The dripping of water
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Piercing the silence
Like a sharpened blade
* * *
Darkened skies and blackened pavement prevailed over all else that evening. The moon's weary face did not dare show itself from behind the cloud streaked skies. Wind set the atmosphere in motion and all was chilly and dim.
A street lamp vaguely lit the street, hindered by the fog that had rolled from the river to the valley. The house behind the lamp was dark and a window was open, curtains being pulled by the suction of air and the night.
Inside, a steady dripping in the kitchen set the tone in the house. A narrow beam of light lit up a portion of the room, the source being a partially open refrigerator door. Another window was open and curtains again responded to the call of the night.
The woman who lived in this house was leaning up against a wall in another room, the fireplace near to her. No fire burned. No light entered this room. The woman who lived in this house moved to the couch and set her cup of emptiness on the table before her. A stain in the bottom of the cup made a full circle with itself, having no beginning, no ending. The woman's fingers created their own circle along the rim of the cup, her fingers laced with red polish to match the dress the woman wore.
The dripping from the kitchen echoed through her mind, an eerie face flashing through her memories. A memory of a face horribly twisted, of sounds unnatural.
Wind whistled down the chimney and nobody listened to its dreary song. Ashes flew out from the open glass doors, flowing about the room. One solitude of ash landed on the woman people knew as Patricia.
A voice in her head says, "Say hello to Mr. Ash Particle, Patricia. He is all you have left."
She ignored the ash and concentrated on the glistening edge of a phone receiver that was on the table. A receiver whose metal edges glittered in the darkness and the night. Carefully, she took her polished hands and picked up the receiver, holding it up to her eyes. Fingertips ran over the dark, probing edge.
The voice in her head spoke again, "Use it, Patricia. It is all you need to escape from here."
She took the edge and brought it to the side of her face and listened to it.
"Hello . . ." she whispered.
Patricia desperately needed to hear a voice. A number. She needed a number . . . but the phone book was still locked in the drawer, in the desk, that was under the window, through which the wind blew and the night entered Patricia's life.
The phone's sharp edge slid across her cheek and down to her breast where she held it, wanting warmth from it. She jabbed it into her leg and cried out, pounding it and pounding it into the unresponsive flesh of her leg. She shook the phone and continued to pound it into her body.
The dripping from the kitchen continued, unnoticed by Patricia. The dripping Patricia had caused ... but she only felt the air that caressed he body and made Patricia feel real.
The phone was now pressed against her stomach, churning, burrowing deep inside her soul.
"Help me," she whispered. "Help me, please."
She was wet.
Lights flashed by outside. A car pulled up into the driveway. The sound of the engine died, but Patricia only saw the lights, soon forgetting what lights were.
The door rattled and faces looked in the window.
Patricia was wet.
The door made way for the force of men. Hands touched Patricia and put the cup aside, moved the phone away from Patricia's stomach, and held Patricia in an attempt to make her stand.
The woman in the house, whose name was Patricia, was wet with her own urine and the stains of water...
No, not water. This water was thicker. And it was red.
Her blood fingernails scratched at the men as they took her outside to welcome the night.
More men went to the kitchen and saw the dripping Patricia had caused. The men turned away, the cold breeze hitting their bones. They removed the dripping, taking it outside where another vehicle had arrived to visit the home of Patricia. The body of dripping was put in the same vehicle as Patricia. She didn't care. She couldn't hear the dripping anymore. It no longer existed for her. It never had.
The men came back and took the object of her fascination from the house and dropped it in a plastic bag and carried it outside.
"Did you help him?" Patricia asked a man as the rear doors to the vehicle closed. He only looked at her in pity, unable to understand the woman named Patricia.
He never would.
The woman named Patricia died before she reached the gates of red crosses and white walls. Nobody would ever know her reasons, her pain or her sorrows. She had been taken away from her broken palace and her broken prince, away from her gleaming phone from which no bell rang. From which no calls were received and from which no help could be surrendered.
This woman and her house and her dreams.
* * *
And still it
is dripping of life
and piercing the noise-
A jagged knife
I'll say it loud here by your grave / those angels can't
ever take my place
somewhere where the the orchids grow / I can't find those church bells
that played when you died - 'Playboy Mommy', Tori Amos