Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Exile- A Short Story from 2011

I promised to put up some of my old writing, so here is a piece from 2011. 

This Document Copyright ©2011 By
Laura Morrigan. All Rights Reserved

The Exile
 
It isn't a cell. For that I can be grateful. It isn't the kind of place where the walls reek of disinfectant and hairy-armed women feel me up while I try to speak words that don't ring with the stifled emptiness of the place.

But it is so quiet here. At night I can hear my own breathing, my own heartbeat. It's hard to fall asleep when all you can hear is your own breathing. It's like when you start thinking about swallowing and then if you don't think about it, you can't do it, and you start choking, just from thinking about it.

It's so lonely here I almost wish I was in prison. I almost long for those sweaty hands and arms, to be bathed in another's sweat. Anything to not be so alone.

It is a small plot of land, surrounded by silent forest. Beyond the forest, there are no fences, but I know better than to try to escape. Where would I go to? For me, this is the last place on earth.

Somehow, they have made sure that there are no animals in the forest, not the smallest sign of life. No cicadas creak in the mornings and afternoons, no matter how humid the air, no beetles crinkle their way through the dry fallen leaves, no birds cry their melancholy sex-calls into the night. The only voice out here is my own, and call as I might, there is no one to answer. No words, no arms, no sex-calls. Nothing.

Isn't that the meaning of exile?

I have a companion, though it's a secret between the two of us, I can't even think it too loud for fear of who might hear it. We haven't spoken yet, and I don't think she will, she's the shy type. Her skin is the palest grey, and so smooth it's like running your hands through water. I've only just touched her on the shoulder yet, in passing. I don't want to seem too forward. She doesn't speak, but then, she has no mouth.

But who cares for mouths, for speech? Words are overrated. Words lie, sting, words berate, words accuse, words betray. Without words, we can never lie to each other.

And who needs words when you have a body like that, so perfectly formed, as if she was a human woman. Breasts small but perky, with a small, round belly, fleshy, demure thighs, lightly crossed to hide her sex. Smooth, shiny, the way she shines so slick in the rain, I want to lick the water from her cold flesh.

I don't care that she's not what you would call sentient, she's still alive. Sap runs through her veins, her roots wriggle in the earth, savouring its warmth, and you can see her leaves shake with pleasure when it rains. In the ancient days, people knew that all living things were connected, we all think and feel. I know that she thinks and feels, and I think that she notices me. She knows that I don't think of her as just a tree, whose knotted, twisted shape forms the torso of a woman. She knows I see the woman underneath, the blossoming sensuality underneath the guise of a tree. I don't know what she thinks about me, but I think she can see past the flesh to see the spirit hidden underneath. She knows we are alike.

It started with a greeting. A nod as I passed her by, gathering firewood or bringing seeds and seedlings to plant in the garden. Now I touch her shoulder as I go by, lingering a little too long, but she doesn't seem to mind. I love the smooth, round curve of her shoulder, cool to the touch. I fantasise about caressing the rest of her body, but I know that it's too soon for that. I would never assault her. She may be a tree, but she has feelings. I don't forget that.

I sketch her curves in my mind, smooth grey flesh so different from my soft, yielding dimpled body. I wonder how strange it might feel for her to be embraced by this flesh, if it would give her pleasure, or if she would feel disgust. I think she's open minded enough.

Every day, I touch her shoulder as I go by, but she says nothing, does nothing in return. I begin to wonder if I could have mistaken her interest in me. Not wanting to seem like a fool, I turn to go, and as I do, she drops a single leaf at my feet. It is a new shoot, so pale and translucent I can see the veins that run through it. It is the sign I have been waiting for . She has given me a part of herself. The message is clear.

I do not fall asleep for a long time, staring at the leaf, turning it over and over in my hands. In the darkness, it is nearly black, but I still see its beauty. That painful, beautiful twinge of new love fills my chest, and I want to cry with the agony and joy of it all.

I finally drift off to sleep. When I awaken, I have crushed the leaf in my hand, and my fingers and palm are stained faintly green with the sap.

I hear the sound of a chainsaw, ringing through the 'til-now-silent forest. Something tears at my heart, like a string, pulling in my chest. I know it before I see it. I can hear her screaming in my head. As I run out of the hut, I see her fall, cut down by the spinning blade, smashing into the ground with a thud that shakes the forest floor. The man turns and leaves the forest. I am not stupid enough to follow. I never even see the face of my love's attacker.

She has been severed at the waist. On the ground nearby, her beautiful breasts lie in the dust, only her thighs remaining. She lies in rough cut segments, pieces that no amount of effort could put back together. It's ok, I tell her silently, I still love you. It doesn't matter what you look like. She allows me to embrace her, to comfort her. I reassure her that we can still be together, we will make it work somehow.

Later, I sneak the piece of trunk that holds her breasts into the house. By day, I am the perfect nurse and lover, and we never speak of what has come before. It is the kind of love of which you cannot speak, silent and sad. Her breasts in the darkness call to me. All day long, when I am in the garden, when I am tending to my wounded lover, I hear them call to me, I dream of caressing them. There is no end to my agony until night falls and guiltily, desperately, I hold them in my hands. At night, in the darkness, guilty as a gravedigger, I caress the severed wooden breasts of my lover.

2 comments:

  1. That's an interesting story. Smiling. All kinds of good things to ask. Will email you later. <3

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  2. This is beautiful and enjoyable. Yet strange in that unique way. I felt sad for the cutting of the wooden lady and also the chill that calls back to the warmth of the pack, what I'm trying to say that this made me feel lonely but in that good way we all need to be lonely now and then.
    "Words lie, sting, words berate, words accuse, words betray." I loved that part especially. A blind person could see you're a truly talented writer.

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