Tuesday, 5 July 2011
F3 Cycle 38 - REVERIE
This week's F3 prompt, set by Doc Shaw, was to explore one of the many facets of madness and produce a short work of fiction.
One aspect of insanity that intrigues me is how you would deal with everyone else marching to a different drum-beat than your own - what would it feel like to realise everyone else was behaving or talking in a demented fashion, compared to yourself? Is pure insanity not likely to present itself as completely rational and lucid to the sufferer themselves.....?
(Maybe that explains a few things! ;-p)
Anyway, here's my 'take' on this week's challenge - it doesn't seem right to say my usual 'enjoy'!
The years have faded into one long summer. A time of memories, children running down the grassy banks, tumbling into a heap of sunburnt arms and legs, of grazed knees exposed by warm-weather shorts and a world of adventure to explore in the long vacations.
Then, there are other memories; faded and torn, like old photographs burnt around the edges as if someone had tried to obliterate them.
Forgive me, but the faces and the places are a jumble. They are perfectly stored in my memory but the filing system is not working properly at the moment.
Was it I or my sister who disappeared all those long years ago? I have disjointed images in my brain: a truck pulling up silently to the den we had created, voices, a man’s heavy work boots at my eye line, the view pierced by green shards of grass. I sense a feeling of fear, a smell of dampness and decay and something that makes me afraid of darkness and confined spaces. Are these my memories or someone else’s? Do I remember truth and fact, or do I merely remember someone else’s account.
Somewhere in the labyrinth of my mind lies the answer to what happened all those years ago; suppressed through early adulthood and like the stuff of dreams as I raised my own sweet babies. Then the stroke stopped time and reset my body clock and what had been forgotten was suddenly a reality. In morbid fascination I’ve begun to reconstruct the past, replacing the fabricated memories that were reinforced by well meaning parents and family with the odd flashes of truth that pierce the dark blanket of unknowing.
Today there is something new; a memory of movement, the rumbling sensation of wheels that rattles and vibrates inside my tiny childish frame and the rough feeling of the cover over my face. It smells of grease and petrol, but I cannot move my hands to push it away.
I must hurry and write this down before oblivion descends. They torment me with their lies dressed as truth, dismissing my thoughts as fabrication. I hear the bell ringing again, it always heralds the demise of thoughtful clarity and soon the fog will cloud what little judgement I have. They like to call it Alzheimer’s and treat it with pills and potions, trying to wash away the memories I try to cling to.
But I have noted it all down, in scrawled writing that defies their understanding but which is plain to me. It may be days before I find my book again and then, reading through, discover once more a reality I thought was just a terrifying dream.
Pink and green pills today, a bitter taste I recall, so I have stored them in the rough seam of a pocket, but the subtle feeling of fear that crouches like a demon at the edges of my mind is already evaporating like rising mist. Perhaps they have realised my deceit. I wonder, idly, if they’ve put something in the water instead?
The drowsiness descends, obliterating the rational processes of my mind and wrapping me in a cocoon as readily as they wrap the blanket around me and push my chair out into the sunny day-room to lie semi-comatose alongside the other ‘vegetables’.