Saturday, October 3, 2009

Short #1

I'm going to try to write thirty one extremely short stories over the next month in preparation for NaNo. They are most likely all going to be terrible. Anywho, this is the first one (written on Thursday), slightly edited for clarity but still awful.

I saw Virginia for the last time on October 1st, 1846. It was a Thursday. I was greeted at the door by her mother who had been staying with her and her husband at their cottage in Fordham. She had a smile for me but I could see through her facade of joviality. Her eyes gave away her inward weariness. She let me in and we stood in the front room exchanging pleasantries while I kept eyes and ears out for Virginia's husband.

I had never cared much for the man, nor the way he treated my friend - he was a drunk and prone to fits of ill-temper. Every time I had visited them in Philedelphia he had been nothing but rude to me and spoke poorly of my own husband, all the while treating our Virginia as a servant. It was this behaviour which caused me to cease visiting them altogether.

But from all accounts I had heard from mutual friends, Virginia was dreadfully ill and that her her condition was rapidly worsening. The concensus among them was that she would not last the winter. Thus I endeavoured to pay this final visit.

Maria sent me upstairs to her bedroom, and I tried to be as quiet as possible lest I disturb her rest. She was however awake when I entered the room, lying in bed and gazing out the window at her garden.

She had always been a pale, ethereal creature, with nearly transluscent white skin, black hair and dark eyes, but now her cheeks were flushed, her eyes encircled with shadows and I thought that she had never looked so beautiful or strange. It was as though her proximity to death had brought out all of the life in her, and she seemed to transcend human beauty.

She looked upon me and smiled, indicating a chair in which I might sit. "I am sorry that I do not rise and greet you, but I fear I am very ill"

I felt sick with grief at the thought that she, my dearest childhood friend, would never recover from this illness and yet she remained so calm about her situation. I sat and took her hand in mine. "Don't speak of such things" I said, but she shook her head.

"It's true. I have been ill for a long time and I believe that soon it will be over" her smile faded now. "My poor husband. This has all been so hard on him. Sometimes I wish that I could somehow recover and live on for his sake, but alas, some things are not meant to last"
Some things are not meant to last.

Virginia died at the end of January, as predicted. I attended her funeral and spoke kind words to her husband, distraught as he was. I did not see him again, and he himself died only two years later.

Even though that was many years ago now and I can scarcely recall what she looked like - she was pale and she was lovely, but I cannot remember anything more than that - I still sometimes think of her words. 'Some things are not meant to last'. She is long gone, with so many of my friends and relatives, but those words remain. Those words haunt me.


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