She flickers like the sunshine, the wind, and her words


Jessie Warren

The stairway at my dad’s house cloaked in mid-day sunshine.

At this moment, the sun has disappeared along with the wind, and the capering illusions that dash across the hardwood have fancifully flickered away.

The paintings upon the gallery wall are shielded in thick darkness, behind which you can barely see the faces—faces of people she may never know but feels so close to simply from gazing upon them. Golden, mahogany, and silver frames encircle them within a nearly permanent sphere, yet their expressions never waver. Even though she cannot make out their features within the onyx crepuscule, she knows them to be unchanged.

Holding onto this guarantee, she parades through the shade of her mid-day existentialism. She knows the sun will come back—it always does.

It will pattern the fenestella with burnished boldness. It will coat the dining table in roaming architecture. It will dance alongside her thoughts and hold her close in its warmth when all she feels is cold. Within this unadulterated light, she’ll feel her eyelids slowly fall back together again, and she will return to what once was.

She will return to what she continues to dream about, no matter how much distance she creates between it and her.

However, today the darkness wavers—like a mist over her dreams—and the dining room remains solemn. Stillness settles over the space, and while bodily mirages color in the white areas, they flicker for mere seconds before vanishing, leaving only her fingers moving upon her keyboard. Every corner in this eclectic abode spills over in silence, and she is running out of words.

She knows the sun will come back—it always does.”

It only took her 263 of them to get to this point, and she strives for at least 300 more.

She never stopped to wonder what would happen when this moment came. Utterly dependent on the ideas that have filled her blank documents, she is stripped of a landing space now that the ideas are no more. All she has is the faces in the paintings, and they know nothing of words. Even if they had voices, those disappeared the second they graced the canvas.

The orbs of sunshine are dancing once more, but as her mind crosses the bridge between afternoon and night, their sprawling glow has begun to dim. When the breeze picks up, they dance, but the in-between moments are filled only with the subtle chill of early fall.

The verse that she’s managed to produce is shallow. It means nothing to anyone besides her, and she can barely discern its true meaning herself. She’s begun writing for the sake of writing, and like the faces, her words are slowly softening to a whisper. Soon, they won’t even be there.

At this moment, the sun has reignited along with the wind, but the capering illusions that dash across the hardwood cannot muster enough strength to make this moment meaningful.

She flitters and falls, and even as her eyelids clutch onto one another, her dreams do not catch her.