Daily Creative Writing Practice - Everything Turned To Ashes [Short Story]
My daily practice of bringing depth to simple sentences...
Everything Turned To Ashes
The burning end of the cigarette lit the room in much the same way as how a candle's flame brings light to darkness. Never fully taking away the gloom, only adding to the flicker of shadows, as it sways back and forth by unseen forces. Much like how we're all governed by unseen forces. Some as nature some as nurture but both shaping the connections of our brain. Connections that work in tandem changing friends to lovers. Changing ourselves to become better versions. All in the hopes that we'll be considered good enough for the one we fell for.
But as friends can turn to lovers. Love can also turn to hate. Sometimes from nowhere. A declaration of undying love, within just a moment, becomes a lie.
Now words spew off their tongue as venom, with the sole intent of coagulating the blood, so it's no longer fluid in its movement and the heart pays the ultimate price. Becoming suddenly still. Life suddenly stopped.
Another spark of a cigarette had puffs of white smoke flowing through the room in ever-growing clouds of slow-moving spirals. Covering the room like a blanket. Masking smells that would bring unease.
The swirling of the clouds matched the swirling of his mind as it drifted to the contents of a 20-page letter, now laid in a crumpled mess by his side. A crumpled mess representing his now crumpled life. As written lines of; I want a divorce. From this alcoholic. From this drug user. From this woman abuser. For the home to be solely mine.
Lies, lies and more lies. He'd only ever wanted to make her happy. Working long shifts, to make sure that their home remained as their own. So that one day love would represent them as a gift of a small child. A living and breathing testament of their devotion to each other.
Ironic how she as a testament of love she'd professed just months ago, had him issued with a 20-page court document. On the day he was born.
He'd been warned, but love blinded the signs. He was told to mark my words my son, but love took hold, allowing no other in. His world consisted of just her. Even now as he watched cloudy wisps of smoke float by, he thought of her. Remembering how he'd affectionately run his hands through the kinks of her hair. Holding her tightly as he kissed upon her neck, and she'd respond in heated arches of her back.
How wrong he'd been. How blinded he'd been. He should have listened as the signs were there. As for why else would she ask him to pay money into her account so that she could pay the bills. Being the sole provider he'd not only always paid the bills but paid for her law degree. But soon after any disagreement they'd have, she'd immediately jump on her phones loudspeaker with friends.
He asked the question, he'd asked a million times before. Why would she do this to him? His mind though found no answer, other than one. One which was most obvious but the one which hurt the most. As could it really be that it was all pre-planned. Premeditated. And the love he sought in her was of the same intensity of the wealth she sought of him...
The smell grew stronger. But with it, it showed there's always a way. Always an option. Even in the darkest of places.
He lit another cigarette, the flash of the lighter bringing light briefly to the darkness of the room. The darkness of his world barely broken by the orange-red of the burning head. Ashes though unseen falling down silently. Just like how his world was falling down epically.
He thought if he should just give in and give her everything she wants? But then what were the 12 years of grafting for? Just for 2 years of marriage 3 years of one-sided love? In the darkness of the roomtears of anger dropped from his chin, landing squarely in his lap.
If she wanted the house, he'd give it to her as one last final gift. The ultimate sacrifice as a remembrance for what he'd thought they'd had.
He lit another cigarette, though his hands felt heavy now as if carrying 20 pounds upon each one of his fingers. His mind too felt slow, the calculated planning of a graduate degree mind, becoming lost, as if digging through infinite amounts of quilts when sized as just an ant.
He took the burning Amber of the last of his cigarettes from the folds of his cracked lips and with great effort flicked it towards the room where the smell was at its strongest. Instantly reacting, fuel to the flame. A physical manifestation of his anger. Ripping through his room in fiery fury. Ripping through his home with devastating tornado-like effect. Departing the last of his gift to his now X wife. The past destroyed as everything turned to ashes.
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