Skip to main content
Updated date:

Flash Fiction: On Distant Shores

Darius is a former high school literary and feature writer that loves reading books, listening to music, and watching movies.

Photo by Anastasia Taioglou on Unsplash

Photo by Anastasia Taioglou on Unsplash

III

Not much goes on in this small town.

I always wondered why I even remained here after all these years. Perhaps it's the house that's keeping me grounded? Or that phenomenon that always happens once every year? It was a mystery to me, to an old woman, who had supposed to have lived through time.

I have grown a personality during my young years as a sort-of revolutionary, a rebel for causes that don't directly affect me but will badly affect others. But there comes a time where you just have to accept what's served to you on a platter. I met him there during a time when continued fights were fought together. It was an adventure I knew was doomed from the start, but we both shared the sentiments of not feeling any regrets.

Maybe this is a way to give us a gift of reminding us that our loved ones are always there to keep us on track, to never lose sight of our goals during our lifetime. And maybe this is a funny curse inflicted by God, to make us be happy on a single day and suffer later on. And I am a religious, old woman of the town that practices what she preaches. The hilarity and irony of it all.

But maybe, just maybe, this is one of His plans. He always had plans, no matter how vague they are. And if we are to react to it, I guess the only action needed is to be thankful.

I get to be with my loved one again, for one more time, even if it's just for a day.

My husband was always a frail man, that's why I always wondered why he kept up with my constant lingering throughout the years. But that may be the reason why I loved him deeply and still do today.

I went my own way to recover old soundtracks we kept hidden on our stashes and found some to fix the disk player weeks before the event. It worked like majesty, bringing out the most natural sounds from our favorite songs.

I also fixed myself in front of the mirror, putting on the mildest make-up and the most beautiful dress I still had. Nothing like a mild powder on the face, a stroke of soft-colored red lipstick, and a beige, cotton dress to prepare a date. I even went my own way to rejuvenate my old "dancing" shoes, the one he always liked. I prepared a small meal and two cups of coffee, placed them on the living room table near the fireplace. I've opened the windows and let the wind blow in; let the light of the sun pierce my skin.

As the piano keys clicked their notes and the trumpets began blowing, and the disks began turning on the contraption, I stepped in the middle of the room facing his restored photo. I raised my hands as if a mannequin were being controlled and tried to remember the dance steps I had taught myself.

And there he began to appear, from a silhouette-like figure to a touchable, physical form. He wore the same colored clothes as I, even tying his own necktie. I smiled as he stood and reached his hands for mine. Time lost track of what happened next, but all I could feel was the warmth and joy of being with him again. I closed my eyes, enveloped the music of music, and completely swallowed with feelings that I had continued to miss. Dancing above heavenly stars with my only one, even if it's just for a day.

II

I woke up on a distant morning, or at least I tried. A cold one that ran through my entire body, chilling my arms and legs. It was supposed to be a sunny day, but the clouds seem to hide it for now. And it was also that day, a day to be commemorated as adults would say. Shifting in my bed, I tried my best to catch a few more minutes of sleep.

I managed to get ready in time as I opened my bedroom door, went out of the bedroom, and ran down the steps from the second floor. The pigmented lights from the sun cascaded through the crevices of the window spreading its shine on the wooden ground, enlightening them in vivid colors of orange, red, and yellow. I walked slowly into the kitchen to see a woman of dark hair, preparing the dishes for this important day. I smiled but never spoke a word.

And with a glance, she saw me sitting in front of the table. I watched her hummed and sang as she cooked my favorite food. A man of stature entered the room and sat in front of me, looking slightly forlorn. He quickly hid his expressions, but even I could see what his failing eyesight could not. Dad must've forgotten to buy new pairs of glasses again.

The smell of delicious food cooking near the stove was all I could remember. I couldn't remember how my mom looked as she prepared the meal, but all I hoped for that day was that she was happy.

Photo by Mike K on Unsplash

Photo by Mike K on Unsplash

I saw droplets of water fall down my table as my mom served us food.

She was trying to hide it with a smile, but even her mouth shook as she says my name. It was recent since I last heard her voice, calling out my name. It was usually when I was younger when I did something stupid. But the tone of her voice was very different today. Maybe because I only had a day to be with them.

I reached out my hand and slowly wiped her tears. She placed her warm hand to a cold hand of mine and caringly smothered it on the side of her cheek. Her tears didn't stop at all, but I hoped that time that it somehow helped.

Dad was as silent as ever, catching looks and glimpses at me from time to time. I heard that he had a hard time after my death, the moment I was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead. It doesn't look at it at his face, but you could see them in the redness of his eyes. He was trying so hard to keep together as this was supposed to be, in his own words, a happy day.

But it is not a happy day. A great one, for sure, but not happy. I looked at him as I stood, and went to him to give him the biggest hug I could offer. I wanted him to know that it's okay to be sad, and I want them to know that I love them very much, even if it's just for today.

I

I kept wondering why the waves pushed and pulled on the shores. It was mesmerizing to watch at a distance, seeing it as it dances at a calm and out-of-rhythm pace. The saltwater clashes on the beach as the sand it eroded bury what had laid there for moments, carrying it out in the deeps and never coming back.

It was morning when I watched her from afar as we walked through the beach, following her every step in the soft sand. The blooming sun gazes in the East as its sunshine slowly pierced through the palm trees. The humid yet cold wind blew and rustled its leave; her hair seemingly following the soft monotonous gust of the wind.

My steps buried the sand as I walked, and the waves seldom erased the steps I had taken. No looking back, I kept her in my sight as she slowly became closer. She stopped momentarily to view the ocean, how its beautiful reflections were synonymous with how I see her. And then she turned, looking at me, with a faint smile painted on her face.

The waves erased my steps, but not hers. Her steps wouldn't even leave some on the soft sand. And then I wondered why would such a thing happen if it was meant to happen again. I stopped wondering why the waves were pushing and pulling back then, as its knowledge slowly descended upon me from watching her from afar.

We spent the day walking, countless hours, walking by the beach. She always loved doing such mundane things. She would point at a view and see its triviality, its beauty. She turned such a normal thing into something I never would have thought to treasure.

Her ring stood out on her fingers. I never knew such an item would exist even on the other side. Maybe it was a safe keep of sorts, a treasure they are pardoned to bring. And she chose the one I gave.

A chime from a local cathedral gave the sign that those who had passed on and have returned will be returning to wherever and whenever they came from. I could imagine the pain of those who had lost a loved one for the feelings are seemingly mutual.

She walked to me, slowly, and cuffed her palms on my cheek wet with tears. I never wanted her to go, not again, but nature has its own rules that we should follow. I smiled as I placed my hand above hers. And as I closed my eyes, I felt the coldness of her hands slowly disappear.

I looked at the heavens with a smile, with tears running down, and sat on the beach where the waves pushed and pulled. I stared at the night sky gleaming with stars and wished that my whispers would be carried through the air.

Until our next lifetime, on our next eternity.

© 2021 Darius Razzle Paciente

Related Articles