Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pictures Speak A Thousand Words A Short Story - By Michael Taylor

All four walls were covered from floor to ceiling with pictures.  Each picture had one thing in common, David Wallace.  The pictures ranged from childhood to his last moments of consciousness.  David Wallace had fallen into a comatose state for an unknown reason.  Doctors, Specialists, and anyone with any medical know-how did all they could to determine the cause of David’s coma, but there were no tests that would or could give even the most notable and knowledgeable doctors a definite reason.

                The pictures were hung by David Wallace’s mother who had passed away shortly after his comatose state began.  She had no idea why she hung the pictures.  She had never been the type of woman to clutter up the walls, or anything else for that matter.  She was a meticulous woman who kept house better than any other.  But for some unknown reason, she found herself hanging picture after picture on all four walls of the room where her youngest son lay silent.

                David Wallace, prior to his mother’s passing was moved home.  It was believed that he wouldn’t live much longer, but weeks, months, and then a year passed, and still, he remained in his unbreakable coma.  Sarah Wallace, David’s sister took possession of her family’s home and kept her brother as comfortable as possible.  For Sarah, her devotion to her brother had cost her, her marriage, but blood was blood, and she would not and could not leave her brother in the care of a nursing facility that may or may not give David everything he needed.

                As with any other day of the week, Sarah found herself sitting in the room with David.  Her eyes would trail over the pictures on the walls.  Sometimes she’d hone in on one, and find herself lost in a memory.  Today though, a new thought had come to her mind, take the pictures down.  She pondered that idea, stood from the chair next to David’s bed and looked at her brother.  “I don’t know why.  I don’t know what keeps me from taking all these pictures down.”  She brushed a few tears from her cheek.  “Maybe it’s because mom hung them.  And for her to do that, well, it’s just, it’s just not like her.”  Sarah glanced around the room one last time and then walked out, closing the door behind her.

                “She’s going to do it.”

                “She can’t.”

                “Do you know how much I want this to end?”

                “Maybe you want it to end, but I love it.”

                “I have to be honest; I’m tired of living this moment over and over again.”

                “You just don’t understand what’s coming.”

                “He may not understand what’s coming, but I do.”

                “You should shut up.  Stop acting like a bunch of meanies.”

                “Yeah, just shut up.”

                “When I want to hear from you, I’ll ask your opinion.”

                “He’s right, children should be seen and not heard.”

                “I hate you.”

                “Listen kid, you don’t know what hate is yet.”

                “Yeah, you ought to be here right now.”

                “The kids are right.  Our life hasn’t been that bad.”

                “Fuck that!”

                “You said a bad word.”

                “You’re right, I did say a bad word, and it’s because I know things that you don’t.”

                “And I know things you don’t.”

                “Can we all just stop arguing for a minute?”

                “A decision has to be made.”

                “I can make it.”

                “Oh no; not you, we all know what you would decide.”

                “Do any of you realize just how happy I am right at this moment?”

                “Do any of us really care?”

                “Stop it, stop it, stop it.  I’m gonna tell.”

                “I swear, if I have to listen to that again I’m going to rip my ears off.”

                “Just be happy the crying Santa hasn’t started up.”

                “I’m serious, look at me.  I’m here at Lake Tahoe.  I love it here.  I don’t want this to end.”

                “Screw that, you don’t know what it’s like to be bullied every day.  I don’t want this to go on.”

                “But you have to understand that things get better.”

                “He’s right you know.  Things do get better, but then they all just go to hell.”

                “Why can’t all of you just remember this day?  We were happy.  Not a care in the world.”

                “The reason we can’t remember that day is because some of us came after it.”

                “Where’s mommy?”

                “Should I tell him or do you want to do it this time?”

                “Mommy is out grocery shopping, she’ll be back soon.”

                “Such a liar, and a good one at that.  If I didn’t know better, I’d even believe you.”

                “Look, I’m happy where I’m at.  I don’t want this to end.”

                “Yeah, well if you only knew what happened right after that, you might change your mind.”

                “Happy Birthday to you…”

                “Someone shut him up.  He does this all the time.  Hey kid, there ain’t no birthday.”

                “Leave him alone.  For him it’s his fifth birthday.”

                “Can I change the subject for a minute?  This Christmas tree has to be the ugliest tree we ever had.  I mean look at it.”

                “It might be an ugly tree, but at least you’re with family.  You don’t remember this tree, do you?”

                “Holy shit, here we go; the fucking tree arguments again.”

                “You said another bad word.”

                “And if you keep telling me that, I’m going to say a whole bunch of bad words that’ll make your head spin.”

                “I think it’s a pretty tree.”

                “Who said that?  And which tree are you referring to?”

                “The one where I’m alone.”

                “Yes, it is a pretty tree, but it’s just so lonely here.”

                “So there’s another for our side.  It’s time to end this.”

                “Oh, so now we’re voting?  Well I think we all know where this will go.”

                “Fifty-fifty, there won’t be a definite decision.”

                “It’s been a year now, and we haven’t been able to make a final decision.”

                “Because there’s a bunch of you sentimental, bleeding hearts.”

                “And what’s wrong with be sentimental?  If we could all understand how some of us feel at our moment, we might not want to end this.”

                “There’s too many of us.  And we all know why we’re here.”

                “And is that supposed to make me feel bad?  I just got out of the hospital after a car accident.  I’m still in pain.”

                “At least we survived.  You should be happy for that.”

                “I know most of us know how we feel where I’m at.”

                “It was a difficult time, but we got past it.  We knew that suicide wasn’t the answer.”

                “I say wake me up.  It’s time to end this.”

                “No, you’re wrong.  We all know what that would mean.”

                “I have to admit, I don’t like where I’m at right now, but the other option isn’t very appealing.”

                “It is for me.  I don’t want to go on.”

                “But you’re not thinking clearly.  Our end is the end for everyone.”

                “Is there something so wrong with that?”

                “We are what holds this world together.  We are the world.  Without us…I don’t even want to think about it.”

                “I want to go home.  I’m tired.”

                “You are home.”

                “Could you be anymore snotty when you answer us?”


                “Oh God, there goes the Santa kid.”

                “There’s really only one of us that has the right to make the final decision.”

                “You’ve been pushing this on me for a year.  I don’t want to make the choice.  Someone else do it.”

                “You are the last picture of us.  You really should be the one to decide.”

                “It’s more difficult than you think.  I remember all of you.  I experienced everything around me.  And sure, there were some horrible times, but there were just as many good times.”

                “I think you should be taking the pain we’ve felt and using that to make your decision.”

                “And I, unlike him, think you should look at the good times.”

                “If I choose to wake, it’s the end.  Mom hung all these pictures of us for a reason.  She didn’t know why, but she did it.  If she knew that her actions meant saving the world, she would do everything she could to keep it going.”

                “Really, was mom always so great?  Remember when she kicked us out of the house?”

                “Decision made.  David, it’s time to wake up.”

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