New Fiction by George Gad Economou: “It Was Raining…”

Neon Shroud by Phil Slattery

Neon Shroud
by Phil Slattery

It was raining, and it was night; I remember it perfectly, as if it was yesterday, although it was a long time ago. Or was it? I don’t know any longer.  Time has stopped being important. I was sitting there in the mud, crying.  No flowers, only a few trees, and it was gloomy.  I had just buried her…for the third time. The sky mourned for her loss and for my soul.  I wanted to open the grave, and bury myself next to her, but I couldn’t.  Doing so would mean seeing her.  I got up, wishing to run away.


How did I let it happen? I can’t even remember. It seems like yesterday I saw her for the very first time, but when time stops, everything is yesterday. There is no timeline. Her smile was so perfect, it warmed my heart. Just watching her smile, and I knew I would die a happy man. There was someone else enjoying her smile. I stayed, because we fell in love. When did it happen? Was it when we first kissed? Or was it before? She kissed me, because I was important. And then, something happened.


Her hand was raised from the ground. Again. She refused to stay down.  Too much fight in her. I couldn’t move. The earth trembled–it always did. I saw her.  She wasn’t smiling. She was furious. She stared at me, and despite the coldness of death, her dark eyes were still beautiful. She sat up, covered in wet dirt, rotting away. She got up, walked towards me. I was motionless, I couldn’t do it again. I was exhausted.


We said goodbye; I did nothing but cry and drink. For so long…yet it seems like a brief second. She returned to the life she knew, to what was familiar. And I cried. Then she returned. The gleam in her eyes.  The promises in her kisses. I was alive.  I was happy. I held her close in the nights.  I offered her comfort.  She warmed my heart.  She made me smile.  She left…again.


She was coming towards me. I raised the shovel.  My tears mingled with the rain.  I was covered in dirt. I hit her in the head.  And she fell down. Stopped moving. She would get up again, I knew it. It wasn’t the first time. I dug the grave…a new one. She deserved a new place. Maybe there she’d finally rest. I started digging. The rain got worse.  The wind was howling. I was all alone with her. It didn’t feel right.


She had regretted her decision; I wanted to rip my heart out and give it to her. It belonged to her, I had no use for my heart anymore. She didn’t want me in her life.  There was living without her. I tried, but I couldn’t. The knife wasn’t so sharp, so I failed. She laughed at me.  Was it then that it happened for the first time?


The grave was ready.  I stood in the hole. Perhaps, I thought, I should lay myself down, and let her find me. She’d come and destroy me, just as I had destroyed her. I climbed out of the grave.  I placed her carefully into the new resting place. I found a few flowers.  She always loved flowers.  I planted them above her. Maybe they’ll keep her company, I said to myself. I cried.


She didn’t laugh at me nor did she wish to say farewell. She wanted time to think. She thought it wrong, because she had left someone for me. And she couldn’t bear the guilt. I still wanted to give her my heart. I tried–no, I didn’t try to rip my heart out. I swallowed a lot of pills. Who saved me? I don’t remember who found me.  I hate whoever he was, ’cause he didn’t let me die. If I had, she’d be alive.


I watched the flowers, they grew. With every visit, they’d get even bigger, even more beautiful. She didn’t get up again. Maybe, she needed a place to call home, and the flowers did the job. I returned every night; sometimes, I wished she’d get up, because I wanted to see her. She never did. I never saw her again. Only in dreams…and they would often turn into nightmares.


She came to see me.  I was in a white room, and people in white robes were always talking to me. She cried, asked me why. I told her. She cried some more. I couldn’t cry, I had shed all the tears I had in me. She walked out when I asked her if she wanted my heart.


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