General Fiction posted October 8, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
A message From Beyond perhaps


by doggymad

The sun blushed prettily, fading below the horizon. In the distance the last faint chirping of birds signalled the close of day. Melody sat on the grassy bank and savoured the tranquillity of the moment. Tears slid gently down her face as she recalled the tragedy that had driven her to seek solitude in this, her most private of retreats.

Over the course of the last five years, Melody had lost all that she had held dear. First her father had succumbed to the chronic bronchitis that had plagued him all his adult life. Not long after, her mother, Samantha, who could not or would not accept that he was gone, sank into a deep depression. Neither medication nor therapy made the slightest difference to her. Eventually she retreated completely from reality and spiralled downwards into dementia.

Left with little choice, Melody abandoned her career in banking and dedicated her life to caring for the shell that remained of a once happy and outgoing woman. Bit by bit Samantha's mind wandered further away and her brain no longer sent coherent messages to her body. Nothing remained but a desiccated form that bore no resemblance to the mother that Melody knew and loved. Still she persisted, soothing the pitiful cries and moans of the woman she adored.

The end, when it came, was sudden, though not unexpected. On 28th of July 2010 a heart attack swiftly released Samantha from her empty life. As she watched her mother's coffin being lowered into the ground, Melody struggled with emotions that had long been kept in check. The guilt, the anger and the relief vied with each other as she stood dry-eyed at the grave.

Well meaning friends suggested that she take a break, go somewhere different and recharge her batteries. Stubborn to the last, Melody insisted that she was fine and that they should not worry about her. It was only when a severe bout of flu landed her in the doctor's office that she was forced to reconsider the advice. His diagnosis of severe mental and physical exhaustion shocked her to the core.

Tempted though she was to wallow in self pity, a spark of the old Melody sprang to the surface. Without further deliberation, she packed a few clothes in a bag, locked up the house and headed north. Whether by accident or design, she found herself outside the old log cabin in Little Oaks where she had spent most of her vacations as a child.

Drinking in the glorious scenes around her, she was startled by the persistent beeping of her cell phone. Very few people had her number and even fewer made contact with her as she rarely switched it on. Cursing the individual who had broken the spell of peace, she grabbed it impatiently and glanced at the message.

'Welcome to Network Purple, your messages and calls will now be charged at international rates.'

'Fuck that' she muttered about to fling the offending phone into oblivion. Just in time, she noticed that she had received a second text message. This one was from an individual not listed in her contacts. Accepting that her reverie had been well and truly shattered, she decided to read the text before she turned off the phone for good.

As she flicked down through the text, her eyes opened wide. Surely this message could not be for her, or, could it?

'Follow the signs that lead to the sea
Trust in yourself
Set your mind free.
Do not mourn
For what is gone
For you, life must go on.'

As the pain ripped through her heart, Melody recognised the words, the last ones her father had uttered on his death bed. Finally all the pain and suffering that she had endured found a release. Squaring her shoulders and lifting her chin Melody took the first baby steps towards her journey of healing.

The Text Message contest entry


Sightly longer than my usual posts. Any comments for improvement are welcome
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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