Sparkles by Mark McConville

Flash Fiction, Mark McConville


I see you in the distance carrying a suitcase ribbed in silver linings. It sparkles in the night; you fell in love with it when you saw it in the shop window. Sparkles and things that gleam enthral you, you are the most fashionable person I know. You look back at me in this cold night, waving and crying, as I fear I will walk back into exile. Truth has died in my world, reckless feelings have overwhelmed any sense of reason, the moments when clarity conquered have been dispossessed. You felt my wrath at times, and for that I am apologetic, you danced with fear in the house we bought together. That house is now a broken foundation, a shell with no love or furniture, only a hard base to rest my heavy head when the world is grinding on my resolve.

The road becomes congested, the sparkles are hidden, your face becomes shrouded by smoke and screams. This city is a nightmare, a metropolis without the wonderful brochure. It does not dazzle like the countryside, the lush grass, and flourished flowers. Your face is fully covered now, subjected to the toxic smoke which comes from the cheap gasoline. You are gone now, and I must balance my composure with my sadness, but then I wish to deal damage to my insides, break the liver that has been grown in me.

I stand on the side-lines of melancholy, looking at my watch every second, in these streets blackened like a pair of old, smoked lungs. Light shimmers at moments but the streetlights are useless. I stand for a while, like a silhouette dressed in thin stitched clothes in a cold winter’s night. Waiting and waiting, but you will not return, you will find another man to tend to your wishes, you will cover over the cracks with makeup and optimism, when I am struggling to heat my body. I do not want to go back to the walls that consume me, I can often feel them melt into me, closing into my ribcage and obstructing my windpipe. And Time has elapsed. Hope has frozen in time. I am vulnerable to anyone who wants to attack and loot me of my life. I do not care much for my skin and bones, my brain and blood, I wish to be taken from this planet and burnt into mars.

I hear your voice in my head, a click of your fingers, the sound of your ringtone. You are stuck in my memory. You disappeared into the smoke beams, you triggered my sadness, and I am standing still. Violence eludes me as I am lost in thought, knives do not frighten me, gunshots are tiny sounds. Standing, standing among the roars, standing, standing waiting to be taken to the infirmary in the sky. All around me, are people fighting, screaming for revolutions, scattered like paper notes. I cannot dislodge from the thoughts that linger, the thoughts that you occupy.

Danger wreaks havoc here. The disillusioned fight with their shadows, the mean fight with everything. Ghosts and walls hope and love, their own dreams. The city has fell into chaos, and still I stand, not in a cocoon or armoured with steel, but open to shrapnel and wounds. And yet, I do not care, I do not feel obliged to run or to stave off these enemies who are here to put the city in a supersized grave.

You’re gone. Possibly strolling through suburbia, possibly on a train, or in a strangers car. I can’t compete, I can’t order you to come back and save this city and myself.

Keep Sparkling…