Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Keeping it Light

by Mercedes M. Yardley
free horror fiction

Keep it light, you say.

Keep it light? You want a story about death. You want me to write something about a girl that lived, but not for very long, and died, and it was tragic. What do you mean, “keep it light”?

Keep it light, you say again.

Okay, so here it goes. Once upon a time, there was a dead girl.

She didn’t start out dead, you tell me. Revise that.

All right. Once upon a time there was a dead girl, but she was technically alive before she was dead. She could eat. She could breathe. She loved things and people, and they loved her, but really that wasn’t good enough, now was it? Not good enough to keep her alive.

You’re getting bitter. Watch it, you tell me.

I take a deep breath. I start over.

Once upon a time—

You already said that part, you say. And really, I could kill you. I just could. And the irony of that almost makes me smile, but not quite, so I just say:

In the beginning, there was—

I don’t like that at all, you say, and you’re nearly shouting now.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Let me try this one more time.

Do it right, you warn me.

I look you dead in the eyes, and I say, There was a girl, and she was beautiful. She was born and she lived and then she died, and it was unfair. Nobody could believe it, and we all said things that were meant to be comforting, like ‘it must be her time’ and ‘at least we were able to enjoy her, if only briefly’. But I loved this girl, and I hoped that she loved me, and even if I had to do crazy, horrible things to pass over and be with her, I would do it. And I did, and my family cried, but here I am, and she and I will be together forever. And we lived—

Happily ever after, you say.

Yes. Happily ever after.

I like that story, you tell me. You snuggle up to me, and I close my eyes and try to forget about this place, the thing that I had to do to be here.

I’m glad you’re here, you say to me. I was lonely without you.

I was lonely without you, too, but somehow that doesn’t really seem like the thing for me to say anymore.

_____



Mercedes M. Yardley writes on a laptop that is undeniably broken. She has a special affinity for sharks and red lipstick, (but not sharks in red lipstick) and always covers her eyes during the gory parts. You can see a list of publishing credits at http://www.abrokenlaptop.wordpress.com/.

21 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

Ooh, a fantastic start to 52 Stitches. I was swept along with the voice. Excellent.

Michael Stone said...

An excellent opening tale. Good work, Mercedes!

Jamie Eyberg said...

Wow. Very original, makes me shudder just thinking about it, once upon a time. . .

kurtnewton said...

Awesome!

jonathan pinnock said...

Wow. Great one to open with, Mercedes! Let's hope the next one's just as good. Oh, hang on a minute ...

Rebecca Nazar said...

Great work, Mercedes.

Rob Brooks said...

Great story! Almost like it was written to start off 52 Stitches. Great work!

BT said...

And so the class of 52 Stitches 09 begins...and on a very good note.

Well done Mercedes, excellent voice: deep, disturbing - very cool.

Inkpot said...

Brilliant, I loved it. What a great start to the year and 52 stitches. :)

Ken said...

Kick-ass, Merc! Well done.

Flabby Chick said...

Excellent scribble, Merc', round one to the girls. ;-)

Jodi Lee said...

Wonderful opener, Mercedes!

Janyece said...

Mercedes, you're fabulous as always! I was enthralled!

Barry Napier said...

I love the narrative style to this. VERY well done!

Felicity Dowker said...

I enjoyed this. Good job Mercedes.

L R Bonehill said...

Great first stitch Mercedes.

Natalie L. Sin said...

It begins!

I love the sense of dread in the story : )

Robert said...

Really liked this a lot. Great voice.

Ketchesons said...

Loved it! It gave me the creeps. I want to read more...

joshua scribner said...

The strength of this story is the narrative voice. It leaps off the page and you almost forget you're reading a story. I became caught up in my own prototype of a journalist talking to an editor, making the shock of the ending all the more powerful. Very impressive, Mercedes.

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