Posts Tagged 'Short Stories'

Upstairs

A little Halloween story I wrote – as first posted here, where you’ll find a whole bunch of wonderfully spooky short stories celebrating good ol‘ Jack.

~~~~

Upstairs

Jonas Graham tried to hold on to his thought; but it slipped. Again.

He had to get rid of it! – “Not the thought, though! It ain’t the thought I wanna get rid of! I want the thought, whatever it is … I mean… was … . – But this ringing! This ringing is killing me! – It has been too long now.”

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep …

The rhythmical monotony of Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep had been torturing Jonas for as long as he could remember; which would be for about as long as he was awake; which, to him, was an eternity now. –– He felt his face going numb, frozen in this one expression.

One expression, one sound.

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep.

Without a doubt: he was losing his mind.

He knew, would he look into the mirror now, he would see anger. –– But should he even have a look in the mirror?

Nah.

“Cause, I know it anyway, don’t I?” –– Of this Jonas was very certain. In fact, he felt, everything was clear to him now, which was different from before. Before… was a foggy place, it might as well not have existed; before … must have been before that eternity for which he has been awake now …

“I said it once, I say it again: I’m goin’ bonkers, here, folks! I’m slippin’ (like my fucking thoughts! – Good God All mighty… Do something!)!”

In any case, he so totally didn’t remember where the mirror was. Upstairs possibly? But upstairs… was not the place he wanted to go. – He wasn’t too sure, why. Still, he was sure enough not to have wanted to leave the living room, turn to the right, climb up the stairs, one step at a time, up, up, up… the milky-white, shiny marble, which he never really liked that much in the first place (but she did!).

“We should never have have put those in. Silly me!”

Of that he was sure, somehow. – Then he turned around and looked at her. It seemed to him, Julie hadn’t moved, not one bit (not for an eternity). Her airy blue eyes, still trimmed at something, something that wasn’t him. At least, that’s how it felt to him; just as it had felt for the last year. Or two. Or three… – “Yes, we didn’t get along too well lately, dear, now did we?” – Too much work, not enough money, the thing with her bosses car… Oh, and the other thing, the one with her boss per se.

Yeah, that had not been much help either. But, he had, as she had put it then, only himself to blame (which he was sure he had tried, to no avail).

“Silly me…”

“I never, never wanted it to be like this, you know?” Jonas felt sadness washing over him, like the warmth that comes with a certain kind of embrace, one that envelops one’s entire being – just that this one was an embrace of sadness. Would he cry? – “I wanted… I don’t know… I wanted it to be like it was before…”

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep …

Jonas pushed the ringing out of his mind, at least into some corner of it where it didn’t (kill him) distract him too much. “… Just you and me. I just wanted summer every month of every year, every hour of every day. Every moment. I really, really wanted it to be like that… distant… Just summer, just…”.

Her face showed no sign of her wanting to join him in his memories; there, in the memories of this distant summer, he would have to continue to live alone. Another wave of warmth, more sadness. Still, no tears. – But water… he remembered that she had asked for some water.

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep …

“Hold your thought,” he said to her. – “Why don’t you hold yours?” He whispered to himself, matter-of-factly, noticing the irony, but without any real reaction, without a smile.

“God (All mighty), what is wrong with (silly) me?”

“I’ll get you your water. I’ll be back,” then he left the living room, knowing, absolutely knowing, with every fibre of his being, that he wouldn’t be. Ever.

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep …

He went straight to the kitchen, not even looking to the right, to the stairs, the shiny, milky-white marble. –– He had to switch that damn thing off – but first he would change the ring-tone. Oh, that he certainly would! Because… that tone is killing me! he thought, before he forgot all about it, as he apparently did nowadays, and instead went for the fridge. –– Jonas remembered how much he had wanted this fine piece of designer tech, brushed metal, wide, extra-wide, with crushed ice, and drinking water at just the right temperature, which he absolutely loved – because, as he always said: Water Is Life!

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep …

“Jonas…”

“Just a moment, dear,” he said as he heard Julia’s voice behind him, somewhere, while he looked for a glass. “I will switch it off in a moment.”

“I love you, Jonas. And… I wanted you to know… you don’t have yourself to blame. I was… It was me, not you, me,” she said and he was sure he could detect tears in her voice. And he felt warm again. He wanted to tell her how much he loved her, but he couldn’t. Just as he couldn’t for the last year. Or two. Or three…

But that was all about to change now! Because now he would tell her. He would tell her that he loved her, that he had forgiven her, that there was no stone for him to cast at her, that everything would be fine, that he felt empty without her. Empty and alone.

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep. Dweeep. Taaaaaah-dweeeeeeeep. Dweeep …

“Doctor?! There’s something wrong here! The sound…” Her voice was distant and close at the same time. Jonas looked around him, but there was nothing, just white walls, all the walls, shiny and white and pale. – “Oh, please! Do something! – Jonas!” – He turned around but all there was was him… him on the stairs. Up, up, up …

Dweeep. Tah-dweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep …

He only noticed that he had dropped the glass when he saw the pieces flooding the milky-white, shiny marble, fanning out over the steps beneath him like an exploding star.

Dweeeeeeeeeeeee …

“I always have loved you,” she said. Jonas gazed at his hand and could almost see hers holding his. But all there was, was the warm feeling of her touch. And suddenly he knew; he knew. He opened his mouth but no word left him.

Dweeep. Tah-dweeep …

“I’ll give you a moment then, Mrs. Graham.” – Jonas didn’t recognize the voice he just heard, that gave his wife ‘a moment then’. He looked at the splinters of glass dripping down the steps, down, down, down… clanking like thousands of tiny bells.

Jonas looked at the steps, the splinters, the water flowing down, then he slipped (“Silly, silly me!”). Again. – But this time for ever.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee__________________________

~~~

With Thanks to Valerie for the input and pointing-out-of-things. And with Thanks to David, the top drawer!

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