Flash Fiction

Waiting

“How long has she been out there?”
“She’s been waiting since before sunrise,” Celeste said to James as he stared at the window towards Marion. She sat motionless in the lotus position in the center of the yard.
Turning, he looked at Celeste. “Waiting? Waiting for what?”
Celeste shrugged her shoulders. “She’s not talking or at least she isn’t talking to me.”
James crossed his arms over his chest with a huff. “Well this is ridiculous,” he said out loud. “Before sunrise?”
Celeste nodded.
Sighing, James uncrossed his arms and charged out of the room. He would get to the bottom of why Marion was acting so daft.

#
     Marion could hear James stomping through every living being in the yard. She wanted to say something to him be stopped herself. She knew he wouldn’t understand. He would never understand.
     “Celeste says you’ve been out here since before sunrise,” he said. “What’s this about?”
     Marion kept her eyes closed. She didn’t want to look at him nor did she want him to see how she was on the inside.
     “Have you gone mad?” James asked her. “Why aren’t you talking?”
     Just breathe, Marion’s mind whispered to her. Just breathe.
     Hearing the bones in James’ knees crack and bend, she felt him kneeling in front of her. “Anyone home?” he asked with a tap on her forehead. “Hello?” Another tap. Feeling James’ hand on her cheek, she felt him lift her left eye lid gently and then her right. “Please,” he said, taking both her hands into his. “Please tell me what is happening?”
     Marion felt tears slip through her closed eyes. How could she tell him without showing him her true self. She squeezed his hands and held them.
     Feeling James’ forehead against hers, she felt his sadness and frustration seep into her like a slow moving fire.
     “I’m waiting to go home,” she whispered to his cheek.
     “But you are home.”
     “I’m so very far away,” she whispered. “So very far away.”
     Feeling James’ forehead pull away from hers, she felt the anger in the air around him thicken like roux. “Get up and stop this nonsense,” he demanded. When he didn’t get the response he wanted, Marion felt him pulling her arms, trying to pick her up, and then collapasing back in front of her on his knees. “Tell me what’s going on,” he said, grasping both sides of her face with his hands. “Tell me.”
     Marion opened her eyes as a blue light bathed them both. “I’m going home,” she whispered as slowly felt herself break apart. “I’m going home.”
#
     James watched as Marion slowly began to disintegrate into nothingness in front of him. “You can’t leave me. Where are you going?”
     “Home.”
     “This is your home,” he screamed to the fading parts of her. “Your home is with me and Celeste.”
     “I’ve waited long enough,” the fading reflection of Marion said to him. “It’s time.”

     With the final dust of Marion disappearing into the blue light, James watched the light disappear. He was alone in the yard with nothing. What was he going to tell Celeste? How was he going to tell their daughter that her mother just disappeared into the sky.

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