Lightning flashes in the hospital window. The sign it will happen tonight.
They bring a capsule that you tongue against your gums to keep it dry as you suck water through a straw. Alone in the dark, you hide it with the others. Without the capsule you can dream.
His shoulder brushes yours in the motel lounge. The swimming pool sparkles without end. He climbs on the bar and executes an elegant dive. You follow, butterflying in the blue water. As you reach for him, he turns on you with a demon grin. You spin away from him, cocooned in water, unable to call his name.
You perch on a rock overlooking the sea, emblematic, like a woman on a vodka label, smearing your breasts with lipstick. And shriek with joy, knowing he will come.
You drink with him in smiling communion. The goblets, the table, everything is made of glass. Shattered by his laughter, it cuts you to pieces. You kneel on the hotel bed. The mattress is a shallow bowl brimming with lotions and cosmetics mixed in a lurid soup. You plunge in the bowl and begin to swim and then realize you’re covered in blood. Even in sleep you feel it, sticky on your skin.
You crushed his skull with a lamp, they say. In your rage you smashed his face to pulp. They say you had a motive, as if you understood what that is. But you’re not guilty, only broken.
You tremble between sheets that nothing can soil or soften, that contain all kinds of suffering and death. The time has come. No more dreams, no more storms, no more addictions or pride. While the nurse works her Sudoku and the stomach pump stands helpless, you’ll swallow the capsules and set yourself free.
“Lorelei” is my entry in Cherie Reich’s 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest. To read the other entries, please click here.
Thank you – and thanks for reading it.
Thank you for entering my 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest! The six finalists will be announced on Friday, May 25th. I will further comment on your entry on Thursday.
Looking forward to reading all the other stories before then.
Whew! Now that’s a mind trip.
Well, not a mind trip to a good place. Thanks for reading it.
I loved this story! As someone with experience with the mentally ill, this really hits home
If the story rings true to you at all, that means a lot to me.
Gorgeous writing. This is a wonderful entry!
Thank you for the kind words and for taking time to read the story.
How haunting! I liked that it was in the 2nd person.
Thank you. Second person is interesting but hard to sustain. Easier with a short piece like this one.
Love that you wrote this in second person. I usually don’t like that, but for this story it completely works! Good luck with the contest!
Thank you. I’ve been reading other entries, and the competition is steep.
With second person there’s always a danger of seeming to address the reader and seeming kind of presumptuous. But this character is talking to herself.
Wow do I feel like I just took some of those pills. I feel a little like Alice and needing to find my white rabbit. Great writing!
its deep and dark inside her head, well done!
Thanks, Danielle and Tara. I’m so happy you stopped by to read.
Wow. Just wow.
This was powerful and I loved every minute of it.
Whoa — that was intense and disturbing. What a churning stew of emotions! The second-person also forced me into the story, much like the nurse forcing one of those capsules down my throat…
Well executed, the dream sequence is realistic and the emotion is raw and yet (thankfully) understated instead of being soap opera-ish. 🙂
Beautifully written. Haunting and surreal imagery. A great flash fiction piece. 🙂
Thank you, everyone, for being such generous readers. All the comments on second person are sparking some ideas for an essay on the subject.
Ooh, you are brave to write in second person… I have never tried it before. This piece feels like a dream or a nightmare!
Haunting,surreal and a little bit creepy. All in all very good writing. I do feel intimidated.
Very powerful! A great dark story but I loved that she found freedom at the end.
What a powerful glimpse into a disturbed world. Loved the vivid imagery.
This was very, very good.
Wow! What a journey you took me on…wonderful job. Hauntingly sad.
Interesting piece with the second person perspective. It really brings the reader into the story. Great imagery.
Intense and disturbing. Well written flash. The ending haunts you long after it is over.
Good imagery. Very good writing. She is a compelling character.
What a sweet window on madness. Slighly confusing in that at first I thought she was aiming to not take the pill because she didn’t want to be drugged, and then at the end that she was intending to take it because it was poison. Not sure what was going on there, but the story was too interesting to make that confusion a real issue.
Thanks for the kind words, It’s such a thrill to have so many readers and so many good stories to read.
I meant to create some misdirection about the narrator’s intentions, but the line between misdirection and confusion can be very thin. 🙂
Wow. What a mind job. Haunting imagery in a very powerful piece. Great job. (:
Wow! You really captured her nightmares well.
That was masterfully mind-bending writing. A seriously bad trip, but brilliantly executed. I agree with another commenter who wrote that the ending haunts. Very well done, indeed.
Wowza, this is pretty vivid stuff. Nicely done 🙂
Very interesting piece, especially since it is in 2nd person point of view.
I’ll announce the finalists tomorrow.
Cocooned in water. Sounds strangely peaceful.
An atmospheric, haunting piece. Great writing.