Sian Evans’ New Short Story – Cold Morning

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cold morning - Gretchen Peters

Story by Sian Evans

Photo by Gretchen Peters


struggling winter sun coffee cup burning my palms burning the moment into me burning me but leaving no mark as I feel only what I think I should feel as I don’t how to feel how do you feel why are you even awake so early because I haven’t been asleep how can I sleep when all you will do is sleep from now on gone gone as weak as that winter sun towards the end an end that we all knew was coming but like Christmas its coming surprises us each year but you will only die once and I shall see many more Christmas mornings cold mornings frost covered morning even when the sun is strong when the sun is high and the sun heats me through to the core that core that you strengthened that you made more than what I thought it could be but it’s just a core apple core eaten slowly by ants and carried away across the earth earthy scent of soil and faeces and rot as decay happens and spreads and ignores the weak winter sun as it gives up the sun doesn’t try to fight to achieve more it succumbs does what it always has each year month and month day after day and I will do the same because perhaps just maybe I have learnt nothing but you never gave up you carried on kept going as the sun set and never rose again as the warmth left and the cold set in and the ants marched one by one and then two by two and three by three three plus three is six and six pall bearers carry the wood the wood of the tree that hadn’t given up but was taken from the ground uprooted and cut and shaped and made into something different is that me now am I just a tree and will my roots spread as far as yours did the coffee is bitter I made it too strong unconscious act to mirror what wasn’t perhaps I am making too much of this the coffee is just a drink the sun is just nothing is just morning will follow morning and not  the start of a litany of change only the absence of what once was and how can we fill that void there is the compulsion to fill it pack it to bursting with stuff there is no change change does not exist it is like tomorrow tomorrow never comes as it is always today well change never happens because once that event occurs you enter normality it is normal that you are gone we are now living normal this is normal and I sit here and question what exactly the fuck I am supposed to do with normal I find this whole thing perplexing too many thoughts and no great clarity and lot of verbal pontificating overlaid with hollowness it is as beautiful as the opening of a lily bud but even that weeps perfect beads frozen on the petals to be seen and dismissed we never shared a cold winter morning we didn’t share many mornings lost to memory are those summer evenings long long hours of endless talk superfluous words of dreams and desires aims and ambitions likes and dislikes we changed the world over many glasses of pinot grigio and still the world was not righted it tilted no further when your heart stopped it all kept going endless ebb and flow only a small few bothered to remember even though you touched many how many do we touch our touch does not burn it means little like the cold immobilising my fingers soon they will thaw and the blood will flow as normal the tissue will pink the skin will enlarge and fingers will fatten nails will no longer be blue blue you never went blue just grey and cold so cold and yet I couldn’t stop had to touch you to impart something anything but I sat there and talked and talked and words poured out of my mouth top lip meeting bottom making contact and forming shapes for the sounds to come out and they did as the tears stayed immobile screens of water coating the eyeball shudder and shiver and fidget and shuffle what is there to do what can I say I can’t leave as then you will be alone all alone and where do you go have you already gone or are you still here with me but not in there because your skin is cold I feel the bristles against my palm and it is like nothing has changed but nothing has changed because this is my normality now today I was scheduled to sit in this room titled Chapel of Rest because a wooden plaque over the door I walked through denoted it as such but it is just a square room with a bed on wheels and a beside unit one drawer and one cupboard underneath with plastic purple flowers in a bronze vase etched with some random pattern and I look at these plastic petals as I hold your hand and touch my warm lips to your cold ones and I think of the people outside steps trotting up and down the corridor and I touch your legs to see if the oedema has still made them swell like a pregnant woman’s and I touch my lips back to yours and mumble words in this language that we speak which means nothing if you cannot take those words and memories with you for what am I to do with them now I cannot remember all that I have said and I know not what you retained as important or hurtful did you take the hurtful with you can I take them back even if I meant them as I don’t want you to have any more pain if I caused you upset then let me rectify that redemption is this something I can do I doubt it as words and images course through my head random vignettes and jumbled letters forming a now defunct language I always thought the sparkling frost on the pavement mirrored that the sugar coating on a peppermint cream I walked over this minty treat up those minty steps and through those double doors and it was no warmer inside a weak winter sun struggling I see the beauty in death and that haunts me because nothing happens afterwards but continuance


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