|A Broken Bard
Author: Kneecap PM
You were beautiful in summer, but sometime during the winter you fell apart. But he did first.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 1,157 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 3 - Published: 07-17-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2547051
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: For Effay.
A Broken Bard
Cold as the grave, a hand lingers on your shoulder. A grey gust sweeps the sunflower hair out of his muddy eyes. An interesting contrast, his eyes and hair; as similar as night and day. The gust is grey because everything is grey these days. The photos: grey, the dim light: grey, the gravestone in front of you: grey, your love…
'Why are we still here?' you ask, not for the first time.
The hand slips off your shoulder. 'Life,' Harper responds, his voice discordant, like broken lyres.
He's been that way for too long, you think. Emily really shouldn't have died. Younger sisters are supposed to live forever; you think he thinks. But do you really even know him anymore? Does anyone? Maybe 17 is too young to lose a sister. You watch him trudge back up to the stony, lonely chapel, tearing through the snow: the one crisp thing in his time of haziness. You watch his thick, brown leather boots burn heart-shapes in the whiteness, his ankles twisting to break each heart. He's breaking yours.
A red and black scarf tapers out behind him, even those striking colours seeming to blur and fade into the cloud of depression that skulks around him. Three days ago you gave him that scarf, for Christmas; one of your quirky gifts, he said. You're not sure about "quirky"; to you, it just means love. A dying love. It's just a little thing that he doesn't do anymore that lets you know that the candle's burnt out now. It's only a matter of time before the last tendrils of smoke detach themselves from the wick.
A kiss goodnight, before you turn off the light.
That's all it would take to re-ignite the flame, but he fails at it. Do you blame him? Yes, guiltily, you do. Hide it in your heart, but you do, you blame him for everything. Everyone does, and Harper deserves it. He doesn't, but he does. He shouldn't have been drunk, he shouldn't have taken those drugs; the stupid, stupid boy shouldn't have driven that car. Why? Because he's a fucking idiot, and that's why you can't leave him.
Why does your heart tingle at the thought of him and rip at the loss of his touch?
And why is the fool boy wearing that disgusting, ankle length jacket today, of all days? The black back billows out in the wind, casting a shroud over the snow. He's killing everything he gets close to. Even you're starting to shrivel up inside. On the outside too. When was the last time you saw your parents? A week ago? Two? You should be with them at this time of year, not in a chill graveyard. Not...here.
He's back inside now. You bet his short nose isn't glowing red at the tip anymore, as you're sure yours is. Sandpaper mittens rub together, keeping your hands warm. Mittens? You wouldn't be wearing them if Harper hadn't bought you them for Christmas. He can be quirky too.
A hand at your chest: your heart's twisting for him, for what he used to be, before the crunch. It's just one thing after another for him. For you. The paling light seems to be mirroring you and he. Slip sliding away. Pathetic fallacy, or something like that; another legacy of a schooling gone wrong. Another waste of time. See? He's dragging you into his pit of despair now.
Ditch him. Get out.
Can't. As you shiver, and pull your coat a little tighter, you curse under your breath.
'Why is he such a fucking idiot? Why is he-' you stop, coarse breath catching in your throat.
Why? Why are you stopping? He's not here now; say it. Say what you really think. That he's a failure, a fuck-up, that he'll kill you too in the end. Don't. Stop. Don't…
You can't. Each curse is another cold breath of air over that smoke, blowing it away. You'll never let go because he'd die without you. He's caught you in his web of desolation, drawing you in with promises of "something better in the end". Where's it going to end? Six feet under? And when. When will it finish? You can't- can't keep- can't…
Tumbling to your knees, regardless of the winter blanket, you fall in front of the grave. Remember when the sun shone through the gap between those broad, leafy branches of that tree only a metre away? Remember how he held you under that tree and sang that beautiful song about flowers in the window? Only 6 months ago.
"That tree" is a sorry excuse for life now; its naked branches clutching at air as its life slowly sinks under the sands of time. There ain't no sunshine when he's gone, but there ain't no sunshine when he's here, either.
You open your eyes properly, not that they were shut, but now you can see what you've been avoiding. The epitaph. You've read it before, at the funeral, a couple of months back, but not in this light. A mitten-clad hand trembles forwards to swipe the frost from the script.
Here lies the body of Emily J. Willows, a mindful daughter and an ear when in need.
02/01/1990 – 16/10/2002
May life forgive what time forgets and ever she rest in peace.
Coiling, your neck turns to face the wreath-adorned gravestone to the left of Emily's, the golden lettering still clear from Harper's hand.
Here lies the body of Arthur Willows, a devoted husband and doting father.
08/03/64 – 16/10/2002
Life, commend his soul to heaven and may ever he rest in peace.
And that's not all. You don't want it to see it, but your head turns to face it regardless. The grave to the right of Emily's, looms ominously in the shade, despite its cover of garlands. The symbols glow from their obsidian retreat, accusing even from the crypt. Silence is golden.
Here lie the bodies of Mary S. Willows and her unborn child. She was a caring mother, attentive wife and unforgettable friend.
19/12/65 – 17/10/2002, --/02/2002 – 16/10/2002
Death will not extinguish their flame.
He shouldn't have been in the driver's seat that night, and you shouldn't have been beside him.
You place the crimson roses on Emily's final resting place, and pray that she doesn't hear your pity bathing them from the depths of the earth.
Those flowers aren't in the window anymore.