Title: Stop All The Clocks
Author: Tabula Rasa
Disclaimer: There aren't any names mentioned, but the intent
is there, so Not Mine. If they were, this would be in Japanese, wouldn't
it? I also don't own W. H. Auden's poem, but it is included at the
Summary: She thought that love would last forever.
She was wrong.
Author's Note: If you are sensitive, or not one for angst,
consider yourself forewarned. Scrolling past here is your responsiblity.
That said, I hope you like it.
It hits her at unexpected
She is sitting in a meeting,
not listening as they get carried away about inconsequential things like
war and peace. She can feel it then, and she is far away from the
room. (Her heart isn't in it anymore, anyway.) Or she is walking
in the garden at lunch, crushed oyster shells under her sensible shoes,
green, alive things in her field of vision, seen but unseeing. The
sun is painfully bright one moment, and then it goes out.
The feel of the street under her
knees is what she remembers most, and always what she remembers first.
The first sensation she recognized, as she kneeled, was how hard and unyielding
the road was beneath her. Then she noticed the way the small points
on the cement, its natural irregularities, dug into the soft skin on her
kneecaps, making little peaks and valleys that mirrored the road.
It took a long time for the pattern of angry red and pocked white circles
to disappear. It is after that when the wetness hits her, slowly
soaking through her thin nylons, spreading up and down her legs, reaching
and chilling her skin.
It is then, and only then, that
she remembers how warm and slippery and everywhere-all-at-once the blood
was. It got on her without her having to touch anything, it seemed.
In the inadequate yellow light from the street lamp it wasn't red but some
darker color, glistening like oil when the light hit it just right.
She didn't know if all that was hers or not.
It was painful, on her hands, the
contrast between the warm blood painting everything and the small, cold,
hard points of rain that landed on her skin. Her senses were so heightened
she could feel every drop like a heavy blow on her bare skin, and she was
sure it would leave bruises. Small, rain shaped bruises all over
her body. But later, when she checked, there were none. She
was surprised. But maybe there wasn't enough blood left in her body
to form bruises.
No, she remembers, there were five
pints of blood left in her body (she forgets this often, like she forgot
His body was warm and solid in her
arms and then not. It was not her blood, but his, and it turned out
there was a difference. There was a difference, and now it was his
blood on her and on the street and in the air, his body that was not left
with enough blood to keep it going, his heart that was stopping, his lungs
closing. And all this time she thought it was hers, and that night
she thought it was hers, and it was only later, when she did not die, that
she slowly realized it was not her, only him. She lived and he did
not. She was surprised.
His breath was warm on her face.
Not enough to stir her hair.
She remembers the street and the
blood and the warmth and the wet, and the way he felt the last time she
held him, but there was no sound. She heard nothing, although they
said they found her screaming, just sitting there holding him and screaming
non-words into the night. But she does not remember that, so it did
not really happen. She also does not remember that she fought them
when they tried to take him away from her. He was already taken away,
but she clutched at him and fought and scratched.
Eventually she died, too, and was
content, but it did not last and she awoke. They had unfairly tranquilized
her and carried her away to the hospital. She awoke to familiar,
loving, kind, compassionate faces. They made her sick.
They were going to be forever this
time. They would both stay, and stay together, and it would all be
all right now.
She wanted to die, but she did not
die, because it was he who fell in the street and not her, and in the end,
there was a difference. He fell when the gun fired and she only fell
when he did, down to the cold wet pavement by his side. Where
she had intended to spend forever.
But it ended like everything in
her life ended, too soon and suddenly and with a BANG and then a whimper.
So now she lives, without him again
but without the chance of Again.
It hits her at unexpected times,
the feel of the road marking her knees and his blood on her hands.
Feedback is saved forever at firstname.lastname@example.org
Flames will be mistreated.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.