Storytime Bloghop: January 2016

On the last Wednesday every three months, a couple of Indie authors get together for the Storytime Bloghop. We each post a flash story (500-1000 words). This month doesn’t have a theme aside from Speculative Fiction.

bloghop

Don’t forget that “Gifts for Holly” are on sale today for the last time ever (see last post for details)

If you enjoy my story, please leave a comment. For the other stories follow the links below my story. Now, have fun (although this story is rather dark for my standards).


Scars

I stare at the scars on my arms. The thin lines look crappy. Blood pulses in them — so close to the skin’s surface. I imagine what it would look like if it welled out; blooming dark red on my pale skin. A token of life no-one could mistake. A tiny cut would be enough to prove that I’m still here.

But I’m not gonna do it.

I’ve promised myself. After all, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it?

My gaze wanders through the room, as colorless and empty as my life. Why am I staying? I curl up on my bed. I’d be better off dead. No one would notice anyway. Except for the therapists – maybe. But they don’t count. Neither of them knows what I’ve been hiding in my mattress. So close. So easy to reach. Maybe I should make a cut … a tiny one … in a place where no one will see it.

NO!

No. I don’t want that any more. Breathe! I roll on my back and force myself to lie still. The display of my mobile that’s lying on the table casts a bluish rectangle of light on my ceiling, but I have to strain my eyes to see it. It’s not yet dark enough outside. Maybe I should turn on the light, but my strength has gone. If only the mobile were gone. Everything would be fine then. Or it wouldn’t, but at least I wouldn’t know.

„I’m dating Mandy now,“ he wrote. That was it. The end of our relationship with a text message. Who does that? And I’m not even sorry … or angry … it’s not important at all.

I remember what it was like when we first got together. His arms felt so warm on my shoulders. His laugh filled the emptiness inside. But he laughed less and less often. I’m a burden for everyone. I even kill the laughter.

The razor blade in the mattress calls for me. Not with a real voice or so, but I can feel its presence. I try not to think about the comforting and familiar pain spreading from my arm. Soon it would be stronger than the hollow feeling in my chest. Maybe it would finally open the door that traps me in this life. I wonder what’s on the other side. Will I be able to really feel?

The door opens, and Mr Bollart looks in.

“Half an hour to the meeting, Tanja. Are you alright?”

I nod.

“Shall I turn on the light?” He reaches for the light switch, waiting for my answer. I nod again.

“Shall I?”

The room is now too dark, and he probably can’t see me. But maybe I’m not here any more and that’s why he can’t see me. The right corner of my mouth twitches when I ponder what Mr Bollart would say if he turned on the light, and my room was empty.

“Yes, please.” My voice is so low that I barely hear myself, but light floods my room.

“See you in a minute, right?”

“Hmm.” That could mean ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ or something else. Don’t know. It’s not important. It’s important that he looked in. Into my room. As if it were important that I’d show up.

Most likely he does that with all his patients. They trained him for that, didn’t they? Psychology … must be hard. Nothing for me. I roll onto my side using my arm as a pillow. The wall on the other side of my room has a horizontal line. Maybe there once stood a bed. It looks like it. I wonder what kind of problems that girl has had? All kinds of people come to this institute.

Don’t think about the blade.

Think of other people. Of the fellow inmates.

Louise, two rooms down the corridor for example. She swallowed enough sleeping pills to kill a horse. She cries in her sleep. Tonight I tried to comfort her — wasn’t really successful. I mean, she went back to crying as soon as I returned to my room. Just because they were nasty with her in school. Mobbing … must be horrible. But being invisible is worse. Believe me. I know that from experience. Maybe I should tell her?

Today. During the therapy session.

If I go.

I might also … the razor blade … I feel it as if it were digging into my side. My hand crawls to the rip in my mattress. If I use it now, they’ll take it away from me. And then? I won’t get a new one easily. I don’t want to need a new one. I don’t even want to use this one. Shit world. My hand crawls on, and I can’t stop it.

Someone knocks timidly, and I pull back my hand instinctively. Again the door opens. Louise looks in.

“May I come in?” Her voice trembles as if she’s scared of something. Not of me, surely.

“OK.” I sit up and pull my legs to my chest to make room for her on the bed. The chair from the table to too uncomfortable.
She sits on the far end of the bed and stares at her hands.

“Thank you.”

“What for?”

“For tonight. I felt so lonely, and when you came, it was better.”

Something warm spreads in my belly. I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it. I can FEEL. Without the blade!

“Could we…” Louisa doesn’t look at me. „I mean … would you like to…“ Her hands tighten their grip on each other, and she shivers. “Would you like to go to the session with me?”

All of a sudden, I realize she’s afraid of the answer.

“Of course I’d like to.” I smile. It’s the first time since I came here. If she can find the courage to reach out, maybe I can too. I could start by saying something during the session. Who knows. I might hand in my razor blade some time soon. Or not. We’ll see.


Liste der anderen Indies

Karen Lynn My Story
Angela Wooldridge Uninvited Guests
Barbara Lund New Space
Kris Bowser Smithereens
Justine Ohlrich Two Deaths on My Birthday
Rabia Gale House Bound
Juneta Key Untitled
Mel Corbett If It’s Not Yours
Elizabeth McCleary Essence

13 thoughts on “Storytime Bloghop: January 2016”

  1. Mel Corbett says:

    Glad it ended on a more positive note, I was worrying about the protagonist there.

  2. Rabia says:

    This was a very different kind of story from what I was expecting. It’s a difficult subject, but you handled it with care and sensitivity, and showed us (and the characters) that hope always gleams through the darkness.

    1. Thanks. However, I completely forgot the speculative element. I’m a bit ashamed of that. 😀

  3. Yikes! Good story, but you’re right about it being dark. I agree that the positive upturn at the end is what makes this one.

  4. K. Lynn says:

    This one surprised me, Cat. It had a nice optimistic turn at the end, but that subject matter! I think you handled it well.

    1. Cat says:

      Thanks. I’ve got a friend who is suffering through this, so I tried to understand it better.

  5. Juneta says:

    Very suspenseful. Yeah great hook to keep the eyes reading and the ending made you give a sigh of relief. Well done.
    Juneta Writer’s Gambit

    1. Cat says:

      Thanks. It wasn’t an easy story to write.

  6. Justine says:

    My thoughts exactly, Angela 🙂
    Great work Cat! Seems like quite a few of us have gone for sad stories for this blog hop…. Including me.
    Watch for the typos, though.. There a quite a few #grammarnerd

    1. Cat says:

      I translated this in a rush to make the deadline and forgot to proofread. *facepalm*
      I’ll do it right away.

  7. Ahhh, a tiny spill of light in the darkness…
    You had me wondering all the way through how on earth it was going to end (and very relieved for all the characters concerned that it ended how it did!)

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