free web
Maelstrom by Deirdre Daly | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

December 15, 2011      

Maelstrom by Deirdre Daly

December in Berlin and the girls taste of glühwein and rolled cigarettes. I fix a poinsettia to her hair. She fingers the velvet and runs out into Friedrichstrasse. I follow. The night cusps on her shoulder and we see the last rain of the year turn into the first snow.
     I bring her home, parcelled up on a budget flight. She sleeps in my bed, a comma. I wrap myself around punctuation. At breakfast, we eat duck eggs and cake. We begin dinner with dessert.
     On the second last day, she says she wishes to see the sea at dawn. The foundations of the house rattle and keen. The hands of my grandmother’s clock meet and pass each other. We buy postcards to send to her family. She writes platitudes and reminds them in post-scripts that the cards will arrive exactly three weeks after her, as all postcards do. I brace myself and busy myself with chores, scrubbing and rinsing. That night, the air between us is cruel. Foxes mating in the bushes pierce the mist with burning screams that shunt the air from my lungs and rasp my dreams.
     A rose-gold sky, I bring her there. We squeeze seaweed between our toes and toss stones. The sea is grey and awful and steals her breath.
     “Does the sea really taste of salt?” she asks, turning her head before my reply.
     “Will you save me before I drown?” she asks.
     The wind stabs; we throw our clothes in its face. Shingle and shells engrave our feet. Whipped and bloody, we hurdle against the surge. Waves break against the stretch of her torso, taut against iced mist. Her gait unbreakable and lithe. Her face breaks into a million pieces and she holds my splayed hand to her cheek. It’s close now.
     Her thighs strangle the core of me. We kiss, then fall submerged in the quiet—deep and calm and awful, hearing nothing. The mute chasm throbs to the beat of our pulse.

Deirdre Daly

About the author:

Deirdre Daly is currently studying for her PhD in University College, Dublin in the School of English and her research interests include feminism, queer theory, the taboo and paraphilias. As a distraction, she enjoys writing poetry and short fiction.

    1 comment to Maelstrom by Deirdre Daly

    • Alex Lacey

      You really set the atmosphere with this story. Even with the short length you managed to give a distinct message of what exactly the setting was. The detail you put into it really gave the story its own identity. This was enjoyable to read.

    Leave a Reply

    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




    Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.