Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Entry #135

To See One
by Lee Smiley


“You’re sure this will work?”

Art looked at the glass on the table, watching the way the light from the neon above the bar rippled across the liquid like a chill. He reached out toward it, hesitated, picked it up. It felt heavy, as though the wine inside carried the weight of his decision.

“If you prepared it just as I instructed,” the old woman said, her words soaked in Hungarian, “then it will work.”

“I’ll be able to see her then? See her and . . . ask her why she did it?

“You will be able to see her,” the crone assured him.

Art lifted the glass to his nose and inhaled. The bouquet was cloying, and tinged with subtle hints of the other ingredients—assorted powders and herbs—that the woman had given him. He swirled it, watching the vortex he created and wanting to dive in, to drown in that wine until he knew why Lisa had jumped from their balcony with a rope tied around her neck.

He opened his mouth and threw down the wine in one gulp. At once, his throat contracted as though it was he who now had the rope strangling him. He fell of the chair, the sound of his body crashing to the floor the only one he could make.

“Funny thing about the dead,” the woman said, leaning over the table with a toothless smile. “You have to be one to see one.”

24 comments:

Dottie Stratego said...

Beautifully written. "As thought the wine inside carried the weight of his decision." Nice work, Lee.

Catvibe said...

Loved the ending! Although not sure why the crone would do this to him, unless she was just evil incarnate.

Laurel said...

Good story! You know something bad is coming...

laughingwolf said...

well done bit of nastiness :)

Tessa said...

'....the neon above the bar rippled across the liquid like a chill.' Wonderful!

A very well written tale - bravo!

wrath999 said...

Great stuff here!

alex

Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

Loved it! You're a very visual writer.

lucy said...

Beautiful ending...made the madwoman in me laugh outloud at the irony!

Beth Harar said...

This is one of my favorites. I especially love this line:
"Art looked at the glass on the table, watching the way the light from the neon above the bar rippled across the liquid like a chill."

Beautiful image.

Nothingman said...

The last line hits like a hammer!

Killer job! :D

N

JR's Thumbprints said...

Some arrangements can be made with a glass of wine and the help of Mrs. Death.

Aimee Laine said...

Sometimes questions need to remain unanswered. :) Great job!

Deb S said...

This was a good one. Well written and a great ending.

rebecca said...

Excellent...so much power in so few words..

quin browne said...

sorry, but, i had a good laugh at the end... a good tale of "if it sounds too good to be true, it is"

Aerin said...

It's the darker version of the gypsy in Louis Sachar's HOLES!

BernardL said...

I hope he didn't pay much for that recipe. :)

pjd said...

I find the crone fascinating. If she lives, how does she know that the dead can see other dead? I'm also fascinated by the couple. If the girl offed herself to get away from him, she failed. Now he'll be asking her, probably for all eternity, why she did it. And hounding her. Now she'll NEVER be free of him. She should have left a damn note. She'll be kicking herself for sure. And he... well, the road to hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions.

There's a far deeper story here just dying to make itself known...

Aniket said...

Well may be the gypsy just loved toying around with people. Superb ending.

Liked it a lot.

JaneyV said...

I liked this a lot. I think that the message here is that one should live life to the full and not waste it on figuring out the motives of the dead. I feel sorry for Lisa. I hope she wasn't trying to get away from him.

Well written and satisfying.

leesmiley said...

Thank you for all the kind remarks! I have to admit to being utterly blank on this one until the last day, then this little scene came to me. I think it was the ghostly vapors around the base of the glass that did it. I'm very glad those of you who commented have like the story.

Sadly, I have not been able to read all the other entries as I have been recovering from surgery, but those I have read have been extraordinary and I look forward to reading the rest.

Memory said...

This was excellent - one of my favorites. Very well written. I figured something bad might happen but I was not expecting that ending. Great ending, well, not for him.

SzélsőFa said...

Great and chilling visuals, Leesmiley. I did not see that coming.
I don't mind the motives of the old lady - I mean it's not distracting to know nothing about the reasons in a flash fiction, but I was wondering about the nationality...
why us Hungarians, I mean?

jason evans said...

Moral of the story is ask many more specific questions! I liked the way you handled the setup. The scene was vivid.

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