Sunday, October 7, 2012

Excerpt from 'Parts of Noah' (8): Noah and the Burnt Lady

The only remarkable encounter I had on my journey back to a stain that used to be my dog was with a woman I cannot name. You could call it gut instinct, you might think I’m leaving something important out, I have no idea why I walked into the hospital ruins. Maybe I heard Dizzy singing her favourite lullaby and I’d taken the snot colored pill. Maybe I heard my mother laughing and laughing and laughing and I’d taken the pus colored pill. Maybe I really truly thought I’d find Mai in there and somehow this day might be all right after all and I hadn’t taken a pill at all. I know I threw a rainbow colored one into a sewer beside a grease stain that looked like the puke stain, the blood stain, the face I recognized but could never recall. Cash says there was never a functional, healthy hospital in this town, that it has always been burnt, completely hollowed out and occupied by skeletons and ghosts, mice and ash everywhere. Maybe I heard whispering, something so faint and so familiar that I had to follow it, right to her room. What she might have said was ‘save the boy, not the dog’ over and over and over. She seemed to have a story to tell but was burnt so badly, reduced to some destroyed, charred version of whoever she used to be. This survivor had clearly been sedated during the fire, and no matter what Cash says I know I remember a time when this hospital was alive and running, and the people in it even might have cared. All Cash told me as he sat on the steps outside was if I ever feel lucky for anything, it’s that I can’t smell the wreckage and the death, the ash and coal burnt smell of everything inside that hospital. I didn’t find Dizzy in there, and I didn’t find my Mom or Mai, but I did find a woman I cannot name, and she might have been whispering ‘save the boy, not the dog’ and maybe you can tell me what she meant by that. Her blankets, her gown, her hair and most of her skin had been burned black, so deep that she must not have felt any pain.  I felt like I should speak to her, but there was nothing to say and when I tried I only coughed and remembered to breathe. 

(End of Excerpt)

This is original writing from the short story titled 'Parts of Noah'. Please credit this work to the creator, Chessterr Hollowberry. Thanks!

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