A Beautiful Gift. Flash Fiction.

Christina opened the small package, she reached inside and pulled out a wad of paper, followed by another, her hands hit something hard and cold, she wrapped her hand around it and pulled out a small glass sculpture. She turned it in her hands, studying every inch of it, watching the way the light bounced off the colours, following the swirls and whorls with her eyes. It really was a beautiful piece, even if it was a fairly simple design. She put the glass onto the table and looked back at the box, there was no note that she could see, no receipt or card, nothing to indicate who had sent it to her. She emptied out the box to be sure, then refilled it with the balls of paper and closed it over. She looked at the label again, it was definitely addressed to her. Maybe it was Joe? He liked to surprise her with small things like this when they were dating, it could have been something he had ordered months ago and forgot about. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened. She considered ringing him for a moment then shook her head, no good would come of that phone call. He’d probably take it as a sign or something, he had only begun to stop pestering her in the last month or so.

She picked up the glass again and turned it over, looking for a sticker or mark that might tell her where it came from or who made it, but there was nothing. The light glinted through the swirls of colour and caught her eye again. At first glance it appeared simple enough, but the more she looked at it, the more she could sense a kind of depth to it. The colours really were beautiful and it almost seemed like they were shifting constantly inside it. As she placed it on the table she felt a sharp sting in her finger, Christina snatched her hand away, sticking her finger into her mouth. After a second she looked at the cut, it was small, almost like she had been stuck with a pin. She felt a little woozy looking at the blood, she always had a thing about that. She took a step towards the cupboard, she needed a plaster from the first aid box, she took another step, the kitchen seemed to list to the left, then the right, the entire room was tilting back and forth, Christina felt herself falling and then there was darkness.

She woke a short time later, feeling sore and disorientated. Why was everything cold? She blinked her eyes, trying to fix whatever was wrong with them, she wasn’t seeing things right, couldn’t be seeing things right. Had she been crying? Everything looked fractured and out of place. She tried to move and her entire body ached painfully, she let out a groan but there was no sound. She tried to move but she could only wriggle a little before something was stopping her. A face appeared above her, it was all twisted and strange, a large hand descended over her eyes, she felt something warm wrap around her and then the giant was looking directly into her eyes. There was something familiar about it. She could hear words, they were sharp and painful to her ear. “I’m sorry. It was the only way. You’ll see.” She recognised that voice, it was joe. “We’re meant to be together, forever. It was the only way.” He moved past the mirror  and she she caught a glimpse of herself, no, not herself. He held the glass sculpture in his hands, not her. How was that possible? She had to be dreaming, it was just some kind of weird nightmare and any second she would wake up on the cold tile of the kitchen floor. Joe put her down on the table, she watched as a large finger moved towards her, she saw the brilliant splash of blood as he cut his finger. She watched as he fell backwards, his eyes closing. Pain all around her, magnificently bright, it felt like she was being crushed on all sides. She could feel something stabbing through her body, she screamed silently as she was torn apart, her body pierced by Joe’s.

Christina looked out at the world, she couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. All she could do was exist in this constant burning agony. She knew Joe was in here too, crammed through her body as she was crammed through his, but they couldn’t communicate. Could talk or touch. All she could do was stare out at the world and hope that someone, anyone, would knock the cursed glass sculpture over and perhaps, when it shattered into a million pieces, she would be shattered too and she would know blessed peace from this never-ending hell.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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