Tuesday, 17 May 2011

#flashfiction 'Damage'

You see the issue with reality is, it doesn't obey a plot structure. Perhaps that is why we so often refer to 'losing the plot'; incidents just flare up and then fade, flare then fade and so on; this is how this story goes. There is no ending. Madness doesn't end. Sometimes, the story terminates temporarily in a dramatic whirl of blue flashing ambulance lights and failed ressucitation, but once the morning comes, the funeral done, like a creeping stealthy beast, Madness moves on to his next vicitim.

When Jimmy was fifteen years old, he walked in on the blade of a serrated kitchen knife holding his father hostage. The blade danced wildly before his father's eyes or maybe his father's eyes danced wildly before the blade; it was hard to tell where the glinting, flashing movement truly ended. Jimmy processed the image in the same way he watched a TV drama series; from behind the glass wall of suspended disbelief.

Even now Jimmy remembers the weight of his school books pulling at the straps of his bag; how the strap pulled the skin so painfully with tightness it cut into his flesh. Strange he should remember this detail when in front of him his father was stabbing the space between them with a knife.

"Get away! Get away! Don't let them take me. I won't go!"

Walking through a thick layer of reality, Jimmy walked towards the blade, strangely curious about the potential harm it might offer. He spoke to his father; a gentle, calming voice; the voice he might use with an injured animal or a harmed child. His father's head snapped round in a violent straining movement and with eyes, seemingly impossibly large his father glared at him, "Don't let it take me!".

His father slashed the knife, severing the bond between them, freeing Jimmy from the paternal umbilical chord. It was in this moment he knew he was truly alone.

No comments:

Post a comment