A to Z 2017–E is for Evaporate

OK. So I’m resigned to the fact that my stories are getting weirder.

And I’m late.

It is what it is.

E is for Evaporate

“I’ll be gone soon. Don’t forget me.”

The voice in my head is as clear as if someone is standing right next to me, but there’s nobody here.

“I guess grandpa’s brand of crazy passed down after all. Maybe the wreck knocked something lose.”

“No,” said the voice. “But some might see it that way.” A distinct giggle followed.

“Well this is just freakin’ great,” I say, shaking my head. “I’m stuck home with a broken leg, and now I’m hearing voices. Terrific.” I grump and sigh and cross my arms, sitting on this stupid, beat-up leather couch that graces what my mom calls The Movie Room. I don’t know why I bother with what she would call The Histrionics. There’s nobody here to witness my distress.

“I’m here,” says the voice, “but not for much longer.”

“Good,” I tell it. I feel stupid arguing with nothing, but what else can I do?

Unfortunately, I can’t watch a movie or even crappy daytime TV because construction guys up the street dug up the cable. It’s supposed to be fixed tonight, but that leaves me high and dry for the time being.

And my phone… don’t even ask about my phone! It got smashed in the same accident that wrecked my leg and got me a couple days off school. Mom said she’d take me on Saturday to get a new one, which is cool. But I really need something to do right now.

Obviously.

Before I lose what’s left of my mind.

“You could read a book.” The voice sounds excited—what mom calls Chipper—at the prospect. I’m not sure what chipper means, but I’d call it Too Damn Perky.

“She doesn’t like it when you swear,” says the voice.

I sigh. “No, she doesn’t. But she’s not here, is she? Besides, I didn’t really swear. I only thought about swearing.”

“That’s true.”

“You don’t have to listen to it anyway. You could get out of my head and go back where ever you came from.” I look around the room, wondering if maybe one of my friends has snuck in to play a trick on my. “Melanie, is that you?”

“I’m not Melanie. Or Candace. Or Jen. I’m just me.”

“Me who,” I say. “Are you real? I really don’t want to be crazy.”

I sense that the voice is thinking. I don’t know how I know. Then it asks, “can you walk?”

“Not far, but yeah. I have my crutches.”

“Good,” it says. “Come over by the back door.”

I don’t know why I do it—it hurts getting up from the couch. But after a little effort, I’m leaning on my aluminum crutches and maneuvering toward the other side of the room.

“Good. Now, look outside.”

“At what? It’s just the yard.”

“Ah, but what’s on the patio?” The voice sounds… what?… Smug?

I scan the familiar scene. “A couple lawn chairs. The grill.” I shrug. “Dead leaves?”

“What else?”

Else? “What? There’s really nothing. Maybe bugs that I can’t see? A puddle from last week’s rain.”

“Yes,” it said. “A puddle.”

“The puddle?”

“That’s me,” it said. “But I’ll be gone soon.”

“Well, yeah. That’s what puddles do. They dry up. Evaporate.” I shrug again and feel stupid. I’m talking to a voice that claims to be a puddle.

“I just wonder,” it said, “if it’s true what they say.”

“About?”

“The afterlife.”

“Like, God and stuff?”

“I’ve heard that it’s like being in the clouds.”

“Well, that’s how water actually works. I learned it in, like, fourth grade. You’ll actually be part of the clouds, sooner or later.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really.”

“Well,” it said, “when I get there, I’ll try to tell your crazy grandpa hello.”

Oh.

Great.

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed this post. My friend keeps trying to get me to try flash fiction – you and she make it look effortless. Which I’m sure it’s not – and which is the key to good writing, the effort isn’t apparent to the readers.

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