Monday, January 12, 2009

Entry #68

Purgatory
by Rebecca Livesey


“He always had to be different!” Father cursed, glaring at his feet as he kicked at a pebble.

Mum sighed. “Yes, different,” she murmured gazing at the puffs of clouds, unbound above her.

“Of all the stupid, selfish things...” Father bowed his head, swallowing back the words.

“He wanted to be free.” Mum raised her face to catch the last glow of sun. “Be free baby.” The whispered words lifted on the wind.

Father choked back a sob and swiped at a tear tracing down his cheek. “This is all your fault!”

Mum’s eyes, drowning in grief but offering peace, turned to his.

Uncaring Father raged. “You and your stupid ideas. Feeding them to him. Telling him he could do anything. Telling him he could be anything. Now look what’s happened!”

Abruptly he swung away and sank down on the old wooden bench in our yard. His shoulders hunched over and great guttural cries shuddered through his body. After a moment Mum hurried to him, lifting his face, kissing away his tears. He reached for her and they wrapped up together, holding tight.

“Godammit!” I swear under my breath even though I know they can’t hear me. I thought this would be over by now. Frustration boils through me. I just need one of them to cave. One of them to move on.

Forgiveness or condemnation. Up or down. I've given up caring which. Well nearly.

I keep climbing, going nowhere.

18 comments:

laughingwolf said...

well said, nicely paced :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Good job with the POV shift from third person to first person. You've done a good job conveying the parents' concerns. So, where's the young man off too? Seminary school?

Lena said...

Liked how you expressed the parents concerns and emotions. Nicely put!

J.C. Montgomery said...

I've always loved how you treat your characters and their dialogue. And I am so happy you have decided to try this - a wonderful entry Bex.

McKoala said...

Love the unbound cloud image.

Rebecca Livesey said...

Thanks very much for reading & commenting. I really appreciate it.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

You have brought out the parents' sorrow so well.

Good one!

Sarah Hina said...

Suicide really can punish all. I definitely side with the mom here, though. He made a choice. There's really no point in thrashing against it. But easier said than done.

Loved the switch to first person at the end. A very haunting image of perpetual motion, and never arriving. Excellent interpretation, Rebecca.

Chris Eldin said...

I love the cloud imagery, and the POV shifts are deftly carried out.
This is intense, and very well written. Kudos for the characterizations.

JaneyV said...

You know I have actually often pondered on whether purgatory was being witness to the effect your life and death had on the people you touched while you lived. Perhaps you are torn between heaven and hell when you understand fully how you can simultaneously be loved and resented. Maybe you can only ascend when you've been forgiven or the people you've left are gone too.

Moving and thoughtful piece. Well done.

sawan said...

being a parent sure looks tough!!

pjd said...

Wow, that's a tough one. I love the unbound clouds phrase; it contrasts directly with the MC's situation. I had to read it through twice to really get what was going on, but you did a lot in this short space. (And kudos to you also for using the escalator as a metaphor instead of a prope.)

Catvibe said...

Nice job of depicting the mixed emotions of the parents. Great shifts in viewpoint and tone. I don't think he is going to ascend for a long time. Your writing pretty much echos what I believe about victims of suicide, and why I think it's better to work out our problems in this realm. Great writing.

bluesugarpoet said...

The dialogue was so true to life - almost made it hard to read! You've captured the devastation suicide brings to all parties involved. Well done!

jana

September said...

Nice job writing this. Not everyone can pull off a pov shift so easily.
That last line - climbing, going nowhere - sad but powerful.

Rebecca Livesey said...

thankyou everyone, i'm so touched that you've taken the time to read & comment :)

jason evans said...

Great job with pacing, entertainment value, technical skill, storytelling, and voice! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.

Rebecca Livesey said...

Thanks very much Jason! wow, that's a lovely surprise. Thankyou for the feedback. It's my first time here & i'll definitely be back!!