I wanted to do something different today. So decided to share a small scene I wrote. You may have noticed I don’t often share my work… but I am trying to get over that aversion. (seems important if I want to be a writer!)
I wrote this about a month ago. Just a random thought turned into a vague concept. It’s only had one pass over it, so apologies for any mistakes or if it reads a little off.
Only the sharp click of my heels could be heard. The two men flanking me moved with graceful silence, though their presence was a a crushing pressure at my back. The fact they were accompanying me at all, betrayed my thoughts. I had not wished to come, had planned to slip away rather than face this hell again.
It could never be. He had known as he always did. So the sentinels had found me before I could even build up the fragmented plan I had been turning over in my mind. They had appeared, shadows from the mist. Dark countenances and firm grips, and so I had been brought back.
He was waiting so patiently, languishing within the plump cushions on the heavily embroidered chaise beneath a large sunny window.
The Maker’s pale blue eyes flicked pointedly to the gilded clock on the mantel. Just another gift, another pointless show of power and wealth in this dreary cage.
I gave him a brittle smile when his gaze returned to mine. “Forgive me for the delay, sir.”
He rose with oiled grace and the smile he gave lit up his handsome face. “No matter, I always have time for you.”
As he neared I forced myself not to step back. He was examining my face, running a critical eye over every detail. Maybe he wanted to memorise it, as I had done earlier.
Hesitantly, I brushed a hand over my jaw. “I just wanted… longer.”
His calculating gaze softened momentarily. Catching my hand, he drew it away from my face and led me to the chair. All gentleness was gone now as he turned to the table full of highly polished instruments. He fingered them with care, selecting just what he needed.
The crack chisel had a fine diamond-edged point. He held it lovingly in his left hand, the small hammer in his right. Barely a nod and the two sentinels surged forward, large hands simply resting on my narrow shoulders.
A breath caught in my throat as he placed the tip of the chisel below my left eye.
He just smiled again. “It’s alright,” he whispered, “you know the pain doesn’t last.”
“I just… thought I’d get more time with this one.” Tears I had held back fell unabashed, making the pale skin slick.
“I know,” he said softly, “but it is time to become new again.”
The sound of breaking glass silenced my tongue as a familiar and excruciating agony forked across my fractured face. A crunch as the chisel was wrenched free.
I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t fill my lungs enough to scream. There was just endless waves of pain and I was drowning within them. Had it always hurt this much? I could feel my nails breaking as they tore at the wooden arm rests. Back arching enough to snap bone but those two hands held me in place while I splintered inside.
When the first eddies of pain began to trickle away leaving a bone-deep chill, I felt the urge to see. Turning with aching slowness, I looked desperately towards the oval mirror to my right. Dark blood almost black poured in thick streams from the centre of my ruined face. Cracks had spiraled outwards, as flesh had turned to stone.
My left eye was misted, the shock and pain had broken my vision leaving me partially blind. The right was still a dazzling green, flecked with silver.
The Maker worked quickly now, gloved fingers delicately pulling away each fragment.
I heard them ring against the ceramic bowl he had on the table. As more pieces of myself were removed and dropped, I felt lighter. The one good eye roved round to stare at those bloodied pieces. It was just a face. No longer an identity not now it was stripped away.
His fingers dug in under my jaw, pulling sharply. There was a wet sucking sound as the last piece was finally removed. It was largest piece that barely fitted within his little bowl.
Stepping back he peeled off the bloody gloves, like shedding a second skin. His hands were long and narrow, nails painted a polished black. I watched as those thin fingers touched my chest, pressing firmly on the breast bone enough to crack it. He pressed again, harder this time and something did snap. No matter, it was just bones and flesh and sinew.
“It’s time little one, time to come out.”
I gave a breathy sigh and surged outwards.
The vessel was ready. A beautiful, oval-shaped vial made from spider-glass held with care in his hands. Instinct drew me forward, one thought resonating – to slip into the vessel. It was home. It was safety. It was belonging. Without the body, I was just mist churning and coalescing, and so slid forward into that safe space where I could be weightless, unformed and yet…
There was something new. Something that should not have been, not once I had been rendered from the flesh. I flurried around that sensation, the fragment of identity I had managed to cling onto, to pull out of the body.
Hidden within the vessel, I nurtured the slice of self. I was more now. No longer just the Breath to be used within new flesh. In the darkness, I waited for the vessel to open, for when I could be called forth again. Until that time, I would guard this sliver, this splinter, this “self.”
© Ari Meghlen 2017
NB: just to clarify, this is a random idea that I came up with. So while it is not yet fully formed, I am keeping the concept fluid so each reader will define the character in their own way.
I would love to hear your thoughts (really?) Yes I would. Positive or negative, I promise not to freak out at you. My partner will make sure I keep my crazy to myself 🙂 Seriously, I would like your thoughts on this.
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at my writing, I know I don’t share it often and I thank all my followers and commenters who have helped make this blog a “safe space” for me to feel comfortable doing so.