18 and Over, Non-Native Speaker — Winner 2018



“Flakes of inklings”

by Rebecca NEMORIN



It is snowing outside.

She is sitting on the edge of the bay window, her left leg swinging back and forth. The woollen socks are tightly bound to her calves as if they were afraid that she would freeze from the lack of their warmth. Her nightdress covers her lightly. Her chest rises and falls at the rhythm of her palpitating breath. The waterfalls of redness cascade along her cheeks and set fire to her wintery complexion. She is singing and her hands flutter following the melody.

The snow crashes cruelly against the window as if it wanted to extend its grip onto her heart: She is alone now. But she does not know it, yet.

“I should have written it to her.  Should  have  told  her  what  I  know  now;  knew  back  then.  But I didn’t. I don’t know why. Yes. I know why: I had this feeling that telling her would have broken the eternity that she had brought to me.”

Her leg stops moving. It stays completely motionless as she bends her head and turns it towards the bed. She seems to be thinking. She looks at him. She looks at his body lightly uncovered by the shining moon.  One piercing beam softly brushes his bare chest. She follows the beam until it reaches his neck, uncovers his chin, his lower and, then, his upper lip. She follows it as it exposes his nose, his closed eyes… He is not sleeping though. She knows it. Because he never sleeps when she sings.

She does not move.

But I should make her move.

“Maybe she will move.”

She does not move. She just stays and stares. And sings. She does not know that he gazes at her too, when she is not looking. That he sees the same moonbeam lighting up her exposed neck. And that he only wants but one thing: to be offered this exposed neck.

If she moves she is going to suffer.

“I should be careful now.”

He does not want to speak because if he speaks he will shatter the eternity the night has given to him.

From now on, she will never smile as much as she used to. She knows it, I suppose, and already knew back then. But she silences her mind.

She moves.

“She moves”.

He can see her coming. He can hear the rustling of her nightdress. He can smell the persistent sweet-smelling vanilla perfume he likes so much. She lies next to him and the folds of her silky dress remind him of a welcoming mountainous landscape.

She is so close to him. She can smell him and her whole-body shivers. She is electrified. As if she had never been more alive than at this precise moment. As if she had never been more alive than now.

“And it is true. And I know it, knew back then. Soon enough, her heart will be left dead cold.”

She feels him. She feels that, deep down, he is electrified too. Her soon bumpy-burnt-heart beats fast. So fast. He raises his arm, lowers it down to her left cheek and caresses it.

She feels the burning fever growing stronger and stronger and its flames leaving her breathless as they devour the last residues of air within her.

He kisses her.

And now this might be the end. Because, soon enough, she will know what she already knew back then.  She will hear, know, understand, and try to smile.  She will look at him and hear, know, understand, try to smile, smile, and never be okay with what she might say in a few.

Because she might say goodbye.

She might look into his eyes for the last time and say goodbye.

And if she does so, she will smile. And he will be happy. And she will be sorry to make him happy. She will smile, and her heart will be left dead cold. She will smile and stay, and she will bury her dead cold body in the warmth of his arms, for one last time.

But right now, this is not the end. Right now, she is living what she should be living but soon will not. Right now, he is there, and he is kissing her, and all is still to be inked down.