Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled Non Morieris in Somnis Memorias. Please enjoy.
I’m walking through immaculate streets. Once vibrant and full of life, now sterile. The leaves blowing in the wind in front of me are its only occupants.
The ticks of a large clock tower in the center of town reverberate against my brain with each passing step, acting as a reminder of the inexorable nature of time. It can be seen and heard everywhere in this town. Its presence is inescapable.
I am exhausted. Not physically, mentally. Physical fatigue is impossible here.
I am surrounded by large and luxurious homes. They once provided shelter for friends and family. Now they serve as monuments of better days.
My journey leads me to “Johnson’s Curios”, my parent’s old store. I cannot help myself from looking through the window. I see my mother dusting the wares as my father collects the money from a customer. I see myself as a child. My parents are laughing, trying to get me to join in their frivolities.
I refuse. I was sulking. I wanted an expensive video game all my friends were getting. They couldn’t afford it. They try to convince me that money wasn’t everything. I resent them for it. I resented them for being poor. I resented them for not caring. A decade later I would leave for college and never speak to them again.
I continue on. I see a playground. The swings are empty yet they are moving somehow.
I see a vision. My wife and daughter suddenly appear. My wife is pushing our daughter on a swing. They are enjoying themselves. My little girl looks towards me. She smiles and calls out, “Daddy, come play with us!” I try desperately to tell her yes.
She does not hear my reply. She wasn’t talking to me. She was speaking to the apparition behind me, to the man working on the bench who refuses to engage in such frivolities. They all begin to fade away.
My marriage eventually dissipated. My wife and I didn’t understand each other anymore. Her dreams and ambitions no longer matched mine. She moved to a different town after the divorce and took my little girl with her.
I didn’t see my daughter much after that. I could have made a better effort to visit, to see her on the weekends, but I didn’t bother. With a dejected sigh, I continue walking.
I arrive at the edge of town. I happen upon a drab, cold and sterile bank. It is my destination so I walk inside. There is a large stack of money lying in the center of the lobby.
It is every dollar that I had pursued so fervently. It is everything I ever wanted. It is everything I was willing to alienate everyone for. It is everything I cannot take with me.
I sit in the pile. With an anguished smile I grab two handfuls of bills. Tears stream down my face as I wail. The clock still chimes but its ticks begin to fade.
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