Short Story: Love on Escrow

As Matthew walks through the automated doors, a musical voice says, “Welcome, Matthew. We understand your appointment involves the storage of love. Please be seated in the red area.”

Unsure how to react, a smile and a slight nod are all he can muster.

The room has three areas. Green is for intelligence accumulation, blue is for family memory storage, and red is for the storage of love. Each coloured area has a certain number of seats with touchscreens and headsets, depending on what services the client requires.

Matthew takes in the room, notices the green and blue areas are quiet today and makes his way to the red section. A cyborg arranges unusual metal shapes in a line, looks up, scans him, and says, “Hello, Matthew. Please go to seat number 4.”

Uneasy, Matthew looks slightly to the right side and asks, “What do I do?”

Without moving, the cyborg says, “Sit down, put the headset on, select the number of years of love you wish to hold on escrow, and the headset will do all the work for you. You may feel a little lightheaded afterwards; however, most symptoms pass in a few hours.”

Unease intensifies, and an odd gut feeling threatens to take him from this place. However, there is no time to waste.

Disorientated, he finds himself sitting down. Those who wear headsets do not move. It is as if they are between life and death. The uneasy feeling has gone, and there is no longer a gut reaction. Doubt creeps in, then fades.

The neon red screen presents Matthew with several options. He can hold between one and fifteen years of love. He chooses ten years, places the headset on, and presses start.

Thoughts from when he was much younger come to him. He is no longer afraid, for he feels love. Then his first love and their first kiss play behind his eyes like a movie. The memories of love keep moving through his mind. Suddenly the memories stop moving, the word ‘finished’ appears in red on the screen, and he removes the headset.

Matthew has not felt this hollow in some time. It is as though he is missing a part, yet nothing replaced what is missing. Perhaps it is just as his boss explained when he said Matthew should do this to further his career. After all, love has no place in finance.

I heard you say

The night is coming by Kismuki (Deviant Art)

Etched wooden chairs,
a French polished dining table,
ambient candle lights.

Beyond the dining room
your mind plays on your fears,
the shadows shift, move.

Petrified of the shadows,
a child too young to understand,
darkness frightened you.

Enlightened by knowledge,
you face the shadows fearlessly,
never taking a wrong step.

A touch along your neck,
terror has a name you remember,
you run out into the night.

A windless cold night,
movement within the front trees,
illogical ways of nature.

Those etched chairs,
your father died on one of those,
too long ago, father.

A whisper on the wind,
something I heard you say long ago,
“my darling daughter”.

Between Nightmares

Perspiration and a feeling of heat take hold within the stifling sheets.

Sleep comes slow, yet when it comes, events progress, and I’m standing in front of a light green house with gold-laced windows in a forest at the top of a hill at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Nothing makes sense, as a random stranger dances up with multiple women and says he’s been waiting for me to arrive.

Events progress, then I’m awake from one nightmare only to see something in the bathroom mirror. A heart can only miss so many beats as the sheets become a greenhouse.

Between the nightmares, your side of the bed is empty. You sit in another room playing a game at 2 am, while sleep is inevitable.

Dancing Tongues

Six ladies meet at the “Celebrity Chef No.269th” restaurant in Melbourne for lunch at 1 pm for the weekly catchup.

They greet each other in the usual manner; fake kisses, judgemental grins, too much make-up, and designer clothes.

Once seated, they order drinks and lunch to make themselves feel like they have to be somewhere important.

Now the little things are sorted, the dancing tongues begin a convoluted quickstep.

Controversial gossip and catty bitchery dances on their lips as they release their hatred for their husbands, their children, and life in general.

By the dessert menu, which they make a point of resisting, they’re ready for a massage and a line of cocaine.

Untitled: Dissiri

All the poems you wrote,
kept safe in a plastic crate.

A jealous lover of your words
finds your crate, and in
dissiri,
destroys your handwriting.

A series of questions follow;
there are no
clear answers, yet you know.

All it takes is one line crossed,
one betrayal,
to leave with almost nothing.

A hurt unknown to your heart,
now broke,
you struggle without a home.

All you must do is stop writing;
a jealous lover
and a life with plenty of money.

An understanding of your worth;
you walk away
and let your words and life flow.

A published writer of many poems;
letting grief go,
and walking without looking back.

All your words are you,
A part of who you are,
A cry of rebellion in a world of conformity;
You need not apologise for the words you write.

Taste of Tomorrow

The festive season moves on;
another year and the end of another song.

The taste of tomorrow in a mug;
a cup of coffee, milk and sugar: your drug.

It has all been done before;
right now, you require something more.

To remain the same isn’t you;
you think of flowers blooming under the blue.

You step out of your comfort zone;
no one else can walk the path, only you alone.

To the sky, you look in wonder;
it’s clear today, yet inside you hear the thunder.

The new you walking without fear;
you are alive, and well enough, fate is near, and
now you can see that your path is clear.

A Vision in Blue

Caught by your soft eyes,
those eyes tell no lies.

You fight the truth within the mirror,
Your eyes see who you are much clearer.

Caught by the way your soul cries,
Your bleeding heart slowly dies.

You fight a true love growing dearer,
the touch of a heart coming nearer.

Caught by your love for grey skies,
tear-stained soul resists, it dies.

You are near to her,
You can now hear her.

Caught by her crystal blue eyes,
A vision in blue, those eyes.

You rid yourself of all the lies,
lost forever within her eyes.

Kiss of Time

Photos of your world.
You stand in a snow-covered forest,
with a stillness not found in my summer.
In those photos, the kiss of time moves slower,
for the kiss of time moves faster in the heat of summer.
I find myself longing for the winter, yet I need the summer;
without summer, there is no winter; without spring, there is no autumn.
Without the kiss of time, there would be no time for us.
Our impermanence would be permanence.
Our beauty and wonder would never be so lovely.
Our hearts would beat something other than blood,
as we grow colder every hundred years or so.