Shades Of Gray

The world can’t truly be captured in the photographic lens of black and white. It is a false pretense to assume that every spark of humanity is forged from the purity of wings the color of the whitest dove, anymore than the fictious truth that we glide on wings as black as the raven’s.

The rope that bound my hands burned with intense passion. The more I consoled the pressure of the restraints the more bound my delicate skin become. I could feel the scarlet blooms of my blood blossoming beneath the pressure of the taunt rope and race down the ivory landscape of my treasured hands.

My ankles were bound in the same unholy fashion. As I twisted the branches of my body, the strength in my muscles grew as barren as leaves in the victim of the winds.

My head swam. My right temple pounded with the velocity of church bells on a Sunday Morning, and although I was aware of the pain, there was neither relief nor narcotic strong enough to dull the fibers of my aching soul. My heart was as heavy as the unfamiliar cement walls that encased me as their prize captor. My arms were stiff and tense, and what once was the color of the sweetest ivory was now decorated with bruises the color of fresh grapes from the vine.

My vision blurred in the silver tinsel of my oncoming tears. The fold-out cot which supported the frame of my body was the color of worn leather and stained with the grapefruit color of my blood.

“Claire, come on, now. Don’t pass out. Put your shoulder to the wheel, Claire. Don’t go limp on me now. Stay with me.”

The voice echoed across the platform of the abandoned room like the howl of midnight specter in a urethral midnight veil. It was haunting in its promise and oncoming intent.

The shadow was slender. Neither sun nor light penetrated this phantom as it approached me in a surreal waltz. My heart hammered in the bowels of my chest, a prisoner of my own innate terror.

The silver tinsel of tears fell like the fallen rain on the pavements of my cheeks, allowing me to gain the precision of focus on the shadow which seemingly guided on ghosted feet.

“Come on Claire. I expected better.”

I felt the torment of my assailant’s fingers run through the strands of my hair, twisting them with pleasure like ivory on the metal of a gate.

“You had no clue, did you sweetheart? No. Don’t answer me, how could you? She would have never told you. How could she? You see, to her, you were nothing short of perfection. An ethereal angel in the flesh. My God, how could she even notice what I was doing, when I was the one waiting in the balconies of your wings?”

I recognized the voice, before I adjusted to the familiar map of her face.

“Mom was always naive.”

As my sister, Cemeren, released my chestnut hair from the thorns of her weeded hands, I exhaled through parched lips in the cool air of my cement casket.

“Come on, if Mommy, dear, sweet, Mother couldn’t have seen it, at least you should. I mean, Hell, you’re the damn Doctor! You got the fuckin’ brains in the family, what kind of shit have you got for an excuse?”

“Cemeren, please…”

“We’re different people, Claire. You see this was how it was suppose to go. While you practiced piano, I dated drugs. While you studied, I played with the antimony of the neighboring boys. While you saved lives, I took them. For every action sweetheart, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I’m the yen to your yang.”

I sobbed. My sister was going to kill me.

“Cemeren, please…stop…I love you…I want to help you…”

“You can’t fix a broken doll, baby, and I’m cracked. There has always been something wrong. Claire, why could you save everyone else, but you couldn’t save me. I am your family. I’m your blood.”

My throat burned and I couldn’t speak. I was a drought of no answers.

Then, I saw the silencer. Like the blossom of a rose, the red dot bloomed on the garden of my skin.
“I’m dark, Claire. I’m so lost. I’ll never feel the warm grace of light like you did. Even for a second, did you think about sharing the spotlight with the one person who loved you the most…I loved you, Claire!”
“Cemeren, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know…I should…”
Cemeren exhaled.
“No you don’t, Claire! This present darkness is the one thing I have left, and even though you didn’t share a spade of your precious spotlight, I’m allowing you a glimmer of my darkened blade.”

Cemeren moved the cold steel of the barrel against the swamp of sweat dampening my skin.

“Why don’t we expose that light inside you for all the world to see? Come on Claire; take a spin on my silver bullet.”

In the millisecond of movement, the barrel of the gun was nestled snuggly beneath the patch of skin in the opening of my thighs.
“It’s time to show the world how bright you really shine. Claire saved everyone. Her record is as immaculate as her smile, but she couldn’t save me. You’ll be my victim forever.”

In that same moment, Cameron swallowed the cold steel of the barrel of the gun and pulled the trigger.

My black and white world was the color of scarlet as my sister splashed ribbons of her blood all around me.

I watched as stale smoke rose from the ashes of her lips and her face, now vacant of all its features, as still as the deafening silence which cradled me in its arms like a faithful lover.

I knew this stranger all my life.

The world can’t truly be captured in the photographic lens of black and white. It is a false pretense to assume that every spark of humanity is forged from the purity of wings the color of the whitest dove, anymore than the fictious truth that we glide on wings as black as the raven’s.

Now in the isolated tint of cold brick, I see neither through the corrective lens of black and white.

I close my eyes and pray for shades of gray.

Shades Of Gray

John Braxton  Sparks

Morehead, United States

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Artist's Description

Two sisters share different points of view.
copyright 2009 by John Braxton Sparks

Twisted Tournoi 05

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