She trembled, her hand shaking as she struggled to keep hold of the nearly empty champagne flute. The dark red liquid sloshed around the glass, dribbled out the sides to run along recently stained tracks, and slowly dropped to a small puddle on the dark ivory table. The wine had started to leak down the table in favor of the tiled floor, a harsh contrast to the gray linoleum. Each drop was deafening in the heavy silence of the room.
Drip, drip, drip.
Any thoughts that entered the woman’s mind went as quickly as they came, drowned out by the rhythmic pounding in her head, that had slowly begun to spread through her entire being. She could feel the blood coursing through her and imagined her heart beating, cells whooshing in and out in a blurry tango of oxygenation and life, to the necessary degeneration and death. She couldn’t mourn this process, for she knew dying was essential to be reborn. Still, she wished that it wasn’t so damn loud. It all sounded something like this:
Thump, da-thump, thump, da-thump.
Between the thumping and the dripping, the intoxication and madness, the woman tightened her grip on the small, delicate stem of the glass. Her light brown eyes kept their gaze on the empty bottle in front of her, but remained unfocused. She continued shaking, but suddenly, something changed. Her eyes moved to a candle, flame bright and flickering, shadows bouncing all around her. She swallowed hard and allowed a shadow of a smile to appear on her lips, a hot fire ignited in her core. The previous vessel, filled with emptiness and sorrow, became possessed by a powerful righteousness. The overwhelming guilt and shame over-washed with vindication, she took a sip from the glass and then forcibly slammed it down on the table.
The glass shattered in her hand and the rest crashed onto the puddle on the floor, sending red shards in every direction. Pain ebbed from her dark brown hand and blood ran down her arm, mixing with the wine on the table. The sudden gush of fluid sent it over the table faster, a small waterfall of alcohol and plasma.
Drip drip drip drip drip.
She finally looked down at the body slumped over the table and allowed herself to think about what led to this. She remembered his velvety voice and the way his strong, calloused hands moved over the alcoholic bottle just an hour before. “’81 was an exquisite year for Chateau Margaux,” he purred, pouring both of them a glass with one hand, softly rubbing her chin with his thumb with the other. She smirked at him, locked eyes with his, and licked her lips in anticipation. Bringing her face closer to his, her hand around his head to pull back on his coarse hair, she whispered, “Could you be a dear and get a napkin from the kitchen?” As he walked away, she slipped a white powder into his glass and swirled it for a moment. She pretended to drink from it as he walked back in, napkin in hand.”Hey now, one is enough, don’t you think?” He chortled, taking his flute from her hands. “Of course, love. Cheers.”
Thump… thump… thu…
The woman paused and tapped her hand on the table, mimicking the rhythm. It reminded her of sitting in church, and she swore she felt a ghost sensation of a priest’s hand on her forehead. She never wondered if God had any love left in His heart for her, for a woman who committed the most grievous sin; rather, she laughed dryly and convinced herself that a god wouldn’t have let this happen to her in the first place. As she looked at the form again, breath slowing to a dull pace, she let one tear fall: for hope, for loss, for having suffered and inflicted pain on a mortal life and her own immortal soul. She sat for a minute, in silence, in holy reverence and fear and disdain. Then, she stood up, knocked over both the candle and what remained of the bottle of wine before leaving the room, and slammed the heavy wooden door behind her.
She never looked back.
Note: I hope you enjoyed this short piece. While I find it much easier to write non-fiction, I realized I hadn’t written something creatively in a very long time (high school?), so this was refreshing. There are things that still bother me about it, but I realized that continuing to edit a short piece like this would only leave me more frustrated in the end. I know that I’ll start to get the hang of it again with more practice. Anyhow, this was vaguely inspired by playing Dishonored and reading today’s other daily challenge entries, which hold a lot of delightful poetry and prose!