Black Petals Issue #72 Summer, 2015

In Dreams, There Is No Time
Home
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Brutal-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
Chaos in Corollary-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
In Dreams, There Is No Time-Fiction by George Gad Economou
Nuncapisco-Fiction by A. M. Stickel, Editor
Ocean Life-Fiction by Lael Braday
Onward Traveler-Fiction by Kathleen Wolak
The Beach House-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Weeping Man-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Poetry & Prose by Alexis Child
Poetry by John Frazee
Poetry by Denny Marshall
Poetry by Jeffrey Park
Poetry by Dr. Mel Waldman

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In Dreams, There Is No Time

By George Gad Economou

Or is it in nightmares?

 

 

In rain, at midnight, I’d finished the most gruesome work of my entire life. It was finally done, but I couldn’t leave. How could I, after all? I’m still thinking about that fateful night, even now, back at the same place, standing in bright sunshine. Between now and then, only one thing didn’t change: the shovel.

I watch solemnly, unable to understand how it all happened. It had been raining the entire damn day, and our moods had darkened. Weather influences the mind. We had been talking and crying about wasting nine months of living, realizing that, although we were in love, we couldn’t be together. And it all culminated then, that damn rainy day. The flowers I planted then have now bloomed; they look beautiful. And everything is so peaceful. Perhaps, she’s smiling; at last, by planting those flowers, I hope I made her smile. I stayed away for months, leaving her in peace, as promised.

I can’t take it anymore, and must see her, even if it’s one last time. I still carry around the last present she ever gave me—a small, metal box. It’s right here in my pocket, safely chained to my belt. And within it, something’s beating. How did it happen? Where was I? Why can’t I remember the details?

 

When you dream, there is nothing but the dream. We sat in her apartment; it was raining, and getting dark. We were smiling through tears, even laughing. I hugged her goodbye, tight. I knew it was the last time; she didn’t. I sent her a letter, explaining it was all over.

She responded three days later. She gave me the box when she came to my door. Then, I brought her here, to this very spot; it was still raining, and, in the middle of the night, I did what I had to do. I buried her heartless body, and planted some flowers over it because she always liked flowers. I’ve kept the box in my pocket ever since, carrying it around everywhere; I sleep with it next to me. She told me once that flowers are what makes a home feel like home. I gave her a home, and she gave me her heart; we both got what we desired the most.

 

I’m back. Why? I have the shovel, the same one I used then. And I’m waiting. The heart in the box keeps on beating; it had never ceased. I kiss the heart residing inside, and it skips a beat. It makes me smile. It is still warm and filled with affection. Why couldn’t we be together? I don’t even remember the reasons now. Alongside her, I buried the past, the memories. Her heart is the only memorandum, and my most precious possession. Why am I here? I ruined her home once, and the time has come to do it again. History always repeats itself; that’s what wise men say, anyhow.

The dirt is dry and hard, where once it was wet and easy to dig (but I got all muddy). I’m sweating, the sun is hot, and the day is dry, with no wind, not even a tiny breeze. At high noon, in mid-summer, I’m here because I missed her. I destroy the flowers, and can feel the heart beating slower, sadder. And I hear her cry.

She was never dead. She could have lived without her heart, for she’d learned not to use it. The dirt was too heavy for her to lift before; today I let her. Her hand arises, still wearing the ring. I stop. I can’t withhold my tears; the ring reminds me. She destroyed a home to be with me, then couldn’t be with me because she destroyed a home. And then, she gave me her heart as a token, a reminder of what I’d made her do.

 

She was sobbing; she was silent, but her eyes were tearful. She was holding the box gently, tenderly, as she knocked on my door. She was exhausted; yet, she smiled, when I answered the door. I wanted to hold her; I was the one who’d ended it, but I wanted her back. She didn’t let me embrace her, just gave me the box and collapsed. I took her in, put her on the couch. Memories overwhelmed me. When I opened the box, I screamed like a little girl.

I was petrified, but, impossibly, she was still breathing, and her smile widened. It almost calmed me down; her smile was what I loved the most. Then, she turned cold, stony. She was still alive, but wasn’t living. She had given up on her heart because she couldn’t bear the emotions and the struggle. She wished me to have her heart, knowing it was what I wanted. I hit her in the head with a hammer. She stiffened, unmoving. I brought her here, to the middle of nowhere. Amidst the heavy rain, I buried her, gave her a place to rest, a home. And she was happy.

 

Why can’t I leave her alone? I ruined her home once, and now I’m doing it again. And she’s crying again. She’s protesting. There she is! Even in decay, she’s beautiful. Covered in mud, her skin pale and icy, she’s wonderful. Her eyes remain mesmerizing; if she was smiling, it would still be heartwarming.

She’s screaming, silently. Terrified, I take a step backwards; then she’s up on her knees, crawling towards me. I can’t stop her. I can do nothing but stare. We’re reunited, and we hurt each other…just like before.

I see the hole in her chest, whence her heart came. She’s in tears and furious that I destroyed the home I gave her. I try to apologize, to explain; my lips move, but soundlessly. I shiver, and she stops, there, on her knees, glaring up at me from two steps away. We’re so close, and it feels right, even if it’s wrong. It’s just like old times, when we tried to make each other happy, and failed miserably. The heart in its box has stopped beating.

 

Why would she have given me her heart? I couldn’t understand. As I stood above the freshly dug grave, the place where I put her, I couldn’t comprehend. Was it my words that ended what she too wanted to end? And there I was, standing in the rain, planting flower seeds in the wet dirt, trying to create a home for her, the only thing she ever wanted. And the rain was falling heavily, as if the sky was crying for our separation, for the death of our hopeless love. I finally drove away, returned home. Her heart safely with me, I was alone; the box reminded me of her, of all the good times, and I could live, while she rotted in the dirt, in her tiny home, all alone and unable to feel. It was emotions that brought her to this end; maybe not being able to feel was what she truly desired.

 

She’s still there, staring at me, tears in her tired eyes, her mouth forming a silent scream. Her arms are extended towards me. She wants something, but what? I raise the shovel because I can finally move again. I’m scared, but happy. Does she want an embrace? When I lean forwards, she backs away in surprise. No embrace. Then what? A single beat in my pocket, and I comprehend. But I refuse to comply.

For months I’d been merely existing, always lost in thoughts and memories. The rain reminded me of our last night together, the sun of our happy days. We’d tried to live our love when we attempted to bring our dream to life. We failed, and I couldn’t move on. I wanted to, but her heart wouldn’t let me. I held onto it tight, with conviction. We’d wasted nine months of living, but it was worth it; in the end it wasn’t a waste. So, I drove back, wanting to see her. And I found her new home, the one I gave her, and it made me smile.

I can’t do it, I simply refuse! The most precious gift, the only true memorandum, and I can’t give it up. I don’t want to live. I glance at the open grave, and wish to jump in. Then, we can live together, in the home I made, and destroyed. The flowers lie uprooted on the grass, and it’s over; the home is ruined. Therefore, she wants her gift back. I took mine away; now it’s her turn. That’s fair play, but I’m not a good sportsman.

She points at the pocket and pleads, and then threatens—mouth open, teeth turned sharp. She’s on her feet, arms extended, wicked smile wide, nothing beautiful in it. The hole in her chest gapes, and I know what must be done. I can’t. I raise the shovel. I can’t do it. My feet glued to the ground, sweat runs into my eyes, blinding me. But I know she’s coming close by her growling. The one sound she can produce is hurting my ears, and my heart. Once, she said she loved me; now she growls and moves closer, mouth wide open, the sunlight reflecting off her sharp teeth.

I hit her! I couldn’t control my arms; she’s down, and motionless, but still alive. In tears, I caress her hair. Despite the dirt, it hasn’t lost volume or color. It remains lovely—black, thick, and fragrant—regardless of the time in the ground. I take the box out, and spare one last glance at the heart, still there and still broken, though beating weakly. There’s one thing to be done.

I hold it in my hands, tenderly; once, when we slept together, I felt as if I was holding her heart, keeping it warm. Now, I’m holding it again, and it’s cold. I place the heart inside the chest cavity. The hole closes: no more hole in her body, or in her soul. Her teeth are not sharp; her smile is beautiful. She moans. I put her back in the ground and cover her with dirt. New flowers are planted. I ruined two homes, but I can fix this one. Her laughter sounds like music in my ears as I walk away. Tears mingle with a smile, and I’m gone.

 

I lived in dreams because time does not exist in them and, thus, love lives forever. I walk away, and enter reality. She has her home and her heart. She can once more feel. And I have my smile, my memories, and a new life. One day, I’ll return and leave my heart atop her home. It will be the day time ceases to exist for me.

 

The End

 

 

George Gad Economou, sorensen385@hotmail.com, of Risskov, Denmark, who wrote BP #72’s “In Dreams, There Is No Time” (+ BP #68’s “Angel of the Dark” and BP #64’s “The Day I Started Believing”), is a 20ish horror author from Greece, whose first novel, THE ELIXER OF YOUTH, was published in Greece in 2010. He wrote this first novel at the age of 15, and has since written more novels, as well as short stories, all in the horror genre. See www.facebook.com/GeorgeGadEconomou.

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