Lost [short story]

I’ve lost my thing. I’m walking through the village, looking at the same old faces, searching. The thing that gave me passion that gave me drive, that made me fall in love, that made me feel alive. Gone.

I’m taking each step, through the rain, against the backdrop of grey clouds. I carry on walking and thinking. Music blaring through my ipod, shuffling the tracks in the playlist ‘Lost’ that I can’t remember making. Passing strangers, whose lives I imagine, living ignorantly, narrated by their own inner voice.

My thing is gone. My thing; I cannot put a name to. I went to sleep with it there, and now, here I am, empty. Nothing seems to wake me up to it, so I carry on walking.

The trees are flapping in the wind. The ground is getting muddier on my boots. My clothes are clinging with wetness; I walk faster. My face reflected in the rain beaten panes; like a broken shadow that darts up and around. I cannot see my eyes, they seem to be rubbed out, my whole “self” is but a blur.

People are sheltered under the small bus shelter, they do not seem to notice me, I carry on walking. I do not know why, or where I am going. I know I have to walk, I am drawn to something, somewhere. Maybe it is what is missing? The word I cannot find.

The loss I feel has brought me to tears. Heaving sobs. I feel as if I must continue walking. I feel empty. I feel alone. Yet I am determined.

It is growing darker by the minute. The streets are quiet, save for the sounds of tapping rain, as I continue my journey. My ipod has died. So I cannot distract my mind.

I hear the wind howling, a shrill whistle fills my ears and it seems the wind is pushing me forward, aiding each step in the direction I am going.

And then I see it.

The woods.

Something calls me there. I cross the empty roads, and follow the broken pavement to where concrete meets mud.

I walk until I reach a grey, rusty bridge. The streetlights behind me fade out as I cross the dirty metal structure, gripping hard to the railings. Stepping down it, I close my eyes for a moment.

It is so dark now, I need to let my eyes adjust. It seems familiar, but I have never been here before, I can’t even see properly, yet I feel an intense, strange sense of déjà vu.

I lift my hands and push my wet hair from my face and realise that I smell of earth and rain. A vacant thought popped in my head, that I could do with a shower.

My hands fall to my purse as I search within it for something to help me, but my purse contains my dead ipod, dead phone, my kitty coin bag and nothing else. It felt a little empty. I feel like I’m forgetting something, or not remembering something.

What is that thing I’m looking for, what am I missing? I take a deep breath and listen. My eyes are getting more used to the dark so I stand back up and look around. There is a path, and I can see the outline of the trees so decide to follow it. I feel like it will take me where I need to go or lead me somewhere that I am supposed to be. Maybe answer that emptiness and this gnawing sadness that seems to be creeping up with every step.

After what seems like an eternity, I’m a wreck. I feel like I want to run, but I’m drawn further until I see a little side path. I follow it, in pitch black. Then I fall.

Flailing my arms and legs out I grasp onto something wet, and feel for a tree or root to pull myself up. Finally, I manage. And look to see what I fell over.

I make out a figure. There is something familiar, and then I see it. A purse. With a kitty coin bag next to it. I touch my purse but it hasn’t opened or left my body. I feel a sense of dread and feel myself getting closer.

The world has changed; the wind has stopped howling and the scene seems to be lit up suddenly, like my eyes are opening. I do not feel the cold. I feel something else.

I reach out towards the illuminated body. The feet are poking out of the earth, tights are ripped and a boot is missing. They are the same colour as mine. The hair is sprouting from the ground. Auburn, like mine. I start digging at the earth. I can’t help it, I need to see the face, I just need to see.

Desperation engulfs me.

The scent of earth and rain assault my nostrils. My scent. Her scent.

I finally rub the dirt off of her face.
It’s my face.
It’s me in the ground.
That’s when it hits me. I remember.
I’m dead. The thing I’m missing is my life.

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