The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Digging Up Bones
by Kendra Hale
“You’ll be so comfortable here, you really couldn’t ask for a better view. The way the sun breaks through the branches and leaves as dusk and dawn hits is so tranquil.”
Heidi paused taking a break as she brought her hand up to wipe the sweat from her brow. This overlook was one of her favorite places and the breeze held just enough of a chill that the relief was a comfort. The water bubbled and spat as it churned just below them, the currents headed for greater waters. A soft and mirthful chuckle escaped her lips as she found the flow of the water relatable. When she spoke there was a calmness in her tone but that calm was a thin veil for the venom beneath its surface.
“All my life I have been forced without reason or choice to mold myself to everyone’s specific view of me. These souls who were supposed to love me unconditionally, through good or bad, didn’t even want to know me. Not who I am on the inside. Oh no. They were only too happy to push their view of me and who I should be, behave, speak, regard myself, carry my emotions…all of it to their individual preferences. Any time I tried to break out of the box, they would tape it tighter and tell me that it was for my own good. The fact that I was so easily forgotten once they had already had their fun at my expense, even manipulating the truth because “surely their son or brother could never something so vile”, well the body sheds but the mind remembers and sadly that wasn’t even the worst of their tresspasses.It didn’t matter which aspect of a relationship these unconditional bonds took it always led down the same path. And let me tell you something Leroy that takes a toll, quite a drastic one in fact.”
Heidi paused for a moment to look at the man who was supposed to be a Father to her. The one who had gotten her Mother pregnant in high school and hadn’t entered her life again until damn near her mid-twenties. The thought of having family, one that wanted to know her and enfold her had been all that she had desired in life. To belong and to have a safe environment where her words were heard and understood and not used as a weapon against her. But even that wish had been a fantasy.
“You know your Mother was so excited to finally meet me, your sisters swore that all my life they had wanted to be a part of my experiences. How sad it was that my Mother had blocked them out and us only living less than thirty minutes away. But you were carefree. I only wanted you to know I existed. You didn’t even recognize yourself in me, passed right by me at the funeral. I can’t begin to tell you what pain that caused.But if I am being honest, your sister caused the most pain. In her I found a kindred soul, one that nourished and matched me for my loves and saw me. But you all took advantage of that bond and made me manipulate her into going to the hospital when her mind was in a state of delirium…the things she said broke me. Her words cut me deeper than I have allowed most to penetrate, for she knew my worst fears. As we sat in the hospital she went from loving to screaming at me to get out and how dare I make decisions for her. Since when was I family? I was only there to take advantage of you all.”
Heidi took a breath to steady herself, she could hear the unsteadiness and the hitch her voice was giving. Even if her mind could shut down, these memories carried pain and that didn’t just wash away. She had been told her entire life that her emotions were too much or wrong and she had tried like hell to fight them, to make it all stop. To her credit that was why she was here tonight. Tonight Leroy was a crossed off name on her list.
“While lovers and friends have left their marks and done their damage over the years, you and those you will be joining left the marks that forever made me lose trust. To be confused on what love means and made it harder to trust not only myself but to trust in those who said they love me. Always waiting for the knife in the back or the walking away. I have pushed people away out of fear of more pain because the pain is too much to bear anymore. But Leroy, I admit this solution is not only cathartic but I dare say therapeutic.”
Heidi grabbed the shovel and as she worked she waited for the sound of the shovel hitting root to ring out, for that was the only sound that would be heard this night. That and her own breath. As she watched the colors paint the sky a vivid hue, Leroy joined in with the others as a source of nutrition for the oak. It was a memory she had cherished and had made a true labor of her love. Who knew the tree sent home with her as a child for Arbor Day would be something to help heal the adult her? She patted the dirt and wiped her face one last time. She was crossing her pain out one by one and left with a smile on her face and never a thought to look back.
“Enjoy the view, Dad.”
Fiction © Copyright Kendra Hale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Kendra Hale:
A Gothic Bite Magazine Anthology
A collection of poetry.
‘Just Emotions‘ is exactly as it states, a group of writers who had feelings they wanted to express in poem form. Inside, there are a range of emotions to explore. Each writer has given a bit of themselves to you, each in their own way.
We hope that you enjoy these writings and that among the poems you may find some thing you can identify with or relate to. Thank you for giving us this chance to open the catacombs and share with you.
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