Silence Hung In the Air...

Ashley Blaine's mother was on her back in her bed with her eyes closed. There was an empty bottle of Jack Daniels next to several empty bottles of prescription pills. She had taken a cocktail of pills and washed it down with the Jack Daniels. Her love, her life, her child had been killed and she just couldn't take the pain. It assaulted her every day when she thought of her baby being butchered by an animal.

She started the evening off by cooking a nice dinner for Ash. She made her favorite dishes and she sat across from were her daughter would sit. In her mind she saw her there stuffing her face and making crazy eyes at her. Ash was such a clown and that's what made her so special.

When the last of the dishes were put up, and the floor swept, she trudged up the stairs toward the locked bedroom. She had to see her daughter's bedroom one more time before it was all over. She put the key in slowly and hesitated before she opened the door. She walked over to the bed and saw Ashley's favorite nighty balled near the foot of the bed. She lifted it to her nose and inhaled the scent of her daughter, and it immediately brought tears to her eyes. She remembered Ash hemming and hawing about not being able to buy that nighty because her mother thought it was too grown-up, but in the end her mother bought it.

Ashley's mother wondered what it would feel like to be with her daughter. The soil was warm enough for another grave, and she would have them place her coffin next to her pride and joy. Living a life without her only child was a sober slap in the face. It was a cold reality that she wanted no part of.

She couldn't understand why her friends would tell her that everything was going to be okay. She knew it doesn't always work that way. She felt like the loneliest person in the world. No matter how many people were around, she still felt all alone, and that was never going to change.

She remembered when Ash was five, she would get up on her toes so her mother wouldn't bend down so much and then kiss her cheek, laying her small hand on her other cheek. She would stare into her mother's eyes with such gratitude, it melted her heart. And other times she would make her mother bend way down and she would kiss her on both cheeks, several times, making exaggerated smacking noises. She would then laugh loudly while holding on to her mother, hating the thought of letting her go. Large, liquid blue eyes staring up at her with a phenomenal smile.

“I love you mom,” she would say in one long breath.

Her mind had her spinning and the loss had such a grip on her. Being a mother who had lost her only child was ugly and terrifying. There wasn't anything to live for. The memories of her child wasn't helping. It was actually making her heart crash and burn.

She folded her daughter's nighty and placed it in the center of the bed. She turned around slowly and walked out of the room. She closed the door and locked it leaving the key in the keyhole. Silence hung in the air for a moment. She felt something pulling her heart as she moved slowly toward her bedroom.

“Goodnight mommy!” her daughter shouted from behind closed doors.

“Goodnight sweetie,” she just whispered.

There was the image of her daughter moving slowly toward her. She looked up at her, saw a sweet, docile face, the face of a devoted mother. There was the fear of death in her eyes, but it wasn't going to stop her from taking her life. She couldn't believe that her mother, a helpful, tender woman was willing to take her own life. Reality would be deprived if she killed herself.

“Mommy, no,” she frowned.

She turned away from her daughter and walked into her bedroom. She poured the last of the Jack Daniels into a glass and popped the last of the pills into her mouth. She washed the rough swallow back with the whiskey and got as comfortable as she could in bed.

The sweet dreams of her daughter sprayed through the room like mist. She found herself laughing, shouting, and trying to get her daughter to stop being such a monkey. She would rush to her daughter and she took her into her arms, silent tears running down her cheeks. She would brush the curly hair back from her daughter's brow and she would look into her eyes.

“I love you mommy.”

With her facial expression weak and her cheeks wet she would say,”I love you too sweetie.”

The whiskey helped as the darkness consumed her, and death took control.

© 2015 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 34 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

We must know this dark side. We must embrace it. I hate you for writing this. You broke me down. I don't need it, yet I do. You bastard.

Thanks bro for a great read, you say what I want to say and do it powerfully.


christinemariezzz 13 months ago

I am touched by this one Frank-thank you for taking the time to compose it. Could it have lived in your soul before you came here to write it down? Its dimensions are tender, reaching deep into heart spaces. I like it a lot. (okay..... actually, honestly, it brings heartbeats of my Victory Peace; a daughter not living here on earth with me now)

...her daughter shouted.....she just whispered...

The setting of your writing draws. The interspace of dialogue to text is perfect. You've made no compromise in scooping this pair and joining them again; beautifully!

Bravo!

~christinemariezzz


Jodah profile image

Jodah 13 months ago from Queensland Australia

You really know how to tug at our emotions Frank. It must be hard to go on after you have lost a child...so I can understand why the mother did what she did. Nice work.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

So sad. Two lives ruined.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Eric, Christine Jodah and Flourish for reading my silence.. bless you guys :)


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England

You go from one level to the next with each story you write. It brings out powerful feelings in us all. Sometimes I think it is purifying that we respond to such things with tears and heart-ache, or anger.

You are one of the best writers on this site.

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

annart, thanks for the wonderful compliment.. bless you


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh Frank.....I am consumed with so many emotions.....tears flowing full force. Your perfect capture of raw grief has blown me away.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 13 months ago from Nibiru

My friend, you painted a true reflection of a mother or father who suffers the grief of loosing their only child or any child for that matter. Nothing is sweeter than caring for your loving daughter, you try to protect her, to lover her, to keep her as close to your bosom as possible. To protect her so she can grow to be a beautiful woman, and at the end, walk her down the aisle and give her hand away to a caring man. The death of any child is a horrible thing for any parent to live through or be reminded about. It was a very heart wrecking and tear bringing piece. I doubt any one who has lost a child will read through this all frank.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

Well that was a downer and yet achingly real and necessary....a dose of reality that occurs daily in this country..."all the lonely people, where do they all come from?" Nice work, buddy!


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Very raw and emotional. You pulled on the heart-strings showing the pain and hopelessness a parent feels when they lose their child to murder. I couldn't imagine living in that type of agony, yet, many parent's do.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

I have been absent for quite awhile and this is my first story to read. I confess it blew me away! Such pain so vividly written. You are a master weaver of the heartache living inside of inward pain. Bravo Frank..


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

Billybuc, Clive Dana Tate and Always exploring thank you so much for reading my silence.. bless you and welcome back Always.. always good to see you..


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

Fpher.. thank you too almost missed you.. bless you for reading :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 13 months ago from The Caribbean

This is one instance of "more than I can bear." When there is no to help bear it, it ends in tragedy. So sorry about conditions like these. You make us feel, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you for reading MsDora.. bless you


Smilealot 13 months ago

I never expect your stories to be full of fluffy clouds and happy ever afters Frank, but this was particularly harrowing and devastating...nicely done:-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you smilealot.. and good to see you my friend :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

We read about senseless and horrific killings of Ashleys by animals all too often. What we don't know, feel or sense, is the suffering and devastation it leaves behind for loved ones. You have given it voice, Frank, in this powerful story.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

Trick or Treat! It's me, the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown ...Hahaha ... just me, Faith ... Happy Halloween.

I'm sorry I have been missing in action here on HubPages for four days or longer, but I am here now enjoying this treat of a hub full of raw emotions and perfect for this dark, dreary, cold and blustering windy Halloween night.

Wow, dear Frank, I agree with Ann, you are one of the best writers here on HubPages no doubt. You have captured the reality of surrealness of one's mind, especially that of a mother who has lost a child, I would imagine. Your writing is superb in this one.

I would never want to know of such mental anguish in this life ...I can't even begin to imagine the horror, but you have done so here and done so exceptionally well.

The part that really got to me for some reason is when you were writing of her laying out her daughter's "nighty" ...

Hugs always

Boo ... Hope you are having a creepy Halloween night full of fright.

Sharing everywhere, of course!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Genna East.. bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

Hey Faith I'm holding the football for you.. going to kick it? Happy Hallowe'en my dear friend.. hope is all good... and boo to you too.. bless you girl for reading my silence..:)


savvydating profile image

savvydating 13 months ago

It's hard to judge. They say there is no greater pain and that of losing a child. I can only imagine. A very emotional piece.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

When she 'inhaled the scent of her daughter' caused me to feel her pain. Not having lost a child (but coming close to it) made this so real to me even though the circumstances were much different.

I could feel the pain and angst and sorrow even after the last word was read. You DO have a gift, Frank. So glad I saw this one this morning..

Angels are on the way to you ps

shared


Amanda Abbott profile image

Amanda Abbott 13 months ago from Los Angeles

Wow. Makes me think of my daughter...both of my kids. They are still alive, but they are live somewhere else. It takes a lot of strength to live without something you love so much. Excellent work!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for reading savvydating, pstraubie84, and welcome Amanda Abbott, bless you all :) Frank


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

I would be just like this mother if I had to go through something like that. As much as, it is hard for me today to live as an outcast, I still have good days because of my children, without my children, I would be nothing. I felt this character's pain. I would be this character if something were to happen to my daughter or son. I would do it too. I would not live any longer, and I would be content with the decision. This was a very good story! Great detailed imagery! You tap into the human experience so well Frank.


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 13 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

You have truly expressed the grief of the mother very well. Very good writing...and a very sad ending. It's my sincere wish that my children outlive me, but whatever I still might experience, taking my own life would never be an option for me, but I can relate to the wish to want to leave...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for commenting Missy and Nadine ... :)


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I can imagine this is what the grief would feel like, surreal, yet unbelievable that something like the death of your child could happen. Very well done.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 13 months ago from New York

Frank you have a way of getting inside the head of raw emotion. I can't imagine the devastation of losing a child. Your descriptions are so real and painful. I managed to read to the end through my tears. Certainly only a great writer can bring us to our knees like you do!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

Tillsontitan and aviannovice thank you for reading my short story, bless you both :)


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london

Wow! Another masterpiece! So real, so true to life! This is what a tiny few do, Bro. Others come close. Let's face it, this kind of animality to kids and especially loved ones we are attached to, is no joke. Superb and brilliant writing!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much mantita44 :) bless you

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