Short Fiction: Babies Breath

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Such a mournful day felt hollow as the sun’s rays shone down on the coffin and her tribute of delicate petals fell on God’s deaf ears. As if pleading to the clouds, “let rain hammer down onto this family in black”, Amelia refused to lower her offering. The stems stood strong as her grip clenched to a fist and her once steady hand began to quiver in the stagnant air.

The muscles in Amelia’s body tensed as the crushing weight of emptiness suddenly imposed itself upon her. Gritted teeth staved off what she feared would happen if the lump in her throat took a hold of her. Swallowing hard, she pushed down the urge to cry and further raised the flowers. She would not lower her head; she mustn’t. This was no longer about God or his guidance.

“You will mourn my sister.” She squeezed out.

Those scornful eyes, her radiant hateful, eyes pierced the baby blue skies. Her vengeful gaze appeared to reach the heavens because, unbeknownst to her, whoever was listening decided to grant her wish. A faint cool breeze caressed Amelia’s face; cradling her head in its wispy arms. The tension in her body dampened and seemed to be carried away in its zephyr. Exposing what Amelia thought a weakness, her head began to bob as the clouds she wished for began to form in her eyes. The crisp edges of her flowers turned to wavy blobs of white and green against the warm blues of the sky above.

Never before had Amelia felt so powerless; so frail. Amelia, prided in her strength, found that no amount of ink carved into her skin brought about a pain like this. Neither did the black and blue patterns of lover’s past that painted her body bring her such wrenching fragility.

Quelling the trembles, her close friend Tilley placed her palm onto Amelia’s arm. There was nothing to say; nor anything anyone could say but Tilley forced a meager utterance from her lungs.

“It’s time.”

Amelia bunched the flower heads together and one by one, their delicate petals began to solemnly saunter onto the coffin below. Once more, a swift gust circled Amelia’s body and sent the petals souring through the hills. To this day, she claims she could hear her sister’s gentle giggling as they floated on their way; she was off to find another adventure.

Published by Owen Corkin

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