He was always there; and never quite. Burning flowers in a fragile vase, turn to the white walls and gasp at the vacuum. The room was his soul, mirrored in each stroke of white, in each dab of cream-colored paint on dry walls. Painting his blood on his dry skin. Pale skin, blue veins firing like cylinders. He was here; yes, stuck in the moment. Waiting for time and space to collide - bring down the fragile walls he had erected over twenty years. Twenty years of sweating over stones, stumbling through the ruins of whatever he called his life. Picking the perfect stones, erecting his perfect life. . .
Waiting for the tempest.
. . .but not. Even the stones had betrayed him. He could have spent a hundred years and been no better than now.
Cream-colored walls in the vacuum. In and out of time.
He needed to open the window.
There was a body in the backyard. Fool that he was, he wanted her close; oh, so close. He wanted her close, didn’t wanna forget her. Grow flowers on the spot, smell her. Instead, the flowers burned in the vase.
She had told him she wanted to be cremated. One airless night, when the drapes lay like a shroud. She had told him; she had told him her hopes and dreams - then.
She had burnt them down. I want to be cremated.He hadn’t done it. He couldn't do it.
So she lay, under the ground - under his ground. So she lay, buried. And all the while his soul screamed for release. Every night he opened the drapes; every night hoping for air, and instead, the air bore memories of her. Rocked them slowly to his side till he could smell them.
God! He needed to open the window.
Again; he refused to move
One spring the first flower had grown. Called it the Tear Flower. No water, spiteful sun, watered by his soul. Burned the flowers - cremated them. He owed her that. Smelled her memories, set her soul free. Allowed it to roam. Hers was the only free one, while his soul was in the walls.
Never quite there. Never quite felt.
Blood still on his arm.
He felt he was mad, smelling the flowers, he could feel the madness caressing him with its black forked tongue. He could feel it; yes.
He was mad.
Mad to burn the only connection he had with her, mad to smell her hair, her hands, her neck. Oh, God! He could almost feel her. So close.
The flower still burned.
He had a fool notion that if he burnt the flower to ash she might come back, that somehow the flower had become her.
“Silas?”He didn’t turn. She wasn’t there.
“Silas,” a faint buzz in the air. A flicker. “Silas, you fool.”
He didn’t turn - wouldn’t turn.
“Silas. . . the flower.” Another buzz, another flicker. “Silas.” Pleading now. Desperate.
He wouldn’t turn.
“Silas.” Gasping. Staring through cold glass. “Silas! Silas! You fool.”
He couldn’t turn. . .
. . . He finally turned.
She wasn’t there.
The Tear Flower had burned to ash.