We get a lot of rain in Oregon, especially during the winter, the winter’s days are gray and short. The darkness comes early, stays late for weeks on end and it saddens many.

   We had not be on a vacation for decades, could never really afford one, but finally we knew we had to get away. So, Martha and I went for one last vacation. You see, we went and hypnotized ourselves to death.

   “Come along, hurry. We must do this,” I had said to Martha. And with those eyes of hers, those impossibly deep wells into the soul of hers, she would gaze into me far, and see and know and say, “Yes Henry dear, we must.”

   We left without telling anyone, left no note or goodbyes for we did not want that pain to add to our pain we already carried. We had no inheritance to leave. We had been working poor all our lives, never owned a home, never had savings , always living from meager paycheck to meager paycheck.

   “You think anyone will miss us?” Martha once asked.

   “You, maybe, me no one,” I said.

   We were old, weary, and worn and this world had become a world of the young. The old were in the way, taking up space, resources, jobs, that the young need and should have. Even the virus’s knew this, for they now targeted the elderly with suffering and slow, agonizing death.

   Every morning, Martha would cry.

   “What are you crying for,” I always asked. 

   I would frown when I asked this. It disturbed me and to have to hear it every morning day after day, week after week, month after month, on into years, I became depressed, angry inside, and grew sad.

   “You wouldn’t understand,” she would say each time.

   And I guess I wouldn’t, but I knew I was sad too.

   “You have nothing to cry for,” I would respond.

   Then we sat in silence. With her tears. 

After a while, Martha took her antidepressants.

   “Sorry, Henry,” she said.

   “You have nothing to be sorry for,” I said.

   And then I thought,‘ I want to go home. This world is not my home.’

   It was the way our days began.

   Just like I didn't understand Martha, no one every really understood me, no one ever really took the time just to be with me and help me when I needed, or listen when I just needed to be listened to. This grew to be some kind of a wound that would never heal, not in this world.

   And after all the years, I knew what we had to do.

   It was the cottage of the lost canyons we chose for our vacation, for I have never been to Grand Canyon and have always wanted to go there since I was a child and never thought I would. We sold everything to get there, which wasn’t much. We weren’t going to return. We would need money for only a few days anyway. 

   “I can’t believe we are here Martha,” I said.

   “Yeah, I know what you mean, Is this real?” She said.

   “It can’t be,” I said.

   “It has to be,” she replied.

   It seemed to me that coming to this canyon cottage was like coming to a familiar place, like a home where nowhere else I have ever lived felt like.

   “This is lovely,” Martha said, almost looking happy gazing at the grand painted canyon walls.

   “It is wonderful,” I replied, almost as happy as Martha as I breathed in the beauty. And I noticed the soothing sounds of warm, gentle breeze, of water over rocks cascading a melody and for one moment, one moment only, the briefest of moments only, I was not sad, there was overwhelming joy and oh, I have not the words, but then it fell out of my hands and shattered as I remembered my sadness.

   I turned to do what needed to be done.

   I had brought my seven bells, seven bells for the spirit and the angels, for the mediations and hypnosis. I carefully arranged them inside the small one room cottage, upon the quaint, white country kitchen table. One rod held them all, each easy to swing freely on its own, like those knocker rockers you would set into different rhythms by swinging combinations of them into initial motion. I knew the combination of the bells, the special calculated one that would hypnotize Martha and I into sadness relieving death. 

   “It’s all ready Martha,” I said.

   “So am I,” she said. 

   There was a king sized bed with lovely quilts atop, Martha went over to the bed and lay atop settling herself into a comfortable, relaxing position.

   I set the metronome of spirit bells and the meter of their ringing, and struck them with one blow into motion which would last for hours syncopated for brain hypnotizing frequencies. They started ringing and I went to lay down beside Martha to relax my body and breathing.

   And the bells rung.

   Each time a bell rung a light would flash a different color at a different time for each bell.

   The first bell rung for agonizing poor.

   The second bell rung for misunderstood and oppressed.

   The third bell rung for the addict.

   The forth bell rang for the prostitute.

   The fifth bell rang for the orphan.

   The sixth bell rand for the widow.

   The seventh bell rang for the blind and sad.

   And the bells rang again and again. 

We emptied our minds and only listened to the bells for an unknown time for time is different in this canyon. It cannot be measured by any clock. Too many eons of the earth are stored in memory in the layers of the canyon. These memories surpasses any clock that can be made by man.

   Our breathing slowed. Our heart beats slowed with our breathing. Our memories began to fade. And when we lost that final memory, we were dead.

   The angel of death flew into the canyon on saffron winds and netted wings. It’s dark shadow raced below on the canyon floor, following it to the cottage. Every bit of life the angel of death's shadow touched, instantly withered and died.

   The angel of death cared nothing for time and canyons. Death is timeless, never know by those who are alive and conscious it not, by those who are dead. To the cottage it came, tarried for a while at the curious scene inside, the two that died. Bells were ringing, ‘A lovely tune', the angel of death thought, then flew away with a new canyon wind.

   That was the nature of our suicide.

   And I being dead how can I write this? Well, we are all dead.

August 06, 2020 16:00

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Palak Shah
22:55 Aug 13, 2020

Amazing story.


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Fraser Ramus
08:44 Aug 13, 2020

Very powerful story and beautifully written.


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C. Jay Loren
04:39 Aug 10, 2020

Sad but well written. Rather thought provoking. :)


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