Living Stone

“Death may come invisible or in a holy wall of fire
In the breath between the markers on some black I-80 mile
From the madness of the governments to the vengeance of the sea
Everything is eclipsed by the shape of destiny”

He woke to an inaudible scream, constricted and tight within his chest, holding him as rooted to the bed as his mind was in the nightmare. It took a long moment before his heart slowed, if only slightly. It took a longer moment still before he could breathe, if only raggedly. The sweat clung to his forehead and neck, slicking him with the memories that refused to be ignored. An open window carried the draft that chilled the cool, salty wet which ought to be steaming against the inferno that was his skin. He blazed with the pain and hurt that a lifetime of therapy would never heal, a lifetime of drinking would never drown, and a lifetime of addictions would never silence, because there was always the dreams.
His hands reluctantly unclenched the sheets, loosening his fingers that were balled into fists against an enemy he was powerless to stop. ‘How can I stop a dream?’ He’d asked himself that question so often it felt as familiar as the dream itself, albeit not as frightening, but just as frustrating. ‘How can I win when I don’t know how?’ For a panicked breath he thought of crying, felt the tears welling up along his red rimmed eyes, the constriction in his chest from sorrow instead of fear, and the gusts of hopelessness that raised the hair on the back of his neck.
“Are you okay, babe?” She said. And just as suddenly as the tears came, they retreated at the sound of her voice. It was sweet, gentle, soft, musical, and everything he needed when all else was dark.

“So love me now
Hell is coming
Kiss my mouth
Hell is here”

He struggled for a voice and produced only a weak, “yeah, I’m good, go back to sleep, love.”
The blue cotton sheets were pulled low, accenting the dip in the small of her back, while the full moon cascaded on her silky, white skin, lending it an ethereal light. If one didn’t know better than they’d think she was sculpted of marble from an artist at the height of their career. Only he knew her pale skin, glowing with the fire of youth, unmarred by the trials of time, would be soft to the touch, and not the cold stone that was his beating heart. Only he knew that if he flicked his tongue along the nape of neck, tasting as much as caressing, she would moan because ‘she’s my living stone…beautiful like the heavens carved her, and caring like the angels cradled her.’
He rubbed her shoulders with a tender hand, letting the softest sigh escape before tracing the contour of her jaw with his searching lips. “Go back to sleep, love,” he whispered in her ear. The restlessness of terror was not forgotten, but in the light of heaven it became easier to hope for a better dream.

“Wake, Baby, wake but leave that blanket around you there is no where as safe
I’m leaving this place but there is nothing I’m planning to take
Just you
Just you”

Bright Eyes, No One Would Riot For Less

Living Stone

Dave Legere

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

more than practice

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short fiction

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