Brutalist Stories #6

Calm Spirit

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

“Isn’t this enough?” he said, holding her ashen hand, her old skin soft to the touch, smooth like leather, a faint pulse whispering to him.

“What is this here? What are you here? A life lived, uncountable memories, and all that you contain within. The moments of happiness, the flickers of rage. You’ve done so much and you shall be taken away. He comes for you, just as he will come for me.” He closed his eyes and shook his head. Gripping the old hand, a tear rolled down his cheek and he heard her struggled breath sucking at the dust filled air.

“A creator, of so many things, you are peace and truth, rage and lies. You’ve been across seas and over land, seen so much and so many and yet nothing at all. Would you exchange it all for another moment? Or are you happy with that which you have been dealt?

“I know every part of you but nothing at all. You raised me and held me and helped me when I fell and scorned me when I raged. I have all these moments, a reflection of you, stored in my mind.” He paused for a long time. “My mind.”

“And all of it, the countenance of a life, just one in the pool of them all. Floating, floating along with the rest of us until this moment where you lay and try to hold on for another moment, another solitary flicker in the infinite.” He held the old hand to his cheek and opened his eyes.

The emaciated frame, the withered skin, the lifeless hair, closed eyes and parted lips struggling for that one last breath before she slipped away. The light lay soft on her old frame, the grey of the concrete casting its opaque shadow. He placed her hand back by her side and took his head in his own. The calm spirit leaking out of her, gently, gently.

“Do you hear it?” She turned to him and choked out the words in a low dry voice. “There? Do you hear it?”

He wept as she fell silent. “This is enough, right here and now, this is enough.”

Building inspiration: Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Musical inspiration: S U R V I V E - Omniverse

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