a chalice of poison
You said it would rain. You said it always rains.
Words spoken by a gypsy in a fairground when you were ten years old. Words you later repeated.
You said she wore a scarf draped around her head, sunken cheeks and hoop earrings that made a moment dazzle when it should have been grey. Your mother pressed silver coins into her begging hand and asked for a miracle.
“Save me,” she said.
But it was too late.
The world begins and ends with rain.
It was raining the day she died, the day she tasted the offering you pressed to imploring lips and uttered goodbyes through a veil. It is raining now, each drop as if to realise the prediction. Or perhaps it never stopped.
What of the rain?
Not soft gentle summer rain.
Not leaf dripping hazy rain.
Hard fierce unrelenting rain.
Lion’s roar rain.
You wait in a doorway, close enough to touch it, but held back as if something stands between you and it. You become the hunted. A finger poised in a moment. It is a slice of time as thin as the fracture in the sky where a lip of white light cuts the world in half. As thin as the draught that stirs coldness into time like drips of venom. Are you the sculptor of your own demise? The composer of your own requiem? Are you the author of your own eulogy?
Are we all?
You beg for one more moment, stealing only what you claim is still yours; clutching it to your breast. But it’s not yours – is it?
But still you hold on.
Until it’s gone.
Until all that’s left is mist.
And now you have it. The answer.
But what you leave behind is the question.
Debz is a writer/editor/publisher and she also edits for CafeLit. She says she would not normally publish her own work here, but came across this that was written a long time ago and thought it seemed apt for Halloween.
She says she has no idea where it came from and why she wrote it or indeed what the answer is. She says it’s not 42. She wonders if she was possessed at the time she wrote it.