I have a habit of leaving stories unfinished. It’s just the last sentence looks perfect as is, and I’m always terrified of ruining it. This would be one of those. I wrote the first two paragraphs while on the road (as part of the Les M.I.S collection) but the rest I wrote just now. It is nowhere near complete though, but I like it the way it is. I have absolutely no idea what the story is. Make of it what you will 🙂
Her mother wasn’t a happy woman. She was sick. Of what, she never elaborated. It was always just the exasperated huff, “I’m sick!”
Her father was hardly man at all. That’s what her aunt always said. “I don’t know why you married him, Cynthia”, she would say in her high-pitched drawl, “He’s hardly a man at all, really. Hardly human, if you ask me”, though no one never really did.
She wasn’t surprised her life turned out this way. Her mother was named Cynthia. Her father was called Harold. And she was called Daisy. And sometimes, Delilah. Her father always wanted a Delilah.
Personally, she liked the name Lily. It was sweet, innocent and happy; like, if only she had been named Lily, her life would be sweet, innocent and happy. Lily. Lily of the Valley.
The notion that she was doomed because of her name didn’t just spring out of nowhere. She got it from her mum, who was always writing these poems about all the different Cynthia’s she knew and how being named Cynthia ruined her life.
Wasn’t the rope that killed her.
Wasn’t the water in her lungs
Her husband never loved her
She was shot by her sons.
Oh sweet Cynthia, now there you lay
The sun never came out
How were you to make hay?
The poems weren’t really very good. Her mother thought them grand though. She thought reclining solemnly on the rickety bed and penning down these literary masterpieces somehow made it all better—the utter tragedy of it all which she loved to romanticize; fancied that perhaps, one day, there would be a movie based on her life. Cynthia, dear talented Cynthia, Cynthia, dear dying Cynthia. Terribly romantic, the whole deal. For everyone except Daisy. Blessed with a mother unhappy with her place in life and a father unsure of his.
Harold was hardly man at all. Drunk most of the time, sleeping away the rest. But that was okay. He used to be a good man. The world broke him. All the questions pierced through his soul, and, upon not finding the right answers, simply punctured it dry. Delilah, he called her. Trapped, he called himself.
When it rained and she stepped out in her lilac coat, Daisy fantasised of living in a blue house, of being named Lily; of having a mother who loved gardening, and a father who painted lilies-of-the-valley and roses. Of being beautiful and lovely, blessed and deadly. Lily of the valley.
Daisy, dear dreaming Daisy. Daisy, dear dying Daisy.
How were you to know?
Heaven and Hell on Earth
And you’re stuck in limbo.
*For the moment anyway. Anyway, that was it.