Observe

The murdered girl stared at her own reflection. As dead as she was, she still retained her most basic functions. She could see herself, smell the rank odor of her decay, hear memories that wept down from the fluorescent lights.

She heard the squeak of sneakers. “Can you change her?” her mother asked. Was that the smell, then? Just shit? Had she been upgraded from decomposing to merely falling out in clumps?

“Oh,” said the nurse. “Yes, I’ll get that right away.” The murdered girl heard the soft-soled retreat as the nurse went for supplies so she could pretend to observe yet another formality reserved for the living.

“How are you doing?” her mother asked in her softest voice. But under that quiet, the girl could still hear her mother screaming. What has he done to you? He’s murdered you, murdered you, baby!

Her mother kissed her forehead. “Can you squeeze my hand today?”

She wanted to seize great fistfuls of blanket like she had seized the air as she fell. She wanted to grab onto her mother’s face and shout that she had dying to get on with and didn’t have time for clumping waste and fingers that couldn’t even manipulate the remote control to change the fucking Price Is Right off the television.

“Well, the doctor says to keep working on it. Do you want me to read?” And underneath that, the doctor whispering to her mother, “Be patient, it’s early days.” The doctor could afford to say that. His early days were her late days. None of these people seemed to understand that she was dead.

She blinked one time. Yes.

Her mother said, “Chapter three”. The murdered girl barely heard the nurse’s return. She descended into the rhythm of her mother’s voice, following the tone more than the words. She rose up and sank down on hills of language that seemed to carry her outward, bearing her on to a world where even the dead could fly.

___________________________________________

Here is my Trifecta entry for this week.  This week’s word is in the title. Observe.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.

Comments

Observe — 48 Comments

  1. Those are captivating words you’ve posted. Definitely one of my three favourites this week. (Excuse my weird spelling—I’m Australian.)
    Hop over and visit Tamyka Bell’s recent post RitualMy Profile

    • It’s something I’ve always been curious about, too. From everything I’ve heard and read, it seems like the mind can be trapped complete in a body long dead. I would love to know what would happen if such a brain could be transplanted into the body of someone who had been reduced to a vegitative coma.

    • It’s something I’ve always been curious about, too. From everything I’ve heard and read, it seems like the mind can be trapped complete in a body long dead. I would love to know what would happen if such a brain could be transplanted into the body of someone who had been reduced to a persistent vegitative state.

  2. Once again, JQ, your writing is superior. I really felt for her. The feeling of her being “trapped” is so agonizing. I can’t imagine. This sounds like it should be a passage in a novel.
    Hop over and visit Mel’s recent post I DON’T QUINOAMy Profile

    • I took a flash fiction course in my grad program. And I remember … not one piece I wrote in there was under 1,000 words, and all of them were painfully extracted. I feel like I’m taking the class over by doing Trifecta, and actually ‘getting’ it this time!

    • I’m so glad you liked it Tara! Your grandma scene delighted me. There was a combination of the whole family feeling obligated combined with the sense that none of them really cared about Meemaw at all any longer.

  3. Love this – horrible and creepy and frankly, one of my most terrifying nightmares. I love her observation “None of these people seemed to understand that she was dead.” But really, it’s the last line that just clinched it for me.
    Hop over and visit Christine’s recent post The BellmanMy Profile

    • Wow! Thanks. She really stuck with me when I was writing her. She wanted to badly to move that she KEPT MOVING THINGS in the story – an arm, a leg, and I’d have to go back and edit it out, feeling like I was a killer all the while.

  4. At first I was thinking she thought she was dead and just didn’t realize she was still alive. Then it became clear that she felt like she might as well be dead. So tragic-Great submission this week!

    • Thanks, Rachael. She may actually believe she’s dead and trapped in some kind of purgatory. It’s reasonable to believe she’s so souped up on drugs that she’s swooping around the hospital in her sleep. Most likely, though, she feels like she might as well be dead and wishes they would stop stimulating her and just let her die.

  5. I’ve read this times tonight. I can’t get past the theme of perspective and loss.

    This is so stark. You know I love edge and darkness and damn this soaks in both.

    I love it. Give me another 50K words of this.
    Hop over and visit Lance’s recent post Never Let You GoMy Profile

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