Flash Fiction

Skeleton’s Ghost (Sandcastle 4.09)

I don’t know what possessed me to come see you. I, who held you all my life inside my hands and thought they were empty. I know now what emptiness is, and I miss you for it.

I have been wandering, endlessly restless. You, I see, remain undisturbed. I envy you for your apparent peace now that we have been flensed and cleansed of this marriage. I touch your bleached tarsals like a regretful mother. Touch. If only I could again. My fingers — these translucent appendages I still call “fingers” because I haven’t another name for them — pass through you.

I know the word for this feeling: despair. I remember how it used to flood my vision and trickle down my cheeks, hot and salty and wet. I wish I still had that outlet. It just swirls inside me now, wet still, but cold, unbearably cold, currents of tangible nothingness.

I lay down beside you. Nature has devoured every part that made you move, every ligament that once joined us except one invisible tether that compels me to return to you every night on this date. They’re still hunting for the man who separated us. As if that brings any comfort. As if you care, or are even capable of feeling comfort. My sight ends on the spider web of cracks in your cranium, the only imperfection of yours. Arthritis hadn’t worn you down yet. We didn’t have time to make all our mistakes, to fall, to fracture or even break and then heal. No time at all.

I rise. The wanderlust still makes me anxious. When they find you, when they find him, perhaps I will finally be able to sleep, like you. Until then, this is your resting place, and I must wander on alone.

 

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