It said. So she did. She sat there and thought about the moment, she watched as her kaleidoscopic wall hangings, African ornaments and questionable objects hummed and expanded. The colours leaked out of them and into the air around her attaching itself to the undetectable vibrations in the room.

She felt a cold chill ripple through her body as she tried to concentrate on the present, it distracted her. She looked down at the goose pimples that had appeared along her bare arm – she needed an extra blanket and she knew where to look. She forced herself to stand up, the Buddha, still watching her as she was drawn across her apartment. She stopped and crouched down to open a door, a small door beside the entrance to her apartment. She twisted the knob and pulled, then yanked – it was warped and stiff wood. Behind the door it was crammed full of things she hadn’t known what to do with and yet didn’t want to throw away. Countless shoes, bags, a tent, an old typewriter, candles, boxes, clothes, frames. Rummaging around, pushing aside blanket after blanket, as she had many many blankets in there, she wanted a particular one. There was no light in the little room so felt around blindly. She began pulling things out. Among the junk strewn around her she finally pulled out a large, thick blanket, dragged it over to the bed and collapsed underneath it. She stretched and moved under the blanket until her foot caught something scratchy. She reached underneath searching for what it was that was irritating her. It was something small with pointy paper like edges.

She found what it was and pulled it up to take a proper look. It was so dirty and dusty that she couldn’t even tell, it was about the size of a large matchbox but thin as a couple of sheets of paper. She pulled off one of her socks and began to rub away the dirt and grime. The colours seemed to seep out each time a layer of dirt was removed. They pulsed and vibrated, humming with hues of purples and pinks. She wanted to rid all the dirt to see how much colour could bleed out. The colours surrounded her in a cloud and she held the object tighter and tighter. As she rubbed and scrubbed at it with an increasingly zealous impatience she realised what it was; A small packet of tulip seeds. How perfect, how incredible, she smiled. She had life in the palm of her hands and was seized by the irrepressible urge to plant them. She ripped the packet open, poured some seeds into the palm of her hand and threw them onto her floor.

Sitting on her bed staring at the seeds scattered across her floor a thought erupted in her mind.

“Water!” She jumped from her bed, took a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water, she didn’t even bother turning the tap off before throwing the water onto the seeds.

In a moment of time that seemed to pause she watched every droplet of water leave the glass. She watched those droplets fall through the sky and hit the ground shattering into a million droplets.

“Grow” She said and got down on her hands and knees, getting as close to the seeds as possible. “I wish you would grow” She watched them closely, she watched the seed nearest to her, she watched as it cracked and germinated, rooting into her floor. All around her the seeds began to germinate.

She picked up a tulip from the floor and placed it on her kitchen counter. A bright yellow tulip, the centre inside was a deep orange surrounding the stigmas. She looked at it bend towards the light the stem growing and encircling her. Whispering into her ears, it clung to her, pulling her arms to her side and then gently cradling her it lifted her off the ground.

They floated in the centre of the room, intertwined and spinning gently. Her head was nestled on a petal and slowly she fell asleep. Another petal bent and curved around her soft body, keeping her warm. A leaf from the base of the stem wrapped around her bare legs, now nothing of her could be seen at all. The tulip had engulfed her, it slowly sank and laid on the floor between the rainbow of tulips that had appeared now unable to be distinguished or picked out.

By Dominique Mitchell

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