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Sorrow

by schoutenoutloud


Sorrow

“It’s over.”

Those two words, shredding the past, destroying it totally. He left, and it was like grief.

Someone she’d once known had a young daughter who had dies. Liz hadn’t known her very well, but whenever she visited, Sophie had always called her over, and she wanted to play with Liz for the entire afternoon. Even as it was, she would regularly emerge from that private world which children seem to retreat to while playing, to tap Liz on the knee, or sneak a hand onto the plate of biscuits while she shared some snippet of information from her life, about her friends or her school. Then she would retreat to the rug in front of the TV, and flip through picture books or barbies-dressing or undressing them, acting out imaginary plastic lives. She looked like a doll herself, with her small frame and painfully fragile limbs, the result of a heart defect. Then, one day, Liz had gone over and Soph had been in the chair in front of the TV, watching her favourite movie The Fox and the Hound. Liz had been talking to the mother when she heard a change in the short, shallow breaths. She had made her excuses and left. The next day, she got a call. Sophie was dead. There had never been an overwhelming amount of hope, but it was still a blow- there was no way to prepare for something like that. One day she was there, the next she just wasn’t. And never would be again. The sudden loss, that was the hardest thing. The knowledge that no-one would ever see her again, never see that peaceful figure playing in her own world on the rug in front of the TV. Her parents had lost their child, and they could never get her back.

That was how Liz felt now. The sudden loss, with no way to take it back, no way to undo it. Liz desperately wanted to somehow rewind, for the last few hours not to have happened. She wanted to shut her eyes and somehow fall asleep and wake up to find it was all a dream. She wanted this sick feeling in the pit of her stomach to go away, so she could pretend for a few hours that this wasn’t real, it hadn’t happened, it was all OK. She felt like screaming and crying and curling up on the floor and just and just and just...stopping. Ceasing to exist. Stopping and letting the tears flow and be overwhelmed by them and no longer feeling, just letting the tears wash through her and over her, allowing the emotion to engulf her and consume her, so she wouldn’t have to hurt anymore.

But no. She couldn’t. She’d have to hold out till she got home. Call Karen and get her to come in to cover her shift. Then she could go home and let herself be washed away.

Home. In the front door, hang up the keys on their hook. She walked straight to the bedroom and only then did she let herself think, remember. The bastard. Why. She felt herself curl up and discovered she was on her bed, so she kicked her shoes off and let the tears come. She felt them creeping out the corners of her eyes, collecting and running down her face to mingle with the snot dripping from her nose. She lay there and let herself go, let herself wallow in the hurt and be young again, a teenager breaking up with her first boyfriend. But it was deeper than that. This was the pain of years, years no suddenly worthless. She ached to feel his familiar presence next to her, t o feel the comforting touch of his shoulder against hers. But that was over. Never again. She could feel her breathing getting more and more ragged, and a wave of hurt rolled over her- he was doing this, it was his fault. Every time she thought she’d calmed down, she’d remember again how he was gone forever, that he would never be hers again. Then a fresh wave of grief would crash over her, washing away everything but the sick feeling in her stomach and the ache at the back of her throat. A horrible sound was coming out of her mouth, half sob half laugh, and she sounded like some demoniacal bird cawing at the world, and she could only breathe in gasps, gasps between the cawing. The patch of bed where she was lying was wet with snot and tears, so she moved her head, her mouth twisting into a slight smirk in spite of herself at the ludicrous notion that even though the world was ending, she still cared her hair was getting wet.

Gradually, she managed to calm down, and as the hiccoughing, cawing sounds coming out of her mouth subsided, her more practical side reasserted itself. She picked herself off the bed, their bed, and walked into the kitchen to make herself some tea and satisfy her stomach, which despite the situation, was still demanding sustenance. Sitting waiting for the kettle to boil, she dried her face and absent-mindedly pushed her black hair out of her face. Spooning sugar into her cup, she noticed a flicker of movement at the corner of her vision, and almost burst into tears at the thought of a cockroach invasion as well as everything else.

Standing in the shower later, she almost let the sorrow overwhelm her again, but she managed to fight it off while she washed her hair, letting the water run through it and relax her. She kept it in check until she stood in the doorway of the bedroom, confronted by the large, empty double bed. She let herself slide slowly to the carpet, and once again she felt the tears come, this time, it was different. She felt empty, as if the first time she’d cried had left nothing inside her, but still the tears came. It felt like they were using her up, consuming he and dissolving her, and she gave herself over, welcoming oblivion.

The next morning, Mrs Atkins from 45a noticed water leaking under the door of the apartment across the hall. She knocked on the door, avoiding the puddle, and found that the door swung easily open under her hand. She walked tentatively inside, calling out to the tenants, but it seemed to be deserted. She hunted for the source of the water, but all the taps in the house had been turned off, and the water seemed to have no source. It just stretched in a puddle from the entrance to the bedroom down the hall and under the door. Liz and her husband had left early, and in a rush it seemed, because they hadn’t even bothered to pick up the pyjamas lying in the centre of the puddle in the bedroom. Tutting to herself about the strangeness of some people, Mrs Atkins went to tell the landlord about the apparent leak. After a week, a sign appeared outside the building, reading “Apartment 45a-FOR LEASE”.

Sorrow

“It’s over.”

Those two words, shredding the past, destroying it totally. He left, and it was like grief.

Someone she’d once known had a young daughter who had dies. Liz hadn’t known her very well, but whenever she visited, Sophie had always called her over, and she wanted to play with Liz for the entire afternoon. Even as it was, she would regularly emerge from that private world which children seem to retreat to while playing, to tap Liz on the knee, or sneak a hand onto the plate of biscuits while she shared some snippet of information from her life, about her friends or her school. Then she would retreat to the rug in front of the TV, and flip through picture books or barbies-dressing or undressing them, acting out imaginary plastic lives. She looked like a doll herself, with her small frame and painfully fragile limbs, the result of a heart defect. Then, one day, Liz had gone over and Soph had been in the chair in front of the TV, watching her favourite movie The Fox and the Hound. Liz had been talking to the mother when she heard a change in the short, shallow breaths. She had made her excuses and left. The next day, she got a call. Sophie was dead. There had never been an overwhelming amount of hope, but it was still a blow- there was no way to prepare for something like that. One day she was there, the next she just wasn’t. And never would be again. The sudden loss, that was the hardest thing. The knowledge that no-one would ever see her again, never see that peaceful figure playing in her own world on the rug in front of the TV. Her parents had lost their child, and they could never get her back.

That was how Liz felt now. The sudden loss, with no way to take it back, no way to undo it. Liz desperately wanted to somehow rewind, for the last few hours not to have happened. She wanted to shut her eyes and somehow fall asleep and wake up to find it was all a dream. She wanted this sick feeling in the pit of her stomach to go away, so she could pretend for a few hours that this wasn’t real, it hadn’t happened, it was all OK. She felt like screaming and crying and curling up on the floor and just and just and just...stopping. Ceasing to exist. Stopping and letting the tears flow and be overwhelmed by them and no longer feeling, just letting the tears wash through her and over her, allowing the emotion to engulf her and consume her, so she wouldn’t have to hurt anymore.

But no. She couldn’t. She’d have to hold out till she got home. Call Karen and get her to come in to cover her shift. Then she could go home and let herself be washed away.

Home. In the front door, hang up the keys on their hook. She walked straight to the bedroom and only then did she let herself think, remember. The bastard. Why. She felt herself curl up and discovered she was on her bed, so she kicked her shoes off and let the tears come. She felt them creeping out the corners of her eyes, collecting and running down her face to mingle with the snot dripping from her nose. She lay there and let herself go, let herself wallow in the hurt and be young again, a teenager breaking up with her first boyfriend. But it was deeper than that. This was the pain of years, years no suddenly worthless. She ached to feel his familiar presence next to her, t o feel the comforting touch of his shoulder against hers. But that was over. Never again. She could feel her breathing getting more and more ragged, and a wave of hurt rolled over her- he was doing this, it was his fault. Every time she thought she’d calmed down, she’d remember again how he was gone forever, that he would never be hers again. Then a fresh wave of grief would crash over her, washing away everything but the sick feeling in her stomach and the ache at the back of her throat. A horrible sound was coming out of her mouth, half sob half laugh, and she sounded like some demoniacal bird cawing at the world, and she could only breathe in gasps, gasps between the cawing. The patch of bed where she was lying was wet with snot and tears, so she moved her head, her mouth twisting into a slight smirk in spite of herself at the ludicrous notion that even though the world was ending, she still cared her hair was getting wet.

Gradually, she managed to calm down, and as the hiccoughing, cawing sounds coming out of her mouth subsided, her more practical side reasserted itself. She picked herself off the bed, their bed, and walked into the kitchen to make herself some tea and satisfy her stomach, which despite the situation, was still demanding sustenance. Sitting waiting for the kettle to boil, she dried her face and absent-mindedly pushed her black hair out of her face. Spooning sugar into her cup, she noticed a flicker of movement at the corner of her vision, and almost burst into tears at the thought of a cockroach invasion as well as everything else.

Standing in the shower later, she almost let the sorrow overwhelm her again, but she managed to fight it off while she washed her hair, letting the water run through it and relax her. She kept it in check until she stood in the doorway of the bedroom, confronted by the large, empty double bed. She let herself slide slowly to the carpet, and once again she felt the tears come, this time, it was different. She felt empty, as if the first time she’d cried had left nothing inside her, but still the tears came. It felt like they were using her up, consuming he and dissolving her, and she gave herself over, welcoming oblivion.

The next morning, Mrs Atkins from 45a noticed water leaking under the door of the apartment across the hall. She knocked on the door, avoiding the puddle, and found that the door swung easily open under her hand. She walked tentatively inside, calling out to the tenants, but it seemed to be deserted. She hunted for the source of the water, but all the taps in the house had been turned off, and the water seemed to have no source. It just stretched in a puddle from the entrance to the bedroom down the hall and under the door. Liz and her husband had left early, and in a rush it seemed, because they hadn’t even bothered to pick up the pyjamas lying in the centre of the puddle in the bedroom. Tutting to herself about the strangeness of some people, Mrs Atkins went to tell the landlord about the apparent leak. After a week, a sign appeared outside the building, reading “Apartment 45a-FOR LEASE”.


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Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:07 am
Kale wrote a review...



Hello there schoutenoutloud,

I bet you thought you'd never get a review on this. Well, I'm here to prove you wrong. *insert mad/diabolical/insane laughter/giggles/cackling/whatever here* For too long have works like yours languished unreviewed, and so my comrades and I of the Order of the Knights of the Green Room are here to bring an end to such an ignomiously neglected state of reviewage.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the reviewing!

---

First things first, it appears your story duplicated itself for some reason, which makes this piece appear to be much, much longer than it actually is. This is something you'll want to fix as long pieces tend to scare away readers, and scared away readers are also scared away reviewers.

Someone she’d once known had a young daughter who had dies.

Watch your tenses. You have a few other cases of shifting tenses such as here:

In the front door, hang up the keys on their hook.

You also have a few spelling errors, such as in this sentence:

This was the pain of years, years no suddenly worthless.

With that said, the end of this felt quite abrupt and not quite fitting. Magical realism is quite difficult to pull off, because you have to establish early on in the story that magic is real. Right now, there's nothing to really indicate that what Liz is feeling is anything out of the ordinary (for her situation) or that it would cause her to literally cry herself to nothingness.

If you could add hints of that sort of magical occurrence actually occurring, it would go a long way in making the end feel much more fitting. As it stands though, the ending feels more like one of those "twist" endings, and twist endings rarely work out well because they often don't naturally follow from the rest of the story.





“All stories are true," Skarpi said. "But this one really happened, if that's what you mean.”
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind