This was a short story I completed for school using themes found throughout A.S Byatt's 'Sugar and Other Stories'. I would like to know what you guys think, no need to be gentle .. I know its long, but I hope its worth it.

A surprising silence descended on the night, after all the noise it seemed painful inside his head, as though it were pressing on his brain, and around his head cutting off his air supply and creating a bubble around the world where any movement would cause it to burst and all the sounds of the world would pour in to drown him where he lay.
He could see flashing lights, like lightning crashing to earth on the quickest route of destruction, or speckled flashes of sunlight piercing a thick canopy of trees and dappling the ground it fell on. His idle mind wandered far away to the smiling face of a woman, dressed in a bejewelled white dress glowing like a shining star just beyond your reach, so beautiful, so perfect, so infinite. He felt empty this time around though. The flowers in her hands seemed dead and already decayed, melting over her hands and staining the white dress red like blood on hospital bandages.
A feeling of floating grew upon him, shining through the anchors of sadness, guilt and anger. Undecided on the emotion he wished to feel he chose all three and drifted between them, circling steadily like a boat in an eddy. Suddenly white hot pain erupted around him, he felt he was burning and freezing at the same time. Instinctively he pulled away, what he felt as his face, screwed up against the onslaught until it abruptly stopped as if he had been plunged into water, or as if he had died.

The sun was blindingly hot, but the warmth did not seem to reach him as he sat perched on a chair, hands gripped tightly to the seat, holding his knees together. The flowers that lay upon the dark oak coffin were like a million eyes focused on him with anticipation, suspicion and accusation of all he had done, and had not done. The photo that lay next to them looked familiar to him, but he could not see it properly through the mist that seemed to have momentarily clouded around his eyes. A woman came toward him then, from a gathered congregation that he had only just noticed. Lifting a hand for help he smiled up at her. She said nothing, she did not even look at him as, head bowed, she placed a blood red rose upon the hardened box that was the last resting place of an unknown loved one.
Soft tears fell from under her black veil and hat as the quivering hand fell to her side, and hen gathered around her stomach in a one-handed lonely hug that gave no comfort and no warmth. She paused for an infinite period, or only a second, before she forced herself to look up at the photo of her husband. The man who had been watching intently froze and his stomach dropped as he stared into the woman’s eyes. Glancing away a feeling of regret began to build as he stared out at the ocean that beckoned to him behind the glass, to come, to play, to be free. But he gripped the chair tighter as he reached out his hand again knowing it was fruitless.

The road ahead was dappled sunlight and overhanging trees, the car itself packed with books and maps. A desperate woman, the woman from the funeral, stared out the windscreen blankly as though seeing nothing. Her eyes involved solely with images from maps and books, which were constanyl mixed with real and imagined memories of what was and what could have been. Lines of cascading tears ran down both cheeks unbroken and perfectly shaped like a drain, or a waterfall, a direct course for water to take, a course which would eventually be eroded away until the sides of the river were so far away that a bird could no even fly from one side to the other without a rest. A town rose up in front of her eyes, as if it had burst right out of the ground only a few moments before. A ragged collection of mud huts and tents greeted her eyes as she drew closer, the only sign of civilisation was a one pump petrol station with rusted signs and dust covered windows that could not be seen through, and hadn’t been for many years. He watched the woman, who tugged at his heartstrings for unknown reasons, as she glanced at the petrol pump, not trusting the yellow-toothed, sandalled dusty man beside it. She drove on down the main gap between huts and tents like a natural pathway through an evergreen forest with imposing sentinels of towering trees. The cloud of dust she kicked up with her mechanical menace settled almost instantly as another layer as though it did not want to disturb the stillness of the area. Pulling up at a little larger hit the woman stepped out. She clenched her jaw as she pushed the door open nothing left inside her but cold determination/ he decided to wait.

Papers were strewn across the bed and floor like fallen leaves and discarded pay checks. They were filled with reds and yellows and blacks. All cascading together creating a world of incompatible passions, of drowning horizons, hot bright suns, and destitution of life, death and emptiness. A world full of demons, death, decay, and incomprehensible magic, of things so pure they could never be sustained. A world where everything was how she chose and life could be as perfect, or as tragic, as she wished it to be.
He stared down at the paper bearing her soul, not knowing how he got there, but thankful to be just as he was. A pencil lay in her hand, but there was no movement as she slept soundly, one hand curled around her stomach. He wanted to hold her to him, but he didn’t know why, he simply felt the need to. A long forgotten feeling, rising its head above the water ever so slightly to able to see a shape but no distinct form. He watched the rise and fall of her chest silently, pondering the turn his life had taken and wondering when it would end. A picture caught his eye then, it lay under the womans hand, and taking it softly he glanced down at the pencilled sketch. A road stretched on forever, a sign post pointing each way, one to life and one to death. The darkness of the life side confused him, the death was all too bright with marshmallow clouds and dazzling sunlight. A woman stood at the sign post, looking up in indecision, a bundle clasped in her hands. Looking closer he saw a small booted foot hanging out from one side and a deep feeling of guilt and surprising anger erupted.

The place was cold, and he couldn’t help but shiver. He saw nothing but darkness, a darkness so complete that it seeped into his brain and emptied out all feeling, he soon became the cold, he was the cold, and he wished to remain cols. Floating aimlessly he pondered the raven-haired woman who could not seem to leave. She seemed to float in his memories, half remembered wisps of colours and words, spoken softly and melodiously. They washed over him in warm folds of silken bliss. Suddenly a face floated up from the darkness, with brown hair floating softly around, ice blue eyes pierced the warmth balloon around him, as he drew her close to him. She sunk so easily into his arms as she whispered to him, “I miss you, I miss you so much” he pulled her closer trying to rid her body of the chill that had invaded it, moving into her mind and her heart, “Trust me.” He replied “I miss you more, I love you” the words escaped before he even thought about them but he knew they were true, but he still did not understand as he felt the woman grow colder.

Dust swirled around her as the wind picked up her raven hair and tugged gently at it, pulling her towards the fire, and the hunched man who sat beside it. Night was drawing around them and the light glowed like a beacon in the darkness, like a star that shone brighter then the rest, here was enlightenment she believed, no more escaping through her drawings, no more scouring books and maps the truth lay before her open and crystal clear. The man was like a rock, an anchor for her to stop her circling process, her aimless, yet persistent wandering. He looked up slightly when she sat opposite him but he made no other movement. The unseen observer believed he could have died and there would be no change. Then he spoke and the observer moved closer to hear the words. “I can tell you nothing that you do not already know, I have answers for this world, not for the one after, the one further on that you are seeking. I can tell that you can feel him, but you must let him go. Death is not the freedom you believe it to be if one in this world holds onto the dead for too long.” Lifting up a hand he ran it down her cold cheek and smiled sympathetically, last thing you have of him.: Gently touching her stomach he lifted his eyebrows in question, but he never again said another word.
She moved away from him now thinking deeply, then smiling, she has felt the injustice of life, the observer thought, she feels the salvation of art and our see, she has no more need of me. And he slowly drifted up and away from her confident that she had sought the truth, she had found the truth and now she commands the truth.


“Deciding to remember, and what to remember is how we describe who we are.”
-Robert Dinsky