Friday, December 18, 2009

Tenth Daughter - Fear in Shattered Color

She opened her eyes. Something wasn’t quite right. She squinted and looked towards the alarm clock. Hmmm…1:30 a.m. Why is it so quiet in here? She was staring at the ceiling now – trying to make out what the shadows up there were from. Still so very quiet. Huh, where is he? That side of the bed is still cool so he hasn’t been in here recently.

She sat up in bed to get her bearings and strained to hear a noise, anything, from one of the other rooms. Nothing. Something akin to fear flashed through her mind. Should she be afraid? Should she be nervous? Hmmm…well, no sense sitting here waiting for…what? What or who could she possibly be waiting for?

Her feet hit the floor and she crept slowly over to the closed bedroom door. Still no noises – just an uneasy quiet. She quietly opened the door and saw a sliver of light coming from under the closed bathroom door. The fear dissipated – relief set in – he’s just getting ready for work. Phew.

Knock knock. No answer. Knock knock knock. Still no answer. Okay, the fear has returned. What is going on? She opened the door slowly and gasped. He was in there, in the tub, but the tub water was all dark and discolored and there was some blood on the wall. He was on his side and partially submerged. She screamed then and kept screaming until their 3 year old son woke up and ran in to the room. She was crying and trying to calm down while trying to reassure him to get back into bed and fall back asleep. He put his head on the pillow and closed his eyes, probably thinking that he’d never seen his Mom like that and didn’t want to ever again.

She called 911 then – what had seemed like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, had in fact been only 1 or 2. The female dispatcher sounded unconcerned. Why would someone sound unconcerned when they manned the 911 desk? Shouldn’t she be alert – awaiting a panicked phone call from a stranger? The dispatcher asked what the emergency was. The caller was no longer screaming but the urgency was evident in her voice. She needed help, could someone come right away? Yes, what seems to be the problem? My fiancé, I think he’s dead, he’s in the tub and the water is so dark and his face is in the water. Police are on their way. The caller hangs up.

The dispatcher calls back. Stay on the line with me please until the police get there. Okay, I will. The dispatcher asks her how the evening went. She said fine, had a couple of beers and I went to bed and he went to bathe. I woke up, he wasn’t in bed. Then I opened the door and he was there. Okay, the police are here. Go and talk to them, and I’m sorry.

6 comments:

JeffScape said...

Excellent, excellent piece. I know how difficult these types of pieces are to write, and I know that your relationship to such tragedy is much closer than mine.

Stylistically, it's easy to see that your grasp of effective and creative writing is gaining in strength rather quickly.

Kudos. On all levels.

Wings said...

Great piece. You bring the fear and panic to the surface and we can feel it. And it is a scary thing. But that just shows how well you have written it.

Sad, scary and I am sorry you had to go through such a tragedy.

Amazing writing, though.

Yodood said...

The nothingness of silence was made visceral fear — were more equipped for things we can name. Well done.

Brian Miller said...

nicely done...i could feel the tension...while no where near as painful my om fell a few weeks back and i was the first responder...i felt similar fear...intense, if you lived this, then i am sorry...

Kris said...

It’s that time of year again! I’m doing the rounds and apologising for my complete failure to more regularly offer comment on everybody’s incredible efforts for the year. I know how hard it can be to keep up with the daily grind of everyday posting, and want to thank you for your efforts.

I especially want to wish festive greetings for all from down here at [nearly] the end of the world, the bottom of Tasmania.

So, if you could delete whatever is not applicable, I’d like to wish you a very pleasant/merry/happy/wonderful/safe Amaterasu; Ashurall; Beiwe; Choimus; Christmas; Dazh Boh; Dongzhi; Goru; Hanukkah; Hogmanay; Junkanoo; Karachun; Koleda; Lenæa; Meán Geimhridh; Modranicht; New Years; Ras as-Sana; Rozhanitsa Feast; Şeva Zistanê; shōgatsu; Summer Solstice [if you're in the Southern Hemisphere]; Sviatki; Vánoce; Winter solstice [if you're in the Northern Hemisphere]; Yalda; Yule-tide; Ziemassvētki; and Коляда!

With a hearty three cheers from Kris, Jen, Henry and Ezra!

Brian Miller said...

hope you and your family have a very happy new year!