Waiting for Grace

Avatar Author: Spiderj A man who seeks refuge from boredom. Some challenges approach! http://ficly.com/challenges/46 http://ficly.com/challenges/48 Read Bio

This is my pre-coital cigarette.

Breathe in.

The filters are the only solid matter to pass my lips; I stub them in place.

Breathe in.

The smoke puddles, drips past the phlegm of my throat, expands into my lungs.

Breathe out.

The only taste is my tongue; a sliver of swollen meat. A truckstop delicacy for the disenchanted, burned by torrents of scalded coffee and the needling caress of a thousand others like it.

The bedclothes are flat. My torso takes up no space beneath them and most of my limbs are not here anymore.

Ash crumbles, drool slips through the cracks of my lips and stains me. The curtain shudders, thin as paper, a blank page marked only by mould.

The hand trembles as it rises, I look at it strangely, aware that it is mine. It fulfills its task and now it has failed me.

Breathe in.

She will take the hand today, maybe the arm, she will take these last pieces of me and bag them up. She will touch me; hold me down, though I can never be up.

Breathe out.

Nothing to be done.

Breathe out.

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Comments (5 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Saint Chuck

    Great imagery, filled with despair and an almost contented hopelessness. Nice work.

  2. Avatar lostsalient

    Wow. Halfway through I had an eerie feeling that something was awry, but the wrap-up is still stunning and effective. And disturbing. Did I mention disturbing?

    There’s a double “my” on the fourth line that snuck in there, just for a head’s up!

  3. Avatar Spiderj

    Much obliged for the comments – especially pointing out my ‘my my’.

  4. Avatar jesteram

    Yeah, the desperation is heavy here, but it’s so resigned . I could picture the grim room, the grim man. Would you go back to work and stop churning out so much good stuff to comment on? We have to work, too.

  5. Avatar J.M.V.

    There’s just such an overwhelming sense of resignation. It’s one of those things that makes you just feel wrong for a little bit afterward. A lot of people don’t like it. Though it’s unpleasant, it takes a truly great piece of writing.