Silver Lining

Today was critical. Today was the beginning of the end for her. And yet, it was the beginning of a new beginning for them. Veronica heard her name. She felt misted, a little dizzy. The lack of sleep in the prison, all the noise, all the worrying – it had made her exhausted. The lawyer next to her touched her shoulder gently, in an attempt to wake her from her daydreaming. Veronica stood up and walked towards the chair next to the judge. Now everyone could see her. All those eyes were pinned on her. She felt uncomfortable, but she knew this was it, the time to speak up. She vowed to tell the truth and waited till her lawyer would start. He was dressed in a beautiful black suit. He was middle-aged and had a friendly face, with a trimmed beard. The first time they had met, Veronica had checked his hands. Clean fingernails, soft hands. It gave her a feeling of trust and peace that he was neat.
‘Ms., can you tell us what happened? Start where you would like to. Take your time’, he said.
Veronica had decided to focus on him while talking. She knew him, she trusted him and he knew the story already. That would make it easier.
‘I killed him, I am guilty.’
Everyone in the crowd seemed to hold their breath. Veronica saw stupefaction in her lawyer’s eyes. Maybe she should not have started with that. But it was the truth and she was not planning on denying any of it. She was not here to avoid her sentence, she was here to tell the truth. Veronica folded her hands, took a breath and went on.
‘Was I mistaken to kill him? Yes. But the only thing I regret is that it took me so long to figure out what was going on. I should have seen it so much sooner. It happed in my…’
Her voice cracked. Veroncia unlocked her eyes from the lawyer in front of her and searched for her daughters. They were both here. Julie was crying. She had her head down. She did not want to take in every piece of the environment. She was listening, but did not need to see. Sophie was stronger, just like her mother. Her back was straight, head held high. She was holding her sister’s hand. Their mother’s pausing made Julie look up. She pinched Sophie’s hand harder and tried to copy her posture. Veronica saw the strength of her daughters, which made her continue the story.
‘It happened in my own house. And I am their mother. I should have known. Marc used to check on them in the middle of the night, when they were young. There is nothing strange about that. It made me proud to have such a loving and caring husband. But they are teenagers now.’
Her lawyer nodded softly, to show her she was doing well.
‘One night, I woke up and Marc was not in our bed, not even in our room. We have bottles of water there, so I did not understand why he would leave the room in the middle of the night. When he came back, he was surprised I was awake. Mad even. His breathing was heavy and he seemed agitated. I never asked, I just turned around and tried to sleep again. But something bothered me, even though I had no idea what, at that time.’
Everyone in the courtroom was silent. All eyes on Veronica or her daughters. Everyone knew what she would tell next, they could feel it, like the words hung in the air already.
‘The next morning, I went downstairs when Marc was off to work already. The strange feeling was not gone. Julie and Sophie were having breakfast, in silence. I wanted to hug them, to shake of the annoying feeling, you know? When I came closer to Sophie, I smelled her delicious perfume. It was then I knew. I had smelled the same thing last night, on Marc.’
Veronica had tears in her eyes, just like her daughters. She did not have to say the word out loud, everyone understood. She wanted to say one last thing before she went back to her seat. For this, Veronica forgot her lawyer and everyone else present. She looked at Julie and Sophie, their entangled hands and smiled.
‘I killed my husband, so my daughters can live. I will not be free anymore, so they can finally be again.’

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 29 – words: misted, pausing, mistaken, critical (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.248934092122350/248934055455687/?type=3&theater)

Advertenties

Dirt

Nina was hyperventilating. The detective had given her a glass of water, but the thought someone was watching her, made breathing only more difficult. He was patiently waiting until she would calm down. His eyes were friendly, and she could sense a little worry by the way his eyebrows were frown. Nina closed her eyes, in an attempt to calm down. But when the black covered them, flashes of what happened took over. The bright lights of the cars. The briefcases which had been exchanged. The engine still running. Turning heads. Guns. And then only the woods. The endless woods. Her feet could not stop going, she had literally runned for her life. The blood which had made her left breast colourful and painful. She could still feel it streaming down her hip, even though the doctor had patched her up. The dried blood was still there. Nina’s eyes opened as fast as she had closed them. Her heart was pounding. She drank the cold water all at once and asked for some more. The man on the opposite side of the steel table nodded and stood up from his chair.
‘I will be right back’, he said, and left the room.
Nina watched him leave. He was tall, even for a man. She would say he was handsome, but in a way teenagers can be. His face was soft and young, although he had to be older than her. He was friendly. That was all she needed. Nina turned her head to the left. The one-way glass was greyish. It was not as clear as a window or mirror, but she could see her own shape reflected in it. Her eyes were wild, her copper hair tangled and dirty. The same dirt was under her fingernails and in the stains on her shirt. Mud from the woods she had been in, the blood of her wounds. No wonder the detective had concern in his eyes. She looked like the dirt of the earth, like a haggard child, one that had been living in the woods for years. The last 24 hours had made her this way. One day had been enough. The detective entered the room again, with a full glass of water and some biscuits. Nina could not even thank him with her smile. The adrenaline was still rushing through her veins. The fear still possesed her head. The dirt was still on her skin. She wondered if she would ever feel clean again.

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 28 – words: wild, lights, exchanged, engine (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.243979462617813/243979435951149/?type=3&theater)

Yours Forever

The waiter saw her leaving. The beautiful young woman fascinated him. He walked towards her table to tidy up and make room for new customers. Her coffee cup was untouched. The lemon cake as well. Like always. She would order one cup, one slice of lemon cake and she would always leave before she has drank one drop or eaten one crumb. It did not surprise him anymore. He looked up and saw her through the window pane, her elegant braids fluttering in the wind. He wondered how she had twisted her hair in such perfect symmetric shapes. He closed his eyes for a second and imagined her perky smile of the very first day. While opening them again, he noticed the piece of paper next to her cup. The paper was folded. It seemed like she had written something and changed her mind suddenly or maybe she had dug it up from her pocket. Both could explain the creases across the whole paper. He grabbed it and ran out. She could not be very far yet. His eyes scanned the street, but the braids had disappeared among the thousands of tourists of New York. She would come back tomorrow, he knew for sure. The wind unfolded the paper and uncovered her dainty handwriting. Big letters, in black ink. He felt drawn to her words, like she wanted him to read them. Swiftly, he looked around to see if anyone had seen it. He felt guilty, but he was hooked from the first three words. He needed to know what she had written.

Isaac, my love

I told myself I would wait a little longer, but my gut whispered that you would never come. I have been waiting for you. I have been sitting in this cafe every day, in hope I would see your face again, in hope I would touch the soft spot below your ears and find a way to your lips again. In hope.

I have imagined many times how you would walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, right into this cafe, right into my arms. I used to know what that feels like. I used to be able to feel it with my eyes closed. But now, all I feel, is the wind that bites my body and the emptiness that freezes me from within. Winter has come again since you left and the cold numbs me to the core. Your warmth in my imagination is not enough anymore.

Today, something has changed, my love. Today, my heart broke for the three hundred and sixty fifth time. Today, I give up.

Yours forever
Annabelle

He knew now she would not come back tomorrow. He would never see her again, the beautiful woman with the elegant braids. Because she had given up.

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 23 – words: waiting, creases, lemon, twisted (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.223524751329951/223524667996626/?type=3&theater)

 

459

The stitches above her left eyebrow were itching. She wanted to scratch, but that would open the wound again. Not such a good idea. The sound of the gravel underneath her feet made her focus again on the movement of her feet. She could not stop, not before she had reached the little airport outside the city. Right. Left. Right. Left. She could not stop, not even for a second. One second could make the difference and she could not take that risk. She reached for her phone in the pocket of her jeans and dialed Joseph’s number. He was tracking her every move. She was relieved to know he had her back. This was not a joke, this was life and death. Life and death, depending on a few seconds. On this thought, she started running faster. Her legs were protesting and her lungs were raw, but she had no choice.
‘You have eleven more minutes, Yaz.’
Yasmine uttered a cry of despair and pushed her feet to take larger steps. The airport was not even in sight and the flight would leave in eleven minutes. Joseph started to give her directions. She had only short answers for him, to make clear she understood. She was not capable of much more while running. She heard details about the plane, the flight plan and the passangers. 461 persons aboard. And Yasmine only had to find two. Two people in eleven minutes.
‘Piece of cake’, Joseph tried. ‘And you do not even need a ticket to get in, hah!’
Yasmine snorted some kind of laugh.
‘Any back-up on the way or is this really just me?’ she asked. ‘And no jokes, Joe, some honesty would be really nice now.’
‘Nobody else can be there in six minutes, only you got a shot. But there are cars in motion.’
Yasmine felt a change of pulsation in her carotid. This was on her shoulders. Nobody could save those 459 people, nobody but her. Yasmine hung up the phone, put it away and replaced it with her Beretta. She checked the magazine. It was not full, but it had to be enough to eliminate two people. Her feet were sore, but still no plane in sight. How much further was this damn airport? She put the gun in its holster and increased her speed again. Time was ticking away fast. 459 lives in her hands. 459. It was repeating in her head, like a mantra. 459. 459. 459. A humming noise woke her up from her thoughts. Yasmine looked up and saw a plane, only just taken off. Her phone rang. She had failed.

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 22 – words: risk, honesty, flight, ticket (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.219029975112762/219029925112767/?type=3&theater)

The Future

There are three people standing on the top of a mountain. This mountain overlooks humanity and its entirety. They can see time pass, from the cavemen to the astronauts that went to the moon, to the scientist today curing cancer. One of them looks up at the sky and says: ‘Breathtaking.’ The only girl of the three tilts her head up too and sighs lightly. She closes her eyes and searches blindly for a hand of the second man. Their hands intertwine and she guides his body closer to her. Finally the last one of the trio aims his eyes at the sky too. There they are, three people, on the top of a mountain, having the possibility to see humanity and its entirety, yet choosing to look at the sky. They know the past is right there, in front of them, telling its story once again. But they look up. The girl opens her eyes again and starts talking. ‘You know, guys, the past will never change again, but this sky will. Every day, it will have a new colour, a new smell, a new composition. Every day, a new person, born in this world, will breath this air. Children will search for rainbows, farmers will pray for rain, dreamers will see figures in the clouds.’ She smiles and takes a breath. Her eyes search the eyes of the two men. They are smiling too, it is like they are agreeing with her words by curling their lips. The girl takes also a hand of the first man, looks up again and goes on. ‘The sky will never disappear and never be the same twice. The sky is stronger than the past. The sky is like the future. The future will not disappear either. Not if you head off your eyes from the past and look up. Not if you see the possibilities that it holds, the different colours and shades, the million images, woven in it. The future will not disappear.’ With this thought, she starts laughing out loud. It is the most beautiful sound, this laughter. It tinkles a little, is genuine and unstoppable. This is the sound of happiness. The two men look at her and see the beauty of happiness, hidden in that laugh, in those eyes, reflecting the changing colours of sundown. ‘The future will not disappear’, they whisper.

Written for The Weekly Writing Topic on lettrs – “2015” (https://lettrs.com/l/amc7sr?v3=true)

First And Only

Tears rolled down her cheeks. She could see the watery paths they left, in the reflection of the window. She could taste the salt it brought on her lips. It merged with the taste of sugary coffee and him. His taste was burned on her tongue. She licked her lips and sighed lightly. The air that came out of her mouth formed an ice star on the window. Just for a second. Then it was gone. Behind her, she heard him waking up slowly. The sound of his soft snoring turned into normal breathing again. He turned in the bed, the sheets caressed his naked body.
‘Baby, come back to bed.’
His morning voice was a little rough. It still sounded like music in her ears. She closed her eyes for a minute and let the words sink in. She never could have imagined how much she loved his voice. Let alone his words, hands, eyes, lips… She never could have imagined how much she loved him. She turned around. He sat up, leaning on his elbows. He repeated his words. Like a little child, she crawled into his arms, where it was warm and safe.
‘Don’t cry, we still have a few hours’, he said.
A few hours. That made her heart shrink and swell at the same time. He brought his right hand to the back of her head and pulled the black hair tie from her ponytail. She knew he liked her hair untied. It made her shy, the way he was looking at her. She smiled and started biting the right side of her bottom lip – a nervous habit. His fingers, tangled up in her hair, made their way to her mouth.
‘Only I can bite your lips’, he whispered in her ear.
It felt like all the blood in her body rushed to two places. A red flush covered her cheeks and a animal desire started pounding between her legs. She saw that same desire in his eyes. The brown turned black. Last night, that black had brought her to higher places. Her breathing fastened, in anticipation of what was coming. He smiled and pressed her closer. His lips found hers, while his fingers glided down on her silky skin. And then there only was that kiss. All her worries disappeared into nothing with him so close. It had been their first night together. It would be their only night in a very long time.

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 6 – words: fingers, reflection, rough, coffee (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.177025905979836/177025669313193/?type=3&theater)

Captured In A Bottle

Everything was blurry. Her sight, her senses. Everything was numb. She was wearing a white dress, little white lace-up shoes and matching socks. Although white. It all used to be white. She could see how the colours were changing into grey, yellow and brown. The colours of dirt. Basement dirt. She could hear the sound of rain outside. The tapping had changed over into streams of water. She closed her eyes and imagined how her shoes would get wet. How her mom would yell and tell her to come inside. How she would enjoy every drop until her mother’s strong, warm hands would lift her up and carry her inside. A deafening bang woke her up from her daydream. She had dreams like this all the time. Moments in which everything was alright again. Moments in which her mom was there and she was safe. These moments were precious. Someone had slammed the door. Someone was coming down the stairs. In a reflex, she held her breath. Maybe now they would forget she was down here. The air in her lungs had left, but she was too scared to breath. She was slowly running out of oxygen. She knew she was trapped. She had known it for a long time. It felt like she was locked in a filthy bottle, with few inches left on every side. There was no way out. The hole along where the air came in was too small for her frail body. All she could do was watch everything happen, like the reader of a book, like a supporter on the sideline of his favourite game. The sound of the footsteps came closer. Along with those feet, a soft light changed the dynamic in the room. She was powerless. Her eyes widened. The light was now right in front of her, like the torch on a witchhunt she could not escape anymore.

Written for Skylark Challenge nr. 4 – words: precious, daydream, torch, oxygen (https://www.facebook.com/skylark.challenge/photos/pcb.177022529313507/177021519313608/?type=3&theater)