She Spends Her Life In Dying

In Fiction on September 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm

arena

She Spends Her Life In Dying

The room was ringed in shadow, the faces of the other spectators little more than grey shapes beyond the brightness of the sand-strewn arena. Argen pulled on his cigarette and opened his mouth, letting the smoke escape in a languid drift. He leaned over and whispered in Damian’s ear.

“You’ve never seen anything like this, I promise you. I come most every night, myself.”

Damian said nothing. At the far right of the arena, a curtain stirred, and the next instant a tall woman in a shimmering white gown strode through, followed by three men clad in black. Argen dropped his cigarette on the floor and stomped it.

“Ah! Jesha is very good,” he whispered eagerly. “You’re in for a treat.”

Damian hardly heard, for he was already absorbed. The woman stood motionless at the center of the arena, her white gown resting in the sand, her lips full and slightly parted. She looked as though she had a secret to tell, but a secret so weighty she dared not speak it. She was beautiful.

When the men started to cut her, her expression did not change.

“You see!” Argen exclaimed.

Jesha’s companions drew their swords across her wrists, and her hands fell into the sand; they drew them through her shoulders, and her arms followed. Piece by piece, her body fell away and her gown turned deeply red, and yet her face remained a peaceful enigma. When the swords cut her throat and the blood ran down her naked chest, Damian was almost sure she was looking at him. She died with exceeding grace.

When it was done, the men raked sand over the pieces and left in silence. An eternity seemed to pass before Jesha finally rose up from beneath the sand, the same look upon her face: profoundly knowing and achingly sad. She bowed and walked out, and Damian found that he had forgotten to breathe.

“She spends her life in dying,” he said.

“As do we all,” Argen replied.


This weird little story is my response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge, for which the word was Grace. It’s also peripherally related to my work in progress, and writing little stories like this helps me to firm up my conception of what the world and settings should be like.

Comment below to let me know what you think, then head on over to Trifecta to read the rest of the week’s stories!

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  1. Uhm….. 0_0″

    Good though.

  2. What a wonderful title. Nice little story, in a dark way.

  3. Not weird, Brian, surreal in the most literary sense! It is amazing to me how you are able to describe such a horrific scene in a classic, Romanesque way. As always, you’ve written a great piece. Somehow I knew I would be impressed as soon as I read the title.:)))

  4. Dear Brian,

    As do we all….

    A marvelous piece of writing.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  5. Eerie & frightening on the surface but on a deeper level,it is terrible too-to think that we die like this -piece by piece every day & then pick up the pieces of our lives and go on-ohh…heart breaking thought!Well sculpted Brian 🙂

  6. This was a bizarre scene, but the comment that we all spend our life in dying has truth. Metaphorically, her death is what we all face.

  7. Oh my goodness. That was quite something – I loved it!

  8. A dark story narrated in a classic way, full of grace. Great entry.

  9. It is indeed a weird little story, but I like weird. Great work.

  10. Wow. I love it. Darkly beautiful metaphor.

  11. That’s really interesting. Good use of the prompt!

  12. Embrace weird….I think this is fabulous.

  13. whoa. i think you could write a whole novel around that scene.

  14. Definitely out there, but in a good, David Lynchy way!
    Intriguing idea, the resurrecting woman…

  15. i’m not even sure what to say. great writing but very disturbing. 🙂

  16. wow. It’s true we all spend our life in dieing but not all of us do it so peacefully and not all of us are able to pick up the pieces so easily

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