Page 15 - May 2021 Litterateur
P. 15

A song began to play slow and hauntingly. Each                                          Short Story

                 note rang like a bell in one’s head. Lois stationed

                 herself at the table and struck a match. She lit the                                    The Gift from the Sea
                 burner  and  the  fumes  of  camphor  rose  in  the                                        Madeline Clark , Arizona

                 cottage air while Boris lay curled upon the floor,

                 sleeping near the fireplace.                                                         were  my  gift  from  the
                                                                                                      sea.  My  daughter  who

                 “Inhale,  Sorrow.  Close  your  eyes  and  inhale,”                                  died,  came  back  to  me.”

                 Lois commanded her and she obeyed. The music                                         Then  she  asked  her

                 group, The Fixx, sang about camphor as the song                                      strangely,           “Can         you

                 and aroma filled the air.                                                            dance?”

                 When the song finished, they opened their eyes –                                     “I  think  I  can  dance,”

                 eyes  that  shone  like  precious  stones.  “Is  you                                 Sara nodded.
                 name still Sorrow?” Lois asked her.

                                                                                                      “I’m       going         to      play

                 “No. It’s Sara,” she quietly replied.                                                something  for  us.”  Lois
                                                                                                      got up and went back to

                 After  they  sat  for  awhile  in  silence,  Lois  clothed                           the  stereo.  She  put  in

                 Sara in a soft white flannel gown and she put one                                    another  CD  and  turned

                 on herself. Then they sat down to talk.                                              the      volume          up.     The
                                                                                                      introduction  to  Florence

                 “My  sweet  Sara,  why  did  you  try  to  take  your                                and  the  Machine’s  song,

                 life?”                                                                               Ship  to  Wreck,  blasted
                                                                                                      from  it  waking  Boris  up.

                 There was a long silence, then Sara finally spoke.                                   “Come on.” Lois grabbed

                 “I have a long, painful death ahead of me. Right                                     Sara  by  the  hand  and

                 now morphine barely works. Hell, I’m only twenty-                                    pulled  her  up.  They
                 two-years-old and I’m dying of cancer.”                                              began  to  dance.  Lois

                                                                                                      swung  Sara  around  the

                 “I have no family. I have no one. My parents died                                    room as Florence wailed,

                 in a boating accident ten years ago. I’ve been in                                    To wreck. . . from the CD.
                 foster homes.”                                                                       They  danced  wildly  until

                                                                                                      the both collapsed to the

                 “Not even a boyfriend?”                                                              floor,  laughing  when  the
                                                                                                      song ended.

                 “He left me. He couldn’t deal with my cancer and

                 my  scars.  He  said,  ‘Sara,  you  remind  me  of                                   “You  brought  me  joy,”

                 death.’”                                                                             Sara         breathed,          then
                                                                                                      began to cough. “But the

                 Lois sat quietly for a moment as the tears rolled                                    pain is so bad. I think I’m

                 down her aging face, then she said, “Sara, you                                       about         to     die.”       She
                                                                                                      shuddered and cringed a
                  Litterateur                                          15                             little.

                             REDEFINING WORLD
                          EDITED BY SHAJIL ANTHRU
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