This small piece was a response I wrote on the r/writingprompts subreddit, which you can view here.
The prompt was: “[WP] No matter how hard you hug a pillow, it wont hug you back. You know this for a fact.”
I decided for this piece to sit down in one sitting, and just write to see what comes out. And, to be fair to the piece itself, what came out was unsettling to say the least. Any editing was purely for spelling reasons, and the post before you is what came out. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I shall see you again soon!
That’s all for now,
I shall begin at the beginning.
We first met during what I thought would be a routine trip to a small furniture store near my home. I recall I was somewhat lost and thoroughly overwhelmed, slipping this way and that between tables and units whose names I could scarcely pronounce, a claustrophobic’s nightmare as the brightly coloured shelving and tasteful rugs appeared to creep closer and closer, revealing snarling fangs and scratching claws until –
There she was. Beautiful in her whiteness. I strode over to her, my fingers playing against my favourite biro, flicking the lid on and off. I stood by her a moment, then her blue biro eyes were staring out at the world, aghast at its wonder. Her smile, playful and crooked, a thin scrawl against her wonderful features. Sat, quietly, upon a brilliant magenta bed, the duvet pulled up over her hips. We spoke for some time, sitting perched upon the corner of the bed, allowing the shoppers to buzz and flit about us. We spoke together about everything and nothing. Well, rather, I spoke to her, she was a shy quiet creature, and she listened so intently to my every word. She always was such a superb listener, attentive, and never interrupting anyone, not for as long as we both knew one another. After what could have been seconds, could have been eternities, we arose together, her clutched in my arms, and we eloped through the tills. It was love at first sight.
We were happy, for a time.
After a few months, I found myself getting hung up over the littlest things, how none of my romantic gestures were ever reciprocated, how every encounter had to be instigated by me, how I give, and I give, and I give and nothing. Ever. Fucking. Happens. No recognition, no thanks. Nothing.
We were happy once, before the smog of the world crept in and we found ourselves trapped in this unending silence. I remember a time when I would stay up all night, expounding myself of my darkest troubles and cares, and she would listen, looking lovingly at me with those blue, drawn-on eyes, her Sharpie mascara standing starkly against the soft orange glow of the bedside lamp. I would kiss her, and hold her close, but she never once hugged back. Not once. I thought at first it was merely nerves, that we just needed a little more time, but now I firmly believe that this distance can never be bridged and that silence is our fate. To fall out of love, once we have stuffed ourselves with the down of insecurity, our lives and loves falling apart at the seams, our everyday turned inside out by this never-ending silence.
Another night of silence. It was a Sunday so, naturally, I had cooked a Roast, all the trimmings, potatoes, gravy. I had prepared the table, a candle, some roses. I carried her to her place, set her down, poured her drink, served her food. Nothing. Just silence. I brought the food to my lips, tasting the sweetness of the meat, the fire of the wine. I could feel her staring. Not at me, just beyond into the out of focus spaces that we ignore. I asked her how the meal was.
Ah. The Silent Treatment. Fine by me.
I chewed on my food. I can hear the soft, wet sound of it in my ears, the only sound. Pause. I looked across at my upholstered bride. She had touched none of it, instead she sat still, ignoring me. I could feel rage welling up inside me. I had spent hours –
I sat there, the silence ringing about my ears, my white-knuckled fists clenched. Fingernails bit my skin. I rose to her, my arm reaching across the table.
“Come on now, Fluffy, you’ve barely eaten all day. Open Wide!”
She barely shifted an inch, her eyes staring into space beyond me. My hand arced through the air, mashed potato and gravy dripping softly onto the tablecloth, dark stains permeating the whiteness. I thrust the spoon towards her, the contents blearing and smudging against her fabric face, her pen-line eyes widening as I bade her eat. The gravy lipstick stained, running slowly down her soft face, and she still would not eat. Then, I tried to have her drink instead. The crystal goblet, a birthday gift from long ago, raised to her pillowy lips, the scarlet liquid burning through her, spreading down across her chest, blossoming, diffusing along her very skin. I screamed. I dropped the glass. It shattered against the floor, sending tears rippling outwards. For a moment, I did not breathe. She lay there a moment, gravy and wine stained, her eyes staring out at the blistering whiteness of the ceiling, the silence thrumming against my chest. In my rage, I threw my arms against her, her square, soft form flying across the room, until softly coming to rest against the wall.
I knelt there a while, unmoving. Her hand-drawn face stared upwards at the world, her features smeared. Slowly, I rose to my feet. My hands were shaking, my palms clammy. I said nothing, instead letting the silence crash against me in waves. Without hesitation, I walked out of the front door, and strode calmly to hand myself in at the nearest police station, where I await my judgement.
The officers did not take kindly to me, their reactions varying from furtive sideways glances and hushed whispers to laughter and raucous disbelief. “Wait… just let me make sure I’ve got this correctly… So your wife is a… A erm-”
I felt their every ridicule pierce through me, crackling against my skin. I was too tired for angry, so instead I sat against the wall of my holding cell, my head a few mere inches from the wall. I stared for hours, let its snowstorm swirl, separate, and come together again as it shifted. Its stark whiteness seemed to mock me. Torment me. I could almost hear it in my ears, cackling at me. I put my finger in my mouth and bit. Hard. I raised it to the wall, and slowly, I began to draw first an eye, then a crooked smile, and a nice square outline around it, encasing it, giving it form.
Well hello there, beautiful.