I’ve decided, to start off January, that I will write once a day, every day. I found some prompts, made a list, and I’m slowly checking them off. They might be terrible, they might be nothing but pure drabble, but they are something. So here’s January 4th’s, So Many Left. It might not be good, but I liked it.
Scattered across the ground, in small piles of forgotten letters, discarded objects, baubles that once shone; these mementos of a life long past, they glitter in the haze of remembering. She sat there, staring at the items strewn across the room, a lifetime of items.
So many left, she thought, picking through the nearest pile. So many dreams, memories, tokens of a life she remembered in flickering dreams.
Behind her, three boxes. Keep, Give, Toss. A life, boiled down to three boxes.
“How’s it going, kid?”
She turned around, still crouched on the ground, a letter clutched in her hand. “It’s going.”
“There’s a lot of things.”
“So many left.” She sighed, standing and stretching, staring. “How did you do it, dad? When you left.”
“Same way you’re doing, kid. Keep. Give. Toss.”
“Does it ever get easier?”
“Does life? Dinner’s in twenty. I’ll yell.”
She waited for the footsteps to leave before turning back to the room, staring at it for all its worth. The pale walls, the faded spots where pictures hung, nail holes and tape holding the room together.
“There’s so many left!” she cried, head falling on the table.
“So many left?”
She raised her head, eyes too haunted for an eight-year-old. “So. Many. Left.”
“I don’t think that’s correct English there, kid.”
“I don’t care. There’s just so many.”
“Of Everything.” She dropped her head back to the table. “So many math problems, rules, people, cookies…”
“Too many cookies means I can’t eat them all.”
The chair slid out from across from her, and her father sat down. “Well, I guess we’ll just have to fix that.”
She wiped at her eyes, expecting tears, finding dry eyes. “There’s always so many left, isn’t there.” She turned back to the room and the piles, picking through the pieces and filling boxes. “I guess I’ll just have to fix that.”