Friday, June 4, 2010

Spine Curved Slightly

Spine - 381 Words
Ben Azevedo

The last time he had seen her, she had left him. Left him standing in a blown out building, among the twisted rebar and chunks of brick and glass. He had stood there for God-only-knows how long and stared at nothing in particular before walking dully back to his apartment. The last image of her he had imprinted into his mind was her back as she walked out the door, spine curved slightly to half glance back at him before disappearing.


“We can’t do this anymore,” she said.

“We’ve made it this long,” he protested, “the war’ll be over soon, and things will go back to normal.”

“You know you can’t promise me that!” she cried, her voice rising with emotion. “You could be dead tomorrow, and then what would we have! Every day the bombs are closer, with no end in sight! I can’t do it anymore!”

He had tried to console her, to comfort her with the old words that had always worked. But they didn’t.


The second to last time they had met, it had been in that same building. It was their hideout; the only place they could safely meet on his short leaves between battles. Already bombed, abandoned, and probably bombed again, they knew they would be safe under the crumbling roof. They held each other tight, and he told her of his adventures, with only slightly less enthusiasm than he used to.


“…and after Poland we were in Norway for a month. Have you ever been to Norway?” he asked.

“No, never,” she said with wonder, “was it quite cold?”

“Oh yes, but the coast was so beautiful”

She sighed, imagining the freezing, beautiful coast of Norway, while he recalled the deadly frozen waves crashing against the night-black rocks. She murmured something.


“Maybe when all this is over, we can go see them together”


He stared grimly at the remains of the old building. The war had ended, and so had the building. He had already been to his old apartment and gathered his belongings. He had also been to her apartment, a smoldering pile of bombed rubble. She might have escaped to America, but somehow he knew she had left more permanently than that. He was just looking for her ghost, now.

Sound Forged Like Spine - The Winter Sounds

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