• Meghan Douglass

Twitter Story Challenge

So I recently had the bright idea to ask the writing community on Twitter to give me words, settings, themes, etc. and I would use as many of them as I could in one short story. Little did I realise at the time how random the array of things that would be thrown my way would be. I'll include the list of what I used for context and I hope you enjoy the story.

On The Precipice

As I stood on the precipice of the boiling volcano, once quiet and dormant, now a bubbling, pool of lava ready to explode from the confines of the mountain, I remembered back to that fateful day in the pastry shop. We sat together at six in the morning, the world still dim and with only a murmur of activity building outside. The early morning workers, bleary-eyed, making their way through the streets. Our still inchoate relationship waiting to bloom like a sunflower in late spring.

I can still hear the hiss of the coffee machine as it frothed up milk for our coffees, the banging outside as odds and ends were loaded into vans for the day’s deliveries. The sunrise giving the whole world an incredible, golden glow.

It had all been so perfect in that one, long-lost moment, but it had all come crashing down as the out-of-control delivery truck smashed through the front of the shop. I would replay the memory in slow motion over and over for the rest of my life.

My wallet, which had been lying on the table in front of us, flying high through the air. Money flying out and fluttering to the ground like butterflies. Flames leapt everywhere as though from the mouths of small dragons making the air hotter and drier than the Gobi Desert.

Then the screams. Your screams. The caterwauling was like nothing I had ever heard before and would haunt my nightmares. I couldn’t understand at first why there would be such a noise, I felt no pain. Then I saw your body half-buried by a hulking, black wheel.

The gruelling months that followed this nightmare, left a marked stain on both our souls. Your resentment of me for escaping with on tiny scar on my cheek while you suffered months of torture. The paralysis alone, which left you incontinent and completely reliant on others for all your needs, would have been enough for anyone to endure, but the torturous brain surgery you endured not to mention the burns which left pepperoni scaring all over your skin, was more than you could bear.

I’d see you staring out the window at me while I did the yard work, a task you could no longer assist with. I saw the resentment pasted all over your face, making me forget the once insatiable desire we had felt for one another. All was now lost in the well of pain and misery that had become our lives.

I’d once stood watching you, from the half-pace of our stairs, as you picked a stray dandelion from the spokes of your wheelchair, hoping to see a glimmer of humanity left in you and watched as you crushed it beneath your fingers. Crumbling its broken remains to the ground. This was the moment I knew the woman I’d known and loved was now gone.

The woman who could pontificate for hours on the amazing qualities of gorillas, their tribalistic lifestyle and their obvious superiority to humans. The passion behind your words, which had irked so many, had been like the song of a nightingale to my ears, igniting a jungle fever in me I thought would never die.

But it had died and so had any trace of love you’d ever had for me. The sorcerers spell you’d once placed on my heart now incinerated in the flames of your contempt.

So now I stand, looking out over the edge of this volatile volcano, with the boiling inferno below. The top of a rainbow just over the edge mocking me with its cheer.

I looked down one last time, the tip of your wheelchair still visible for a moment longer before it sank to the depths of the fiery pit to join your heartless, broken body. A rare moment of peace filled me, as the chaos which had begun so long ago in the café on that fateful morning, was now over. We could both finally be at peace.

List of included words:

  • Incinerate

  • Insatiable

  • Wallet

  • Caterwauling

  • Sorcerer

  • Pontificate

  • Tribalistic

  • Brain Surgery

  • Butterfly

  • Gruelling

  • Dandelion

  • Incontinence

  • Inchoate

  • Volcano

  • Gorilla

  • Half-pace

  • Sunflower

  • Rare

  • Scar

  • Gobi Desert

  • Pepperoni

  • Dragons

  • Yard work

  • Jungle fever

  • Nightingale

  • Rainbow

  • Pastry shop at 6am

  • Long dormant volcano, now active

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