INSIDE CAITLIN. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Introspective Bookmark and Share


Doctor Harbut will see you today the nurse informs I donít give a feck if I see him or not you say not loudly not audibly just inside your head as always as you normally do as normal as you know as you watch the nurse waddle off her backside moving from side to side in a kind of rumba dance the cheeks of her bottom beneath the uniform and she far out of sight soon good riddance you think as you sit in the chair sit in your favourite chair in the center of the ward although sometimes you move it against the wall so that you can see through the window opposite see the sky the trees and hills the snow crowning the treetops the black rooks like undertakers the crows the magpies the blackbirds with their yellow beaks the gulls in from the sea following the tractor in the snow-covered fields and the sky almost white as the snow so you do not know where sky ends and land begins just one big panoramic view a big word for you the voice says inside the head that voice again gentle mostly warm sound touching the inside of your skull and Phyllis walks by you her face fixed in a permanent grin the eyes like wee holes in the snowlike features of her skin and her grey dress with the hem down with her legs bare of stockings or cover and the slippers with pink bobbles which move as she moves across the room and you take in each part of her as she goes to the wall and then walks back to where she came from on the opposite wall and her hands clutch each other like wrestlers like lovers like trying to make that hereís the church hereís steeple look inside and no people just her hands tight on each other and you remember Mother doing that with her hands and fingers and you laughing and copying her and her thin fingers with the brown tobacco stains and the nails chewed down to the skin and a cigarette hanging from her lower lip and smoke getting in her eyes and her coughing and trying to laugh and you gazing at her watching her fingers the church with brown stained steeple and sometimes if you were careful and she was out of the room getting dinner ready or putting washing out or upstairs in her bedroom with Chambers doing those things with him that made her scream and shout and laugh and other sounds locked in your head put away in closed rooms or spaces and now you do it with your fingers sitting in the chair watching the fingers form a church and a steeple and opening up the doors to see the finger people inside wriggling back and forth and the nurse with freckles comes and watches you her eyes on you her hair drawn back tightly into a bun at the back of her head and you stop and disengage the church and steeple and the people have all gone and the nurse smiles her toothy smile and moves on and you watch her go off† and itís not the same nothing is the same all things move on come on and go and end and Mother sitting in the bath of cold water with her wrists cut and blood filled water and floor stained red and she had never said goodbye Caitlin goodbye love just her there in the water red and cold and her eyes open staring into the void of death and you finding her there and cannot get the image the scene out of your mind always there and Mother sometimes walking by you in the ward or tucking you in bed or in the bathroom in the bath when the nurses come and watch you bathe Mother is there opposite in her ghostliness watching you smiling her smile and the water hot with steam rising with red trickles coming from the tap that the nurses do not see and you sit with your eyes closed the images the film the theatre about to begin all over again.††

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