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Saturday, May 17, 2008

“Merideth, my love…” I whispered over my shoulder as I did every day. I would never face the lake that took my sister’s life, but it was the sole place I could speak with her. Our conversations resembled speaking to a person who was undressing behind you, a voice reaching out to find the right ears in the wrong direction. The torment of hating the murderous waters, and longing for the daily communications with the soul that was left there, tore me to pieces, but I never looked.

“How I miss you so.” I picked at the petals off of an innocent flower that bloomed in precious purples, the color of bruises and scars. “The townsfolk still whisper behind my back. ‘Crazy Catherine’ they call me. Do they truly believe that sadness incurs deafness?”

I began popping the tops from every full bloom around me and arranged them in my basket in stacks by color; blood red, ghost white, bruised purple and my favorites, suffocating blue.

“Oh certainly they feel remorse and sadness for my loss. They pity the poor, crazy woman destined to be an old maid. ‘What man would want to be with such a lost soul’, they say. Bollocks to them I say! Show me a man who can bring me happiness, and I’ll show you a man I might actually entertain in my lurid thoughts. You would show them not to mess with me. You would protect me with your sharp tongue and strong body. They would still speak of me, but in low volumes not loud enough to reach our ears in fear of provoking your wrath. My pride would weave itself back together without the sound of their tittering.” I stripped off my boots and stockings, letting the cool blades of grass tickle my toes

“But alas my sweet Merideth, I am lonely at times. My memories haunt me and I pray for faith, faith that there is something more.”

I closed my eyes permitting the cool breeze to dry the sweat on my upper lip and brow. The foliage rustled, whispering soothing melodies meant only for me. As the tempo lightened, and the stillness ensued, I took three careful steps backwards and dumped my basketful of flower-tops into the water. In my mind’s eye, I saw my sister swim around the myriad of colors, smelling each one as it passed, grateful for my gift to her. But I never looked.


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  2. How absolutely brilliant and haunting. I am moved by a pathos that reaches beyond mere mental assent. The passion in your prose makes me long to find that lake so that I can catch a glimpse of Catherine and her daily ritual.