L – C = U

For Wednesday Write-in.

I can’t say I ever thought it would be like this. There’s nothing in the Bible to say much other than ashes to ashes, dust to dust, or something like that. I’ve never really paid much attention; haven’t read it. Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard, that’s more like it. So you could say that at the very least that I’m surprised.

Astonished, in fact. Hardly knew what was happening. After all, the bullet had penetrated my mouth, my brain. For that mini, mini second I could trace it’s path. Up and through flesh and bone it travelled. Into my brain. And I had, for an earlier mini, mini second, heard the firing pin strike the primer, heard the primer setting off the gunpowder, heard the explosion and heard the bullet tear itself free from the brass case. There’s no doubt that it was all over, that the deed had been done.

Being alive is an impossibility. And yet! Here I am seated on my bed in my apartment, I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue on the radio, dishwasher wish-washing, the two thirds empty vodka bottle sitting on the table with together with the note I was scribbling not five minutes ago.

Actually, I’m not sure what I had expected. Nothingness, whatever that is? Clouds, angels, people in white smocks? Fire and brimstone and lots of little devils with red-hot pitchforks? Heavenly choirs? Or Leonard Cohen at his most melancholic?

Now here’s something to write home about!  Everything is in monochrome. Monochrome! Even the Tretchikoff propped up against the dresser ready for when Felicity comes to collect it with the rest of her/our things later today, and the Lego castle that Charlie and I built only yesterday still lying on the floor. And the mess of brain and blood and hair sprayed onto the wall behind the bed.

There’s no colour. No colour in my unaliveness, my not yet deadness. Colour means life. There is no life without colour. Remove colour and there is no aliveness. There’s probably a mathematical formula for this; maybe, “Life minus colour equals unaliveness”, or l – c = u. Maybe. Actually I don’t care. Not my problem.

All is monochrome.

But I can still hear. My hearing is perfect. And as the ring of the shot starts to fade I hear the first vibration of the front door opening. Felicity has just fetched Charlie from school.

My timing is perfect.

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10 Responses to L – C = U

  1. emmaleene says:

    This is great! So we’ll put together. Loved all the twists- you really have a talent for holding the reader’s attention by revealing just enough & remaining mysterious. Thought the description of bullet was very well done. The details you use make it come to life-for example : being able to still hear is a great touch- as a child I fainted a few times & I could always hear everything going on around me when I was passed out. I found that part plausible! Lots of devils floating around this week- spooky!!

  2. I’m not surprised you needed a rest after writing this! It’s fantastic, I particularly like the way you play with our expectations, give us a seemingly ordinary suicide tale, then twist it into an oddity. Very well done.

  3. Joe A says:

    Needs black and white moving images, a french accent and ciggarette.

  4. Tessa Sheppard says:

    I agree, this story is creepy but holds your interest until the very end. Well written.

  5. SJ O'Hart says:

    God. Chilling. Disturbing. Upsetting. But wonderfully well written. Excellent story, Patrick – though I really feel sorry for wee Charlie…

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