As Time flies still

As Time flies still

16 January 2016

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She shrieked. Her mother ran in from the other room, wondering if she hurt herself. She was standing there, trembling, her face contorted with fear as she gazed at the middle-aged woman in front of her. Look she screeched at her mom, who is that fat woman? It is you, answered her mother, tears running down her face.


She looked at herself in the mirror. Time had passed faster than she imagined. Ten years! She could not believe that this had happened. The words of her mother explaining everything drowned into the distance and she only picked up bits and pieces so akin to the bits and pieces of herself that she was now picking up, recollecting her past as she examined that unknown paunchy dull woman. …Catatonia… you were… depressed… never reacting… I took care of you despite …fed you… combed your hair… bathed you…


The grandfather clock seemed to pound the seconds synchronised with the beating of her heart as she reached out to the image of herself and the vision of her hand with its strange reflection, chubby with the nails crooked and bitten off was another shock. Ticks and tocks, how many more shocks, her mind whispered. She still could not believe so much time had passed without her even living those moments truly. Of essential time she had not felt the chime, she told herself. It was as if someone had stolen those years, hidden them away from her. Oh but to find the key to the treasure chest and wind back those memories to contemplate!


She looked back to her image, the weary tired eyes with the crow lines extending towards the cheeks. Those cheeks once so rosy and spruced how they were all faded now sad and grey. That sagging tired jawline could sink the spirits lower than wine she thought to herself as her finger traced them slowly towards her temples. Her head was aching now and she pressed her temples hard wincing under the pain but glad to be feeling again something at least. All those years gone by that she would never be able to witness like grains of sand they had seeped through her fingers and would never come back. What had happened to him she wondered. Tempus fugit… a cackling voice repeated over and over in her mind as she sunk to her knees.


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Written in the context of FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #9

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Miles Davis – Tempus Fugit

SPECTRE Soundtrack – 19. Tempus Fugit by Thomas Newman

Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall

Los Muertos Vivos Estan (Movie Version) (“Spectre” soundtrack)

This was not about them

This was not about them

20 December 2015

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The sky was grey. Jenna hated when the sky was grey. It felt like it would fall on her head as the clouds hung low and foreboding. She felt she could almost touch their dark rim. She sighed and put on her black leather coat to match her black tights. She would have to take a taxi to St James as none of her relatives would pick her up. She paused in front of the kitchen ledge in front of a large old parcel. Her hands reached out slowly but she forced them back in her pockets. Somehow, she found they had made their way back to the parcel, caressing distractedly its faded paper flowers. She picked up the parcel almost against her will and rushed out as the taxi honked again angrily. She must have been daydreaming because the neighbour yelled at her that the driver had honked at least five times and the rest got lost as she grimaced a smile towards her neighbour’s scowling face and ran leaving her grumpy neighbor’s words to trail away behind her.

The taxi dropped her right in front of St James. At least one advantage for not driving to the place she thought to herself. She entered and saw them all lined up in a small row. For such a celebrity there were much less people than she would have imagined. In fact there seemed to be only the closest family. Looking at them from far she imagined them to be some consortium of crows cawing at each other, the queen crow, her aunt, throwing her wings about in an absurd way. She moved closer and felt more than she saw her aunt stiffen, all drama wiped out from her frame. Hello Aunt Estelle, said Jenna. Nobody answered even as she turned towards her cousins greeting them. Cold looks met her attempt at friendliness. Jenna’s hands fell to her sides. She heard one of her cousins whisper to another that she should not be here after showing such ingratitude towards their dad. She squared her shoulders and moved forward. This was not about them. It was her right to be there.

Another cousin, the daughter of another aunt whispered that it was all Jenna’s fault that people even gave credit to those awful stories that came up and that had spurred the investigation that caused her uncle’s heart attack. Jenna gritted her teeth. She had heard about the young piano student’s mother complaining. It was certainly not her fault. She had only flung a box of chocolates at her aunt and uncle screaming that she hated her uncle and had disappeared so many years ago. People had thought she was being extremely ungrateful towards this couple who had taken her in at 10 when her mother was first ill. People had blamed her for the way in which she left. Jenna straightened her posture and stared ahead. It was not her fault that it happened to be a box of chocolates that the little girl gave her mother saying that Uncle Elliott, the piano teacher, had given them to her to be a very good girl. It was not her fault either that Uncle Elliott did not actually know what was the true meaning of a good girl and that the girl’s mother did not agree to his notion of it. It was not her fault that the police did not share either Uncle Elliott’s ideas on what a good girl was.

Jenna stared at all her cousins in a row, at the various aunts and uncles who simply looked away when she looked at them, trying to establish eye contact and make them understand that she did not mind anymore. This was not about them anyway, she told herself again. She remembered Ralph’s suggestion on letting go and moved forward quietly. The casket had a glass portion at the top and she could see her uncle smiling back at her. Her hands felt damp and chilly as they clutched her pants and the edges of her leather jacket. She reached slowly into the large bag on her shoulder and drew the parcel out. As she fumbled, her hands too sweaty, the old paper  tore and all her cousins, aunts and uncles gasped as one by one more than a dozen small chocolate boxes fell from the parcel, the chocolates falling out from the boxes and spraying the coffin brown and white. Jenna stared at the messy coffin which looked like someone had vomited all over it and looked back at her cousins who had now closed in on the coffin looking aghast at her and at the coffin. She looked back calmly, not feeling any sweat anymore on her palms. It was as if the parcel and its contents had dried off all the sweat forever when they fell from her hands onto the coffin. Her aunt Estelle raised a hand as if she meant to embrace her but Jenna backed away from her. She broke through the row of her cousins and walked, never looking back. This was not about them.



This post was inspired by a prompt from the Ronovan writes series with this week’s prompt being about a family gathering.

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