Day 200 – Yeast

Words: Thanks to Jon, Tim, Therese, Belinda, Mara, Derek, Alex and James for the word contributions of:

Suspenders, Rabbits, floccinaucinihilipilificationed, falsche, palace, vinyl, Eskimo Nell, hair and sorbet!

Word count: 794

The vinyl spun round and round, wafting soft and gentle music into the air. Candles, incense and flowing drapes; the place looked like a palace. A fire crackled in the corner, cushions paraded the floor: warmth flew through every bone in her body.

Eskimo Nell was waiting. All her long life she had been tormented by this day: the day that she would die. At the age of nine the tarot cards had told her of her death. The gypsy lady had tried to hide it, but Eskimo Nell had been too quick. In plain sight the three cards told her a story of how her life would fold out. Though still at an early age, she had taken on board these pictures, these ideas. For hours she would lie awake at night and pick away at their meaning. Were they just pictures, plain cards decorated with ridiculous prophecies? Or were they a calling from somewhere few had the power reach.

It was why Eskimo Nell had gotten her name, really. With that kind of information dwelling on her mind, she had grown up knowing when and how she was going to die. From that moment onwards she had distanced herself from everyone she knew. Cold, some people called her… and so they eventually called her Eskimo. Nell feared this lack of connection herself; when her parents bought her two rabbits to cheer her up, she found it difficult to be sad when they died. She was emotionless; she was a wooden plank of a human being. There was no depth to her, but just a decaying body bound to life by suspenders.

She drunk the last of the whisky from her flasche, her german hip flask that she had been given by her brother when he had visited a German market. Out of all the gifts she had ever been given, this was the one that she had most treasured. Perhaps it was because he had died that same year; perhaps it was because it was something special to her. Eskimo Nell could not comprehend. No tears formed when she had attended the funeral. No outbursts of grief, no matter how much she may have wanted to feel that way. All her life she had floccinaucinihilipilificationed emotion. It weighed you down, it made you vulnerable. But in her older years, she yearned more for those feelings to grow, else she would become a flaking statue within a garden of roses.

Eskimo Nell curled back her hair and dove a spoon into her lemon sorbet. It was her favourite dessert, she was glad that she had bought it especially. The grandfather clock chimed five minutes to ten. She had four minutes left to live.

In the final moments strange thoughts were forming in her head; where was she going and what might she do there – who would she meet and would she enjoy it? Was all this worth it, was this point really so special as to take up her entire world? No holidays because there was no point. No nights out because she would only die anyway. The black card of death flashed back into her mind as if it were only yesterday. So much stock she had placed in that one moment. Three cards that had defined a life. Would she have had children if she had not seen those cards, would she be single, married or divorced? Might she had died anyway?

Eskimo Nell watched the second hand of the clock tick quickly around. Two minutes left. Did she feel a weird feeling in her chest? It was coming. It was here.
Less than a minute left and Nell’s breath was heavy. She could not focus properly and fear throttled through her body like electricity through pylons. There was no stopping it now; there was no stopping time. Ten seconds. Five. Two…. One.
Nothing. Nell was still breathing, still seeing. There was no heart attack. Could it be late? The clock had been time precisely. There could be no mistake.
And then the sinking feeling. Eskimo Nell gagged and wretched. Fifty nine years worth of wasted dreams choked her; she had just wasted all her life on three stupid picture cards? All those years rejecting and refusing fun. All those relationships as lost as ships in a stormy sea. She lived alone, not even a cat. She had gone nowhere, done nothing and met no one.
A crack in her chest, agony beyond measure. She fell out of her chair in pain and reeled in agony on the carpet. The last thing she saw was the grandfather clock, cheekily smiling back at her as if it knew all along….the last words she could utter…
“But I thought you were Swiss?”

~ by S.G. Mark on April 24, 2012.

One Response to “Day 200 – Yeast”

  1. Bravo! …what a story! The ending is a nice little clap of thunder.

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