Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm
At the end of the world there is only me and my conscience. I’m sitting on a grave stone, both physically and metaphorically I suppose. Physically I am here, in the grave yard. It’s full of memories, so many memories. I used to play here as a toddler, practice my reading as a boy and later try to understand the concept of time by the dates on which people came into this world and left it, their small blip of importance. But now there’s me left in this place that marks the resting place for humankind.
It began with the flower. The flower has many forms and shapes and dreams but the flower is always beautiful. I truly loved it, more than anything. I loved it more than my dog, my old old dog that I used to play with, both of us just puppies hunting the world for a game to play. I loved it more than my best friend, who was also my cousin, Amy. If I close my eyes and concentrate I can almost smell her. Everyone is supposed to have a smell but I never noticed it on people, it was never obvious to me except with Amy. She always smelt of grass and bark and mulberries when we were young. She loved grass and we would roll in it, walk patterns into it, and make our pant0knees wet and green with grass juice. The bark and mulberry smell was because she had a mulberry tree in her garden. It was huge, our tree house that dipped over the creek. we would climb the tree and make our faces and hands purple from eating the ripe fruit, and then we would jump into the water below from a thick branch or we would yabby, trying to find the “King Yabby”, placing them carefully in a bucket only to let them go later. One time we made a raft, or rather tried to. It sank as Amy gingerly stepped onto it. We made slingshots and tried to hit a bag filled with water with our pebbles. We never hit it. Amy was the ultimate tomboy, but she was raised by her father and three brothers so it wasn’t surprising.
Time passed, as it always does. She was still my best friend even when I got moved away by dad. We wrote to each other every week, only using pen and paper because, as Amy said, we were Old School kids. We both waited anxiously for the envelope, exchanged the goings on in our lives and shared our most secret secrets like lovers. But we were something so much better than lovers. I left nothing unsaid, for better or worse. We developed from teenagers into young adults. My parents split and mum moved me back to Amy. The years away made no difference, we still had a friendship to kill for. But she was older. I suppose I was too. She’d grown breasts and kept a nail file in her handbag. We were still best friends though, did so much together. We were rebels together, freedom fighters together, dancers and geeks together. We were each other’s secret keepers and we were always there. I was there when she showed me her arm, cut, slashed, burnt, again and again and again. She was the one who inevitably walked in on me doing the deed with Ashley. We laughed about it afterwards, cried about it after Ashley left me for our handsome sport teacher. I was there when she got in the top five percent of all graduating Australian students for her exam results. She was there when I came first in the Young Australian Men Swimming Competition and got my tacky fake gold medal while I grinned like an idiot. I wasn’t there when a psycho broke into her home, hung her up and eviscerated her stomach with a kitchen knife. But I found her. I was the one who called the police, watched as they untied the body, took it away. The body wasn’t Amy though, not really. She was so much more than the lump of destroyed flesh that they took away. I did not sleep for a month, my throat burned with stomach acid and when I did sleep only nightmares accompanied me.
I suppose what I became could be called a shell, and a woeful one at that. My friends drifted away, taken by the tide while I was left on the beach. I had known I loved Amy, had had her mind, soul and spirit. Only her body had I never touched, nor did I want to. I told her once in a letter, tried to untwist the words into something impossibly understandable, but her letter had taken nearly a month to arrive and we never spoke again of that fragile topic.
The found Amy’s psycho, along with her other victims, all women. I cared nothing for them, their mothers, brothers and lovers, and knew that they cared nothing for me. I was a shell, numb, surviving mostly on memories. A vineyard… we snuck over the back fence one time and stole the juicy fruit, sitting amongst the vines. A playground… we used to play pirates, making sure not to touch the bark chips and later climbing the trees, daring each other higher until Amy fell and broke her arm. A fire engine with lights flashing and the siren going… me holding Amy as the fire ravaged her home and all the commotion that came with it. My bedroom… when we sat up all night as teenagers and fought in heated debate about the lower points of society. A never ending feed of memories…
And then there was the flower, so beautiful, so soft, so lovable. I loved that flower more than Amy. It brought me to life, revivified my shell. When I dreamt I saw the flower. When I swam the flower was my goal. It was always my figment, my obsession almost. But I would never kill for the flower. There were others that could and would. It was slow at first, random elimination of minds with motives unclear. On one ever convicted for a crime.
I had my own flower; I nurtured it and fed it. I was determined to keep it alive, no matter what bad things society thought of it. They didn’t understand the passion one person could have for something. Most of them didn’t know the feeling of loving something so that you would give up your soul, get down and beg, or die just to keep it alive and safe. I let the flower take my soul, let myself die to society, and begged for some sort of understanding. But I would never kill for the flower. I grew to know others that had their own flowers and their passion matched or surpassed mine, the few of them that there were. And still the deaths. They really were something. The people’s arguments, resistances and eventual agreements struck down. I hated the violence and sadness that came about because of the flowers but unlike everyone else, I could see why. And perhaps that ended our society in my eyes.
The ending could not be stopped, and the followers began to multiply. Their power was growing and I, both like and unlike the sheep I am, followed. We were bound to the flower, this flower we both loved and hated with all our being. But of course it was inevitable that our own ending would come. Powers shift, obsessions become blurry until you can’t see what you are following. Others undermine you, take you, force you to wake up and see. And so it was. The flowers wilted and died, overtaken by new species’ and seeds.
So here I am, the last of the first, at the end of our world. But I have to go, because if I close my eyes and concentrate, I can smell grass and bark and mulberries.
Author’s notes: OK, first off I know this story is a bit weird. In this story I made dreams, goals and obsessions into flowers. I wanted to use a physical thing to represent the intangible, something beautiful but something where the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, i.e. different flowers are beautiful to different people. I also wanted to show how some dreams, goals and obsessions can break the dreamer, as with the protagonist of this story. By the deaths, eliminations and endings I mean when people’s beliefs are crushed and forced into another belief, even if it’s unclear to them why.
Funny URL of the blog: http://www.explosm.net/comics/1014/