First off, apparently May 10th (last Wednesday) was my Blogiversary! My blog is 4 years old! YAY!
Okay, now onto a piece of flash fiction.
Trigger warnings: Depression, alcoholism, death of a loved one.
The empty scotch bottle slipped out of his fingers and settled next to the single flower growing from her grave. Tears ran down his cheeks into the stubble that had formed on his chin over the past week and a half since the night of the accident.
She was gone and it was his fault.
His back starting to cramp from his hunched, crumpled position leaning over her grave, he laid back onto the ground and looked into the trees, listening to the gentle hum of insects and the soft rustle of leaves in the breeze. He took a deep breath in an attempt to make the world stop spinning. The air was thick with the pungent smell of the bottle of Glenfarclas that had half gone down his throat and half gone into the ground. A warm, smokey flavor lingered in his mouth and he thought, “I better appreciate the taste now, because I doubt I’ll be able to stomach it tomorrow.” This was the sort of bender that turned one off of specific types of booze.
They had been saving this bottle of scotch for a special occasion. There would be no more special occasions now.
He had never been a big drinker, but he had been drunk that night – the night he had killed her – they both had.
For what seemed like the millionth time, the way her neck had felt beneath his hand when it snapped ran through his mind and he could almost feel it again. His stomach churned, from the booze? From the spinning sky? From the memories? Yes. Probably all of the above.
Tears had stopped flowing, but his body still went into convulsions, and his chest still tightened while he quivered in dry sobs.
He hadn’t meant to, he had loved her with all of his heart, but she was just so damn fragile. One moment she had been shrieking with laughter while they wrestled in the bed, her trying to lick his face because he had complained about her breath. The next moment they had tumbled out of bed and his hand went out to catch them. Somehow – and he still couldn’t piece it together – her neck had been twisted between his palm and the floor as her head hit the ground.
He had felt it snap and she had gone limp even while they were still falling off the bed.
One poorly placed hand. One fragile neck. Two lives ended.
The tears came back now. They tore through him as he curled into the fetal position on his side facing her grave. She had been his everything and he had killed her.
“Lance?” a small voice broke through his sobs.
He sat up and looked around frantically. It was a small, frail voice, but it was hers for sure. Was he losing his mind?
It came again, repeating his name, “Lance?”
It came from the flower. He looked closer. The flower turned towards him, petals framing a tiny face. “Lance, is that you?”
“I… I… How…?” was all he could get out and the flower smiled.
“I’ve been brought back to you, my love.”
“But,” there was a panicked tightness in his chest while he struggled to catch his breath. How was this possible, “How did you-”
“It doesn’t matter, Lance. I’m here now and we can be together.”
He crouched down so that his nose was inches from the flower.
The broad smile was strange buried between petals of a flower, but it was undeniably hers and it warmed his heart and he started to smile for the first time since she had died. “Stop crying; this wasn’t your-” she stopped short with a gasp.
“It wasn’t your-” she paused, the smile fading. Then the flower whipped around, looking at the ground, “GAHHH!” she cried, “My roots are burning! Make it stop! Make it-” She fell silent staring at the empty bottle of scotch on the wet soil.
“You DIDN’T!” she screamed in anguish.
“What?” he asked.
“OH god, the SCOTCH IT BURNS!”
The scotch? He grabbed the bottle. It was 120 proof, plenty high to kill just about any plant.
“You stupid son of a-” she continued, “OH DAMNIT IT BURNS!”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t-”
“I worked so hard to get back AND YOU’ve POISONED ME!” The flower was leaning to one side and convulsing now.
“I’m SORRY,” he bawled, not knowing what to do, dropping the bottle and cradling the flower in his hands. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
But she was gone again.
The small, single flower wilted and died.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, rocking back and forth, “I didn’t know.”
Listen to it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9es9atuty2hob55/ASingleFlower.mp3?dl=0