by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy

Another Writer’s Digest Community short-short story from last year.

Time to Say Goodbye . . . A New Beginning.

She closed the door, closed her eyes. She heard only the clicking of the lock falling into place as the only thought was her repetitive mantra, “Never again…”; racing, disorganized, scrambling any other sense of composure she may have had earlier.

Keeping her eyes as closed as possible, she stumbled down the hall toward the Living Room, and laughed a cynical laugh as the traces of death still surrounded her. Photos of an old love, letters from once-known strangers. Boxes and piles of chaos, the remnants of a past life.

She reached for her wine and after two thoughtful sips and a primal scream, tossed the remainder out onto the debris, leaving a poetic stain of red, dripping as though her lifeblood itself was pouring out of her.

She turned to the balcony door and stood just inside, her long shadow tracing awkwardly over the mess. The City roared beneath her, away from her; giving a false animation and electronic life to everything outside. There was no distinct sound she could clarify. Just… noise.

She returned then to the interior, listening only to the pounding inside her as it grew louder, stronger. Chilled by a life of unfeeling, she reached for the matches over the fireplace and watched as she struck them, one by one, over and over. Finally, one took flame and she gazed at its beauty, ever-changing yet always present, and knew what she had to do.

She watched in eternal slow motion as the small flame fell to the floor, opening a roar of wonders as it grew and ate and devoured all she had left. And she stood there. Watching with great intent until it pushed her back to the window, back to indistinction. There would be nothing left to save, even if she’d wanted to.

The heat pressed against her, and she relished its warmth. It had been too long since she felt… warm. She stood as her body purged itself of impurities. And longed to save herself.

In a flash, overtaken by bright, hot, licking tongues of flames, she opened the window into a collision of fire and air as both roared for her affections. Scrambling over the edge, she closed her eyes once again and allowed herself to slip into a familiar sense of the unknown. She knew only she could always start again.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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