A member of the British writers’ forum ABCTales.com who writes under the pen name Juliet OC has contributed this lyrical, intense story that combines raw emotion with careful literary craft:
“Just this here now… just this here now… just this, here now… just this, here, now,” she whispers the mantra into the incensed air. “Just this… here… now… only now is important, we only have this moment… just this, here now.”
A river rushes past my left ear, it bubbles and fades as distant bells grow closer, like the church on the hill on summer mornings, or cows in an Alpine meadow. The dog collapses into my side, he only lives for now; just this, here now. I screw his fur in my palm, and he throws his head back into my lap as I breathe in on, just this; and out on, here now. I imagine us in a painting, the title; Dying in ecstasy, sub-title; just this here now. My sister snores in the hospital bed as I lie on her ‘real’ bed, her old bed. She doesn’t lie on it anymore, not even in the daytime.
The phone rings in another room, I am allowed not to answer it. I have been given permission to be; just this here now. I don’t want this to end – I want to stay here on this bed, quiet and still with the sounds of bells like tiny cymbals, reminding me of an India I have never been to, and a rolling rumble that resonates deep in my stomach like distant thunder after the storm.
The back door slams. Someone shouts, “Hello!” I open my eyes and find I am back behind bars….
Read the whole story here. Read more by Juliet here.
Lovely, indeed; and reminds me of the wonderful short story by Annie Dillard, “Aces and Eights” (from the “Teaching a Stone to Talk” collection):
“…We are, alas, imagining ourselves in the future remembering standing here now, the morning light on the green valley and on the clear river…A ripple of wind comes down from the woods and across the clearing toward us. We see a wave of shadow and gloss where the short grass bends…The gust crosses the river and blackens the water where it passes, like a finger, closing slats.” …
and my own haiku:
DEJA VU, SQUARED
Here, again, both now /
And then, like this – just so, and /
Even, too, this thought.
©HANROD Systems (10/1993)
It is great that we are able to receive the loan and that opens up completely new possibilities.