For Nevermore – Furious Fiction September 2020

Hi again – that’s right, two shorts in one day! After my *ahem* hilarious (?) attempt last month, this time it got a little dark again. The prompt was a visual (image looking off the back of a boat), with a requirement to start the first word with SHO, and include the words score, slice, sprinkle, stamp, and switch. And. . . I managed to get longlisted again! Huzzah!

Also, as a content warning, this does have a few references to DV and attempted suicide. Not fun topics.

For Nevermore

Should anyone ask, tell them I died. Tell them you tried to save me, tell them I finally gave up. Tell them whatever the hell you want. I don’t care. Or I wish I didn’t, and hope someday I’ll stop grieving for the boy I knew before. Back before the fear of you slowly crept in, before the horror of realising, you were proud of what you did. That you enjoyed it. You called me weak, mocking my sliced flesh, the laughter cutting far deeper than any razor.

Neither of us are laughing now though. Some dolphins swam by earlier, scores of them leaping ahead of the bow, and I smiled for a moment. I almost laughed too, but as I wiped the ocean spray from my face, the smile went with it. It reminds me that I’m free, and that you no longer have any part of my life. I want to be happy with that, but you have dictated every part of my best decades. Or rather, what should have been my best. I grieve to lose you, the switch my grief towards lost years by your side. Everyone else seemed to know you, yet with me . . .every cruel word, every spiteful act was sprinkled with just enough hope to make me stay. After all, I was the problem, wasn’t I? That’s why no-one else would have me.

But still, I do miss you. I wish you could hear the silence of the night sea, taste the salt in the air, and marvel at the pink-orange sunsets. Even on the rough days there is a raw beauty to it all. As though the ocean is reminding us that thousands of years of technological advances mean nothing if she’s in a mood.

In part, I wish you were here. It sickens me that I feel that way, but that was the whole point, wasn’t it? Stamp such authority on my life that I needed it. Make you feel like . . .I don’t know. Like you were the man your father was? Like you were in control of something? I never worked it out. I don’t even know if there was a reason, or you are just like that. Was I a plaything, some kind of entertainment?

Whatever I was, I don’t care anymore. And I don’t care how much of that is a lie, I will tell myself the same thing until I believe it, regardless of the reality. Anything can be true for a given value of truth, can’t it?

And my new life will be mine, regardless of how painful the process is. It’s the pain of a new life coming into the world. Without you. Without the old me.

So should anyone ask, tell them I died. Because the truth – for a given value thereof – is that I have. The man you knew no longer exists. He has died an unremarkable death at your ‘loving’ hands.

Yours for nevermore,

Harold.

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