Tag Archives: suicide

Standing Between Realities – Friday Fictioneers

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

 

Standing on the Edge of Realities

“I’m such an idiot! I walked through that arch, back to this world, and I find her sleeping with my co-worker. I came back—gave up paradise—all for her! Stupid! I can’t go back now—the magic’s all gone—and I’m stuck forever in this tepid modern world. I just want to belong somewhere: I’m only an outsider now.”

The cop was having a heck of a first day on the job. “That’s terrible, sir. Really. If you’ll just step back from the edge of the bridge, I’ll buy you a coffee and you can tell me more about it.”


The Sun Blossom – Visual Fiction

Visual Fiction is back, although I’m sure most people did not realize it was gone. This is a story based on a picture that I took myself. The point was originally for other people to take the picture and write their own story as well, although not many have. Still, you are more than welcome to write your own story if the mood strikes you. This story is dedicated to my dad and mom, since I think they’ll like it.

taken in Jeonju, Korea

taken in Jeonju, Korea

The Sun Blossom

What do you do with something so wonderful, so precious that finding it is the highlight of a lifetime?

Rex found the sun blossom when he was going out to drown himself. It wasn’t because of one big thing–no divorce or financial catastrophe–just years of tiny negatives that built up like a black hole under him, undermining all his hopes. He planned on walking into Carson’s Bay and not coming out, until he saw the sun blossom, shining with the unbearable intensity of the tiny star that it was. The impossibility of something that marvelous existing, while at the same time being without a doubt right in front of him was shocking. It hit him like a sledgehammer of hope, right in the heart. He could almost hear the shower of tarry despair tinkle down all around him. He had to take the sun blossom with him, so he carefully dug it up and carried it home, getting second-degree burns all over his face in the process.

He took pictures, video, even called his friends over to see. No one believed him, of course. “Fake,” they said. “Photoshopped, clearly.” They even called it fake when they were looking at it with their own eyes, which confused Rex a bit. After a while, he stopped telling people.

It was like nothing he had ever seen before, so otherworldly, yet so comforting; so perfect, yet so fierce and wild at the same time. He left the plant in a pot on his window sill one day and came back to find the house burned down. All that was left was the sun blossom, still glowing in its pot and surrounded by a house-worth of ash and soot. Rex was a little perturbed, but the sun blossom was unharmed, so what was one house compared to that,  really?

He loved it and never wanted to leave it anywhere, but at the same time, he felt bad for keeping it all to himself. Finally, he went down by Carson’s Bay and built a shack out of driftwood and replanted the sun blossom by the shore. He put an ad in the local paper: “Want to commit suicide? Carson’s Bay is a great place!” A few people showed up and then more and more. Some days there was a line of potential suicides twenty people long, coming down to the bay past Rex and the sun blossom. Not one of them made it to the water but more than a few hugged him with tears in their eyes and thanked him for his ad.

The sun blossom soon became big news. People in expensive suits began showing up at Rex’s shack, offering him endorsement deals for the use of the sun blossom in their ads (“Drink Redbull! You’ll glow like the sun blossom!”) The city adopted it as their symbol. Some people began claiming it cured cancer and athlete’s foot. One person said it whispered the future to him. Rex was sure this was all nonsense. But he didn’t own it; he had only found it. There was a lot of confusion and lots of money being thrust at him, but in the end, Rex stayed in his shack. He talked to anyone that wanted to hear his story and he listened to others’ as well. They met around a fire on the beach and everyone talked and had a good time together. No lies were allowed, just open honesty.

Rex wants me to pass on a message (he ran out of money for newspaper ads). If you’re lost in the darkness of despair and keep banging your nose on unseen walls and stubbing your toes on hidden obstacles, swing by Carson’s Bay. The sun blossom is waiting.


Unsinkable – Visual Fiction

Taken in Namhae, Korea

Taken in Namhae, Korea

 

Robert Brouard rowed the old green boat, nicknamed the Love Boat, into the middle of the silent reservoir. The surrounding hills  seemed to smoke with ragged cloud vapor and unwillingly, he thought of the crematory giving off smoke as it transformed his beloved Sandra’s body into nothingness. All he had left of her was an urn of ashes and the boat she had built long ago.

He reached the middle of the reservoir and picking up the urn, he started dumping the ashes out into the water. He didn’t feel sad—at least no sadder than he had for the last week. It was hard to think that the grey dust had ever been a part of her. He accepted it objectively, but he felt no need to say good-bye to it. The boat had more of her spirit left in it than that grey, dusty ash.

The boat…

Sandra would always sit in the back when they went rowing together. She would smile lovingly at him and that would keep him going as he sweated and worked to row them out into the middle of the reservoir for a picnic, or to look at the stars, or just to be alone together. He thought of that first night in it, after she had finally finished and launched the thing that had taken up her spare moments for two years.

He had been so proud of her—I’ll bet I’m the only man in the world whose wife can build a boat, he’d said. It probably wasn’t true, but it made her glow with pleasure and when she was happy, he was happy. They had drunk the champagne instead of smashing it on the prow and then made love in the tippy little craft under the stars. It had been awkward and precarious but passionate, and forty years later, the memory was still electrifying.

But now…

Robert put down the urn and picked up the hatchet, prepared to chop through the bottom. “I’m going to come join you now, if that’s okay, dear,” he said. “Just you, me, and the boat.”

It wasn’t that he felt depressed. He felt none of that black cloud of despair that had sometimes afflicted him as a teenager. It just seemed natural, logical even, to go this way. He had no purpose without her; he was just a lonely old man waiting to die in order to be with his beloved again, so why wait? And he could not leave the boat to be sold off and used by others who did not know its significance and history. Memories were not for sale.

He closed his eyes and with a swift movement, struck the bottom of the boat. He chopped again and again, making a fist-sized hole while water flooded in.

It had covered his calves when the water stopped flowing in. He sat there for some time with wet shoes and socks, wondering why the boat wasn’t sinking. Wood floated, of course, but he had filled the boat with weights to make sure it sank. Still, it refused to sink, as if some of Sandra’s obstinacy had imbued the very timbers. Finally, feeling foolish and confused, he rowed slowly back to shore.

Later that evening, he used the truck winch to pull the boat onto shore and examined it to find what had caused the miracle. He pried off one of the sidewalls and found that it was filled with foam. He checked the others and every space was filled with foam: enough to keep the boat above water, even if it got a hole in it.

And he had never known. Back then, she had been a star swimmer, while he could barely do a lap. Just in case, he could imagine her saying. Just in case we spring a leak. Just in case we’re stranded.

Just in case I die first and you take the boat out alone.

“I’m going to have to fix that hole as soon as possible,” he said. And then, for the first time in that horrible, tragic, soul-crushing week, he began to cry.

 


A Lily Look-Alike’s Lament – Friday Fictioneers

This Friday Fictioneers story includes dark humor and white flowers. On a side note, I dare you to say the title five times fast.

copyright Lora Mitchell

copyright Lora Mitchell

A Lily Look-alike’s Lament

I’m making this video to say that I quit. It’s too hard. I came to this planet to make friends and have adventures, but everyone mistakes me for a type of local flora known as a lil-lee. I hate it when they stick their noses in my mouths, inhale deeply and say “ahhh”. I’ve always been ashamed of my body odor. They put me next to dead people too.

I’m going to throw myself out this window as soon as I can get . . . it . . . open.

I guess I’ll just wait for someone to throw me away.

Too bad I’m immortal.


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