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The last wish (short fiction)

The thought of an imprisoned feel-like man will be to set himself free. The one who dedicated his time to embracing the stones and trees was measuring up astonished the course of his own fate, lying on the cold cement floor of the room with iron bars. It seemed he developed in malignant ways and had no idea why it happened so. He remembered some old little fellow, asking him politely to help transporting an easy luggage till the exit of the airport. The first reason to be followed even in a snake's hole, the pub where the redheaded Omidee was serving herself on a plate for everyone, less for him, the one truly starved, avoiding his arms growing towards her. “So, tell me, haven't you found something to do up to now?” He had many things to take care of. Wondered why were those bastards staring at him angrily, just because he asked for a couple of greenish-blue bits of paper. They could have said “no”. Resentful and hypocritical, they emptied their bags, handbags and suitcases, even went to trouble by opening a heavy steel door and threw in his face plenty of papers. He didn't want to infuriate them more and he left the inhumane building with cold and white halls, grabbing only a fistful of bills, which he used in the end as charity, buying drinks for all the poor people possible, those who got up selling clothes off themselves in order to sip a mouthful of fire. Omidee became mad. She called him an idiot with no aspirations. “Let the child come to me, madam” he told the woman with indignant double chin, who pulled fast by the hand her little boy when he'd leaned over to lick the ice cream of the man seated next to them, in the metro. And his thought flew again to Omidee, the chained one, oppressed by his strong feelings. “I want to be free, to fly away” she lisped into his ear one night asking him for the white powder, hidden under the mattress. She wanted a little only. He gave her a lot, for freedom has to be perfect and the flight smooth. In the morning, while he was walking to the market square, whistling an aria much too difficult to be reproduced here, he found himself being grabbed, his own freedom ceased, just like tap running water. They informed him it was not the case to continue whistling, as more of unpleasant surprises were up to follow. The appointed by court advocate saved one year of his life because indeed he was allowed to whistle that song. The regime of hard political pressure has been replaced as a matter of fact by a blossoming era when it was allowed to sing anything, to buy everything, to travel anywhere, but under no circumstances to sniff the white powder from under the mattress. The friendship with the advocate was short. He looked like expecting something, bathed in cold perspiration, keeping a polite silence. Then, summer holidays started. In the meantime other ten summers passed by and the chilly moment spent on the cement floor of the minimalist iron bars decorated room has been interrupted by the following announcement: “Tomorrow you'll get on your throne”. Oh, yeah, he'd forgotten… the straps throne. The throne that forces you… noblesse oblige… yet, he wasn't in the mood of being crowned. He felt like holding Omidee, the flower with red hair whispering to him still – “Set me free!” “No”, he replied “this time, you set me free!” He insisted on her being called and that being his last wish he was granted a double, who ensured him to have the same talent in movements. Lasciviously, she tightened over him as a screw. Slowly at the beginning, slippery, then faster and faster, the spinning top twisted and turned around the same point. The seconds were flying and the final coronation menaced to start. He wanted to leave on his own terms. In a last effort, he has thought of the obstinacy that cancroid smokers manifested in trying to inhale for the last time that hot mist, lacked of repentance and the long spasm has thrilled him pleasantly, stretching his mouth in a profound smile, a mute guffaw. The fake Omidee attached herself genuinely around his centre, like hot pincers. “It's time” roared the guy in uniform, appearing out of nowhere and opening impatiently the cell. “Time has gone” the large hearted man meant to continue his frozen laughter, the gentle hearted fellow who tried a lifetime to breathe as a thriftily as possible, so as he wouldn't steal by accident air from dandelions. Only this instant he's become a thief and that tickled him, though it was impossible that his laughter, already abandoning terrestrial dimensions, to break into pieces the flabbergasted silence on the faces of those he'd deprived of the pleasure of sending him on the other side, by their own hand, in an act which they considered necessary, noble and lawful.



Copyright © Katiusha Cuculescu, 2004