Unmoving: Chapter Six

Unmoving by Kisa Whipkey

∼∞∼

Emotionally spent, I slumped against the back of the bench, staring limply at the brackish water. I didn’t blame the other patrons for not rushing to my aid. I wouldn’t have either. I’d never gone out of my way for anyone, let alone strangers. Why should I expect differently from them?The brutal truth was that I’d failed to form lasting connections, even with those closest to me. Elaine had been the only one. And in the end, I’d failed her too.Elaine.

A stab of regret pierced deep into my marrow. I knew I was risking a return of the worst style of panic — the recurring nightmare of that night three years ago — but I also knew I was too drained for it to have any real power. I waited for a few cautious minutes, repeating her name like a desperate plea for salvation, over and over, my lips shaping the syllables silently against the chilly autumn air.

The panic tried to lift its head, but it was too weak and disappeared into an exhausted pool in the darkness of my brain. It would be back though. It always was.

I pulled the sketchbook from my jacket and flipped through the pages slowly. Reflections of Elaine passed me; a flipbook of her various emotions. Smiling, laughing, beautifully worried, angry, all the facets that had made her so wonderfully complicated, and yet so simple at the same time. I’d always known what she was thinking, her face open to me like a flower tilted to the sun. She was a frozen ray of sunshine in my otherwise bleak life, a moment of bliss permanently preserved in my dark timeline.

I flipped through the pages until, finally, I came to the sketch I was looking for. It was rough, the lines imperfect and filled with angst. To anyone else, it was a less than impressive display of my fancy education. But to me, it was the most accurate detailing of Elaine’s soul. A close-up of a carefree expression thrown over her shoulder as she laughed, her hair flying wildly around her in an invisible wind, one large Plumeria flower tucked securely into the strands behind her ear. I’d stared at this sketch for hours, and yet today, her eyes seemed to bore into me. Their depths screamed with accusations never said, judgment, and a melancholy wish that things had been different.

I lowered the sketchbook to my lap, letting the worn leather rest against my stony legs. I tried not to think about the fact the grey was now curving around my hips, edging hungrily toward my stomach. Instead, I stared at the picture of Elaine.I traced the outline of her cheek with my index finger as the edges of the sketchbook began to turn grey, the stone feasting on a new offering. I watched it slowly devour the page, grey ink smearing over the darker grey lead of the image until it had fused the leather and paper with my legs. I found it oddly appropriate that my inner regret and shame would forever be on display, publicly immortalizing my wistful musings into just another vaguely romantic and generally ignored park statue.“Is revenge everything you hoped it’d be?” I asked her. Her laughing face seemed to mock me, the merriment I’d imbued into her lips taunting, the subtle glint in her eyes shifting to a malicious flicker of justice. “Yeah, I bet it is.”

I wondered vaguely if death by stone was a painful process. The skin over my abdomen grew tight, ceasing to move. I didn’t have long. Once the grey fingers reached my chest, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. My heart couldn’t keep pumping. I’d die.

Looking at Elaine’s picture, I kind of hoped it would hurt. I deserved for it to hurt.

Unmoving: Chapter Five
Unmoving: Chapter Seven
About

Kisa Whipkey is a dark fantasy author, a martial arts demo team expert, and a complete sucker for Cadbury Mini-eggs. She's also the Editorial Director for YA/NA publisher, REUTS Publications. She developed a passion for storytelling at a young age and has pursued that love through animation, writing, video game design and demo teams until finally finding her home in editing. She believes in good storytelling, regardless of medium, and applauds anything featuring a snarky lead character, a complicated narrative structure, and brilliant/uncommon analogies. Currently, she lives in the soggy Pacific Northwest with her husband and plethora of electronics. Her personal blog--featuring sarcastic commentary on all things storytelling--is located at www.kisawhipkey.com. Or connect with her via Twitter: @kisawhipkey. And, of course, to learn more about REUTS Publications, please visit www.reuts.com.

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