Walk Alone by Jack Wallen

It’s November and the Music Be The Food flash fiction train keeps on rolling. This time around we’re looking at my favorite album of 2017–Pvris ‘All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell’. The song is called “Walk Alone” and the next piece of fiction is by Jack Wallen. Listen to this remarkable song and then read the outstanding fiction.

Walk Alone

“I love you!”

The three words haunted me, brought tears raining down my cheeks with every crushing squeeze of the heart.

“I was your be all, end all.”

Her words rang in my head. The image of her fists pummeling my chest as she screamed until her voice snapped and shattered. It never failed. I allowed the movie in my mind play out to remind me of the pain I visited upon she who was the oxygen in my blood.

I opened up my knotted fist to count the lifelines spread out on the palm. The creases in our flesh intersected across boundaries and planes. There should have been nothing to stop the entwining of our souls. She was me and I was she—there was so little to differentiate our beings. I began where she ended; she started where I stopped. Our poetry wove a different fabric of love, of life.

We were trans-human, some new species made real, thanks to a boiling passion so unnameable.

“Do we have bad blood?” She asked the question through gasping sobs, the tears shining her cheeks shifting to the crimson of blood.

There were no words—an irony not lost on me. We always had words. And when words failed, we held dear the communication of silence.

And now, the silence was empty, bereft of tender meaning.

My silence. My meaning. Gone.

Darkness surrounded me. The bed we shared brought no comfort. The weight of the world crashed down upon my chest, bore through flesh and bone until it found the home she’d made of my heart. Her empty presence gave the weight no respite from gravity.

“Do you feel the burn of my touch? My smoke in your lungs?” Her voice echoed in my head. I could feel the tendrils of loneliness worm their way into my flesh, digging its very own grave.

There was always a price to be paid for living outside the boundaries of truth. Not that our love was a lie—it wasn’t. The world simply wasn’t ready for what we could have become.

In the cold, unfeeling blackness of my new-found world, I know I should have answered her questions.

No, we didn’t have bad blood.

Yes, I do feel the burn of your touch and your smoke in my lungs.

She couldn’t hear me confession. She.

I wanted to rephrase my every word, remand she into the custody of the past. Give you new life, in hopes it might bring you back.

“Your loss is the lead in my lungs. I cannot breathe, do not deserve the precious oxygen waiting to enter my body. No matter how hard I tried to deny myself life, I failed. You were gone from me and I could not join you.

“The knife you used felt like a curse in my hand. The mockery it made of me was eternal—I would exist, forever, knowing I would walk alone without you.”

I ran the blade across my arm. The razor-edged steel unsealed the flesh with ease. Hope rose. Seconds after the scarlet rivulet began to pour, the wound resealed.

With each attempt, the distance between us grew unfathomable. You were unreachable. Our love was nothing but a reminder I would always, always, always walk alone.

A beam of moonlight made its way through the brocade curtain—the one you chose for its uncanny resemblance to the birthmark on my back—giving me just enough light to see my reflection in the blade. My eyes were rimmed with blood. For the briefest of moments, the image shifted to reveal her ice-blue irises glaring back—their beauty too much for me to comprehend.

In a fit of pique, I plunged the blade deep into my chest, hoping to give her one final glance at the heart she broke. Over and over, the knife entered. With each deadly stab, the previous wound would heal to prevent me from ever reaching her again.

“I love you!” My scream bounced from wall to wall, every syllable an echoing reminder that I would forever walk alone.