Heart To Heart.
Down through the black square.
“I’ll hit the bottom this time.” She said inside her head. Her skin prickled in a cold-hot flush. She jumped, and started breathing.
She was sitting in the evening cool. She was a small dumpy old lady ensconced in a battered cane chair.
She rubbed stubby old hands across pale blue eyes…eyes the colour of distance. Gruffly she swiped the tears away.
“ Is that all that’ll happen? Do I just go to sleep and nothing?” She said out loud to no one, to everyone. Her raspy cry cut through the moist evening air. There was a rare moment of total stillness and the world stopped for the moment as if to think about the old lady’s question.
Her heart flopped in its own mad rhythm, reminding her loudly,
“Nah! You won’t get out of it that easy. I’m going to be darn sure to wake you up first, after all the trouble you’ve given me over the years.
The huge heart flopped about some more and said,
“You don’t want to go unprepared and wander round like a wisp and scaring everyone? You can rely on me to do that last service. I’ll make sure you get the big ‘whammo’ so you’re wide awake. Why miss the biggest ride of your life?”
The old heart resumed its frantic rhythm. Mrs McGillicuddy looked at her chest in astonishment.
“ My heart talks! Wonder when it learnt to do that? Hm? I need a big bloody drink.”
Florrie McGillicuddy took a small sip from the glass of Brandy.
“Just to steady down the old heart.” She took another bigger sip, and then a noisy gulp.
“That should sort the old ticker out.” Her old body flooded with warmth. Her heart began to beat more regularly. Florrie leant back and deeply sucked in the moist evening air.
In that twilight she had a moment, a rush of total contentment. Florrie felt a thrilling sense of connection with this time. The colours of the twilight became luminous and little spics of light danced in the air before her face.
She was about to spend another night sitting up. She had too much fluid in her old lungs to lie down in bed. She’d liked the past week sleeping here, watching the dying sun and colours so pure she felt them opening her heart gently like the petals of a rose.
When she’d first decided to try to sleep out here, she thought that if she did die at least the neighbours might see her. But she grew to realise she had never felt more alive than she was feeling right now.
“Just me and my blanket and the old Chateau Tanunda.” She said raising the sticky glass with nicotine stained fingers. A golden strobe of sunlight flashed through the glass and stroked Florrie’s face.
“Oh Lor’! Look at the sky.” she said. The heavens pulsed with flush after flush of golds, pinks, and blues. It was so beautiful it took Florrie’s breath away.
Then she remembered to breathe again. Florrie’s heart opened and warmth flooded into her chest. Her heart opened wider till Florrie felt she was lighter than air.
A light in the sky moved slowly towards her. Gently, inexorably it circled towards her and then it hovered before her eyes and washed her over in its light.
Familiar hands helped Florrie up out of her chair and with a fleeting backwards glance at the old home, she moved away from its frailty.
The neighbours found her body in the morning sitting stolidly in its chair. Her right hand was locked round the Brandy Glass. A great grin was spread across her face.
“At least poor Florrie got to die in her sleep” The neighbour whisked the Brandy glass away and closed Florrie’s lovely eyes. She was at a loss to explain why her fingers came away covered in golden dust.
Therese Mackay March 27/3/05
43 Willow Crescent
Port Macquarie NSW 2444