Reaching into the Past

By Liam Sachs

  The dry twigs of the tree rustle in the wind, resisting against nature. I run my hand along the tree, feeling its death, its loneliness. I lean against the grey oak, knotting the rope that will forever bind us. After I finish, I climb to the thickest branch wrap the noose around the dead tree, an embrace. In a few moments, this tree and I will have one thing in common. The morning sun washes both my face and the tree in colour, and I smile. Maybe this tree shall appear in the next life.

  I look to my left to see my beautiful wife, Martha, with a bullet nestled in her skull. My son, Bruce, buries his face in my side. I take Martha’s hand in mine, while the other holds Bruce’s. What was once Gotham City’s sky has warped into a hazy twilight of images similar to Starry Night. Bruce’s tuxedo has turned into a cloak, his skin, bones, and his toy, a scythe. “Stay with me” Death says. I am sorry Bruce, but now I must sleep.

 

I said,

Observe how well we fit together, like pieces of a puzzle. And when that puzzle is complete, it will be a picture of our love.

 

She said,

Our puzzle fell apart years ago. If we were to build that puzzle once more, the missing pieces would forever haunt me.

 

I said,

Look around at the life we have built together, like a castle, and if you agree to stay, then I will devote every waking minute to pampering your every need, my queen.  

 

She said,

Look around at the castle you have built; it is entirely in your perspective. And if I agree to stay, your words will tear down the walls of the castle and become nothing but the thousands of other promises you have shattered.

 

I said,

Our love is like a half finished book. The words already written are the adventures we have had, and come back to me, and we will complete the novel of our love.

 

She said,
Our love is like a completed book, with no more space. If I come back to you, our novel will portray nothing but sorrow, shame, and regret.

 

I said,

Our love is like a child’s laughter: nothing and no-one can destroy what we have; you are my one true soul mate.

 

She said,

Our love was a child’s laughter, but like our love, that child died years ago, as did the idea of you being my soul mate.

 

I said,

Imagine, if you can, a flower, growing in a field. At this point in time in its life, it has lost a petal. But that petal shall surely grow back, as will our love.

 

She said,

Imagine, if you can, a flower, trampled to death in a field. At this point in time, it is meaningless, lifeless, deathly. But that flower shall forever remain dead, as will our love.