It starts with a heavy pinpoint, sharp, deep in the middle of my heart. As I read Mic’s letter, it swells and blooms, licks like fire through my veins.
It’s a cold windy day and I’m at the window table trying to read the first letter he sent me. At least that is what I should be doing but I spend more time watching the dry leaves clattering across the sidewalk.
I sat here daily, for twenty years with a shotgun in hand. That shotgun is replaced by letters now.
He said, “I’d come back to you no matter what happens”.
I promised him, “I’ll wait for you, forever”
It’s growing dark and the streets are already empty. It has been a chilly, depressing day. I could hear howling wind and one long, repeated call — a bird perhaps.
The feeling I felt then, was love underneath, but it was wrapped in something hard and cold and perpetual.
Death has followed me for 40 years. Death came for my father first, it sputtered him out like a spent candle. I was seven then. 10 years later it took my mother. Everything I ever loved was gone with the tilt and flare of a scented candle against a curtain. Since then, I resolved never to put myself in a situation that could shatter the way my childhood did. The only way to avoid death was to run.
It worked perfectly for nine years until I met Mic. I felt life exuding from him, surging and bright. For a moment I was certain Death must be looking elsewhere. It stirred at my shoulder, tickled my ear, reminded me it was watching, waiting, poised to poison anyone I opened my heart to.
Everyday little letters from Mic, yellow envelopes addressed in green pen, would wait for me. I replied back, I told him about my father, my mother. About Death on my shoulder.
That day, I was woken from a lay-in by a tentative knock at the door. It was Mic. I was overwhelmed, frozen. He dived at me, wrapped his arms around me. My heartbeats were so golden and warm Death didn’t stand a chance.
You can’t keep him… Death whispered, nervous. Run, before it hurts.
It offered me it’s most enthusiastic ‘contrafibularities‘ that could never be defined just as death could never be defined.
I smiled. And said yes to Mic’s proposal. Because I thought Death couldn’t catch either of us if we’d run together.
The shrill call comes again, thin, high, and mournful. What kind of bird calls like that? Something is out there.
The wind is tapping branches against the window. I look out but see nothing. Dusk is falling but the street lamps are not on yet. Then I see a tiny movement right under my window. Something is crouching below the marigold bushes. A hurt bird, perhaps?
After they reported Mic dead, I began to keep the shotgun next to the front door.
I’d sit for hours beside my window table staring outside, thinking that the day he’d return, reeking of decay, I’d run a finger down the barrel of the shotgun, propped beside me.
“Thank you for coming. I waited for you” I’d say.
“I promised.” He’d smile under the bullet hole they would have put through his forehead. Dried blood would flake off of his eyelid when he’d blink.
“I’m not coming with you,” I’d say.
“Death has done us part. Let it join us together once again.” He’d say.
“I have decided to fight against it” I’d tell him.
I drape myself in a warm brown shawl and open the door to see what that thing is.
A small bundle of grey fur, a tiny kitten, hope ? almost lost in the gloom. It meows, a thin, desperate sound.
When I pick it up, it is ice cold and I can feel every vertebrae. It’s nothing but a skeleton. I look out for any scratches or bites, she was safe. I take it into the warmth and give her milk. It opens great green eyes and looks at me. It rumbles in an attempt to purr. After a while it curls up in my lap.
Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them, he can’t blame me for breaking mine. Before moving on, for twenty years, with a shotgun in my hand, I sat there and waited, but he never came back.
Okay I’m in love with the zombie apocalypse, the idea fascinates me so much. I’m sorry if it disgusts you 😉 The story is written about the time when zombies would be somehow sensible, they’d actually remember things rather than just “Brains”.
More or less 740 words story written for speakeasy. The challenge this time was to use, “I sat there and waited, but he never came back” as the last line and give some kind of reference to a scene from the British comedy show, Blackadder the Third. Hope you enjoyed. Click on the badge to see detailed rules and other entries on Tuesday.
47 thoughts on “Waiting For A Dead Promise”
Wonderful story, Lala! I read Death as our mortality and how some try to escape their fate. When I got to the part about zombies, I was thrown for a loop in a good way 😉 There are several great lines in here, covered in the other comments. Count my sentiments as the same of those who have already spoke about how great they are!
I love how you made this into a little mystery. And you have such great imagery. My favorite phrase: “gone with the tilt and flare of a scented candle against a curtain.”
I see that that’s everyone else’s phrase too! Haha 🙂
*favorite phrase… okay, I’ll stop commenting now 🙂
I can honestly say that this is the most beautifully written zombie story I’ve ever read! 😉 This is a lovely piece of writing. I like her tiny victory over death when she saves the kitten.
What an interesting love story. As I read, I tried to think when this took place… I was getting a civil war vibe. Maybe a soldier not returned… or executed by firing squad. But Zombies! Okay that makes sense too. I enjoyed reading your story, Lala.
p.s. love the photo…
Ooh, zombies and kittens! Two of my favourite things. 😉 This is great, Lala! Nice pacing and a wonderfully mournful tone. I love this line “the tilt and flare of a scented candle” too.
Great story! I thought maybe they made a mistake when they reported him dead, and that he was out there, desperately clinging to life as he crawled from wherever he had been to her door. The kitten is much more believable!
The “the tilt and flare of a scented candle…” I love that turn of phrase: “tilt and flare” —
Oh thank you so much 🙂
I have to tell you that I find zombies very scary but you kept me reading till the end. I especially liked the symbol of hope in the form of the kitten at the end. Very nicely written.
Oh wow Zainab so glad my story involved you to read till end. Thanks so much for such beautiful appreciation 🙂 Love xx
I’ve also noticed that your writing is getting better and better. Way to go!
You have a great imagination. I liked your story.
Thank you so much my friend for your beautiful words 🙂
Amid death hope joins in…leaving something to hold onto when there’s a gap created by death 🙂 Written Beautifully.
Yes exactly 🙂 Thanks so much for this beautiful appreciation 🙂
OH, I would love to try this speakeasy challenge, I just need to organize myself! Great writing! I really enjoyed it!
P.S. The photo looks like someone is under the covers!
Oh yes you definitely should try, It is awesome you know it makes you creative 🙂 Thank you so very much for reading my story !Yes I know the photo looks mysterious, that’s why I chose it 😉 Loved having you here !
The story took me from beginning till the end, Lala. Great writing. Is it based on a true story? Pawkiss for a Happy Week my furriend 🙂
Awh thank you my lovely friend for reading my story, it is a fiction. So glad to know you liked it so much 🙂 Feels awesome to have you here 🙂 Have a good day ! Love you xx
Great story! I think I might be a bit paranoid though… when she opened the door, I thought for sure the cute, starving kitten was going to kill her! I kept waiting for death, but she got hope instead…. nice 🙂
Lol oh I had no idea a kitten can kill anyone, I would have added a twist if I had that idea 😉 Thank you so much Janna for such an awesome response ! Love you xx
Well..i this is certainly a great story..one worth reading three times over..to get the full meaning..
And i wonder..about this Zombie Apocalypse..as i enjoy all things..human and cultural..in impact..for the humans..being as they are..
When i was young..it was the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD..BUT IT TRULY TERRIFIED PEOPLE..AND NOW…
IT SEEMS TO amuse folks moreover that ‘terror’ them…
Now that’s truly interesting..
And it says something..about the progress..
Yes extremely poignant..
in my opinion..
but i cannot tell ya y
it would not be appropriate..i think…
OK..but anyway i think..i said happy wedding..and all of that in another post..and i dedicated my current post along with another one of your posts..and a response to to your post in my post..NOW..if that ain’t too complicated..
And yes .. underwear..photos and all of that2..for my FULL artistic expression..in my poetry now…
aND ALL OF ME…
But no.. per GOD and all to that..
my underwear photos..are nothing..compared to dead humans..
eating brains..the norm now..IN CULTURE..in Oh My god i guess..your country 2…
where underwear and the human body..in general..
is frowned upon..
and looked on as evil…2
really overall no different in my country 2…
as i’ve lost face book friends..cause my underwear is too offensive to some family folks…
Now that my friend is sad..
but a TRUE story…:)
and again..best wishes for yOur wedding..
but i am just gonna stay..
in my underwear..
no zombies for me..
I AM TOTALLY ALIVE..:)
WOW thank you friend for such great appreciation. I guess people find it amusing because it hasn’t happened yet… I am sure it would be a terrifying concept if it happens in real ! Thank you so very much for reading and sharing your thoughts . No zombies for anyone 🙂 Love xx
Some people really don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them. When she promised him, “I’ll wait for you, forever”, she made a promise too. Forever is a lie, the fault is in ourselves.
Brilliant story, loved how you described the death’s chasing stuff and feelings and all.
Yes Maria yes you are right…. Forever is truly a lie but she had faith in his promise so even when he was dead she waited for him before giving up on him. Thank you so much for such an awesome appreciation 🙂 Love you xx
This post really is captivating and touches deep!
The wordings are so well placed as ever!
“Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them”
“The story is written about the time when zombies would be somehow sensible, they’d actually remember things rather than just “Brains”.”
A great thought!
Oh wow Usman so good to see you here reading my story 🙂 Thank you so much for such awesome appreciation. Means a lot 🙂
Wow, you had myself and most definitely your readers enraptured in the emotions of your words, great post as always..!
Oh wow Thank you 😀 I feel awesome 😛
Keep it up Lala 🙂
Sach Bataaun? This is the BEST post you have written till date. Exceptional! Exceptional!
“Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them, he can’t blame me for breaking mine. Before moving on, for twenty years, with a shotgun in my hand, I sat there and waited, but he never came back.”
Seriously GREAT 🙂
Hayeee OMG Really ? 😀 Thank you thank you, awesome 😀 Itni achi tareef it means a lot bhae me havaun me urr rae hun haha 😛 Thank you so very much ! Tumhari ye boost up kerne wali tareef muje majboor kerti hai likhnay k leye and I love you for that 🙂
You are welcome sister… 🙂
Gift ready 🙂 You want it? Maria ko diya hai… Kal tak pahunch jana chaahiye… Agar nahin mile to bataana 🙂
Ohh, I love it! All that, and a cat too! But lol your cat is much nicer than mine – this is my first time at trying the speakeasy – good luck to us! xoxoxo ;^)
Haha Thank you Ayesha ! You cat is cute too, and funny 😉 Best of luck for your writing Ayesha you have written a great piece ! Thank you 🙂 xx
Waiting for twenty years, how old are you 🙂
Lol this story is not about me though I wish I could see Zombie apocalypse too 😛 Thank you !
I know 🙂 I just found it very enjoyable, twenty years with a gun 🙂
Lol yeah you know fiction me ap kuch b likh saktay hain 🙂
It is a great ending 🙂
Great post! Very well written 🙂
Oh Thank you ! So nice of you 🙂