Sunday Sit Down – Grab a coffee, comfy chair and have a read. Creative Writing to boost the soul. This One Page Story, Reincarnation, was published in Ten Pint Ted the 2009 Fish Publishing Anthology after being shortlisted for the One Page Story Prize.
~~~ Reincarnation ~~~
White walls, shiny floor, bright light, five bulbs. Piercing. An emptiness sits on the cold metallic table with me. Can I have a cushion? It’s hard. Who did I ask? No one’s there. There’s a buzzing, gentle, annoying. Buzz, buzz, bizz, bizz, buzzzzz. And sulphur, I can smell sulphur. Rotting or steaming, one or the other. Hello. Echo.
Then someone is there or here or wherever we are. Where are we? He doesn’t have a face or a body. White, white, shiny and empty.
Hi there, are you ready? – For? Yes, I suppose I am.
Name? – Pause. Think. I don’t remember.
Date of Birth? – Longer pause. Think harder. I don’t remember.
Sex? – I don’t remember. I look down, just to check, there’s nothing there.
Year? – I don’t remember.
Look here please. A flash light dances in front of my eyes. Pupils widen and shrink in seconds. It stings. Black dots float in front of my eyes. Black dots on the white austere canvas of … where are we again?
Place of Birth? – I don’t remember.
What language do you speak? – Do I speak? I haven’t heard my voice yet. I don’t remember.
Who’s the president? – What country? Doesn’t matter, I don’t remember.
Parents? – Are they not here? Em, don’t remember. I’m sure I do have some. Somewhere.
Siblings? – I don’t remember.
Do you have all your teeth? – I hope so, do I? My tongue prods around my gums counting as it goes along, dipping into gaps. Three, gap, six, gap, gap. I start counting the gaps. I lose count.
Bank accounts, saving bonds, shares? – What about them? Do I have any? I don’t remember.
He’s ready. No eye contact, no responses. He’s a blank slate. Well done. Give him body #592 and send him to France.
Geraldine Walsh © Over Heaven’s Hill