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Prose by IndigoSkyes

Lit. by arabesque-o

Literature by colbalt-rain


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July 19, 2012
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She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. That low rumble had been Tom's temperamental engine; she was sure of it. The sound had tattooed itself on the inside of Anna's ears ages ago. Maybe he was sitting in the front seat of his car, trying to work up the courage to knock. Maybe his brows would knit together and his mouth would quirk and he would say, "I missed you, Sunshine," though he had never once called her by that nickname. Maybe she could apologize, and he would kiss the insides of her wrists, the back of her neck, her eyelids.
Yes, she could hear a car door opening. If she listened hard she thought she could even make out the rustle of his corduroy jacket.
Go outside, said her heart.
Wait, said her brain.
She began to count aloud. "One, two, three, four—"

-

Anna was eight when her baby brother was born. He was little more than a fragile bag of bones and organs, an accident waiting to break her heart. Every night she'd sneak into the nursery and watch the steady rise and fall of his chest, counting every inhalation.
It wasn't enough, though. She began unplugging his humidifier and his baby monitor, because what if they caught fire and his silk skin blistered and burned? She started sleeping on his braided rug, tapping the leg of his crib to soothe him. Once, twice, five times.
Always five.
Maybe nothing would happen if she didn't check that the oven was off five times. Maybe she didn't need to keep flicking the light switch up and down. She didn't want maybes, though. She wanted a definitely, and his name was Tom. Tom, who promised that she would never have to count his kisses because he would never stop giving them to her.

She counted just in case.

-

Anna pulled her chair up to the table and cleared her throat five times, pretending not to notice the tendon in Tom's neck tensing. She picked up her fork and tapped it against her plate. "One, two, three, four--"
"Enough." Tom slammed his hand down on her wrist, and she dropped the fork. It clattered against the table.
"I can't stop," she said, and Tom swiftly grabbed the fork and pressed its tines against the nest of blue-green veins on the back of her hand. Anna froze, and he placed the fork back in her fist.
"Stop or I'm leaving." His voice was soft. Almost loving.
"I'm sorry," she said, and tapped the fork against her plate once more.

-

"Five."
Anna rushed to the door and flung it open. The sunshine temporarily blinded her, and she staggered, her shoulder knocking against the door-frame. Her vision darkened at the edges, but she could still see that there was no one there. Her driveway was empty, except for the neighbor's black and white cat. It gazed at her with wide, yellow eyes.
She blinked and stared back for a moment before stepping inside and shutting the door firmly behind her. She sat down in her chair, the cushion sighing its regret, and picked up her book.
Maybe tomorrow, then.
Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
my (nonwinning, to clarify) submission for NPR's contest in which you had to write a piece of fiction, 600 words or less, that began with the sentence "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door."

thank you for all of the beautiful, sweet, loving comments that you guys left me about the wedding. i really appreciated them, and they were lovely to come back to. for those who were curious, here are a couple of wedding pictures: [link]

also a GIGANTIC thank you to the anonymous deviant. you are a good person who does good things.
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:iconeloquence-fair:
eloquence-fair Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
when i was 16 i found out i was going to go on a plane and had recently developed a great fear of flying so a few months before my trip i started "knocking on wood" whenever i had a thought of the plane crashing, kind of as a joke. then i started knocking for every single bad thought i got in multiples of 3s because 3 is a good number. every night i had to knock on my bedside table 300 times or else the plane would crash or my mom would die or my friends would hate me or a burglar would break in. and if i screwed up i had to start over. i was losing sleep over this because i couldn't go to sleep until i had done it perfectly. my steps walking from one place to one place had to be in multiples of 3s. except 6s because 6 is a bad number. i ate my food in bites multiples of 3s. brushed my teeth/washed my face 3 times consecutively. and i was basically knocking throughout the whole day on whatever wood-ish surface i could find. along with those "rules" one of them was that i could not tell anyone about this or else all those bad things i thought about would happen, because for some reason i thought i was deserving of punishment and had to suffer through this on my own and telling people would be sharing my burden (which is a no-no!)
over the next 3 years i slowly moved on from that rough patch in my life, although i still do some weird things. but i can easily say that was the worst few years of my life.
not sure why i'm mentioning this, but i thought i'd share my story and that it's possible to get over it (although that was kind of cheated because i just made up more ocd-y "rules" that told me not to do those things anymore)

anyways, lovely piece, it beautifully conveys what ocd is like. thank you. :heart:
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:iconscarlet-obsession:
Scarlet-Obsession Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Professional Photographer
I'm so glad to see a new writing piece up from you!! I love it, the images are so clear. Sweet and sad. I hope to see another one up soon. They always make my day and hang with me.
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:iconcynicalide:
cynicalide Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012
i like this way more than the winning piece.
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:iconimaginary--thoughts:
Imaginary--Thoughts Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Student Writer
This gives me goosebumps every time I read it. The ending is excellent, the way the word sort of lingers in your head after it's done.
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:iconsolaces:
Solaces Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012
Anna was eight when her baby brother was born. He was little more than a fragile bag of bones and organs, an accident waiting to break her heart. Every night she'd sneak into the nursery and watch the steady rise and fall of his chest, counting every inhalation.
It wasn't enough, though. She began unplugging his humidifier and his baby monitor, because what if they caught fire and his silk skin blistered and burned? She started sleeping on his braided rug, tapping the leg of his crib to soothe him. Once, twice, five times.
Always five.
Maybe nothing would happen if she didn't check that the oven was off five times. Maybe she didn't need to keep flicking the light switch up and down. She didn't want maybes, though. She wanted a definitely, and his name was Tom. Tom, who promised that she would never have to count his kisses because he would never stop giving them to her.


Awwwww.

I think I may have compared you to her before (ick, don't really like the word "compare", but you get the idea), but this passage reminds me of Andrea Gibson.
And it gives me warm fuzzy feeling because I just love the idea of a little kid checking on his or her sibling.^_^
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:iconilyilaice:
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012
love love love love love
this :heart:
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:icondailywish:
dailywish Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012   Writer
i especially love your pieces about OCD. they're so well worded and perfectly written, i always feel like i've stepped into someone else's shoes when i read them.
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:iconarabesque-o:
arabesque-o Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Student Photographer
amazing, as per usual. <3
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:iconfriendswithspiders:
FriendsWithSpiders Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm so happy to see stuff by you again. :D This is remarkable. :D
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:iconavfc4me:
avfc4me Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
This is outstanding. Which is what I've grown to expect from you and yet, it's still a marvelous surprise.
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