My Candle is Dead – by Ash N. Finn
All in my head. All in my head. All in my head. All in my hay-ay-head.
She rocks back and forth on her haunches, knuckles bone white from gripping her ankles. The storm rages and batters the inside of her skull with a thousand burning drumsticks.
Don’t cry, my child. Your mother is dancing around the rag tree by the old black well to the wail of the banshee.
The angry ocean tosses the ship high and low until it breaks in two. Your father feeds his rattling breath to the eye of the storm. Like every lost sailor before and after him. This here rag is for you, my child. Sing a wish for your father to the torn shroud. It’s going on the rag tree by the old black well. Your mother won’t let the banshee steal it. Take solace from your mother’s ancient practice. Sing your song in your father’s tongue.
A hand, icy to her burning skin, grasps her by the shoulder and stops her rocking.
“Evelyn, please, open your eyes, look at me. Here, take this with some water and you’ll feel better in no time.”
“Tell them we have to find the children and grandchildren of the lost ones before it’s too late!”
“You just had another one of your episodes, dear. Take your Xanax, please.”
The nurse places a pill on Evelyn’s tongue and lifts the glass to her lips. Evelyn swallows obediently, the whites of her eyes ablaze with the remnant of her vision. She grabs the nurse’s arm and pulls her closer.
“Who is your father, child? Do you know the singing child? Promise you’ll tell them. They need to find the singing child, find the children, the children’s children. So many lost fathers. So much anger and desperation. The children,” Evelyn’s voice trails off and she allows the nurse to guide her onto her bed, “Promise you’ll tell them.”
“I will, Evelyn, but it’s all in your head. Rest your poor head now. Here, I’ll hold your hand until you fall asleep. Everything will be fine, you’ll see. Sleep now.”
Evelyn drifts off into an uneasy sleep. The singing child smiles and places a rag over her head, prête-moi ta plume … pour écrire un mot … ma chandelle est morte … je n’ai plus de feu … ouvre-moi ta porte.
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