Last week, I started the story of Vivian with Fictional Fridays #1 and felt compelled to continue. I’ve taken up the challenge yet again with the next prompt – Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt Challenge #9.
Melancholy Through a Looking Glass – Part 2
Her bottled up tears evaporated surprisingly fast. A feeling of numbness replaced the bitterness in her heart. She turned away from the tree and slowly began making her way back home, barely aware of her actions. She seemed suspended in a kind of trance and her eyes had glazed over. Her mind tried to wrest back the control it had lost for the second time that day.
There was hardly anyone about on the streets and many shops were still shut, even on the main roads of Sadadeen. She didn’t see any faces she could recognise and was secretly grateful – she was in no mood for polite conversation. The reflection of her orange t-shirt caught her attention as she passed by a polished glass door. She halted to check the state of her eyes. They had a hollow, empty look, but she was relieved to find that they showed no indication that she had been crying. She rubbed them, hoping they would focus and they did – on a flyer that seemed out of place on the window of a hair salon. It simply read:
Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.
Her brain scrambled to find a meaning, but being only fourteen, she had little experience in wine or time. The only part she could identify with was the sinking of spirits. Despair fought to claw its way back and incapacitate her, but she wasn’t going to let it get to her one more time. The image of her mother’s face contorted with worry came rushing to her and her limbs gained a new strength. She had passed by the pharmacist’s in her haze and she had to double back.
Upon reaching home, the door was opened by her anxious mother, whose expression immediately changed to relief. She asked what had taken Vivian so long, trying to sound casual. “I ran into Tina,” she lied easily. “Can I go lie down, Ma?” She was force-fed her breakfast before being allowed to retire to her room. Leslie and Abigail had been assigned tasks around the house by her perceptive mother.
Vivian stretched out on her bed and heaved a deep sigh. Her sorrow had not been erased; it had only withdrawn its hold over her momentarily. She dreaded its reappearance, but at least she had figured out a way to cope. She would remember her family when she needed strength to get through the melancholic days. She was still special to them, even if they hardly expressed it. She could catch glimpses of it in their actions and that was enough for now.
I finished well within the suggested word limit, and the slightly hopeful ending is precisely what I had been aiming for. I hope you enjoyed it too. What did you make of it? Did you like the ending? Do you want to explore Vivian’s world even more? Let me know in the comments section below.