Cold Fingers

“Why on earth would she have had cold fingers?” Aunt Mavis asked in her falsetto-like voice.
“I told you,” Jonas, ten going on sixteen rolled his eyes, “she touched the sky.”
“She what?” Margaret, Jonas’ mother sputtered.
“She touched the sky, duh…”
“Don’t talk to your mother like that,” Mr. Martin quipped, his half chewed potatoes raining from his angry mouth across the table. “Duh you. How could she touch the sky?”
“Because she wanted to,” Jonas said.
“Bullshit,” Albert said.
Everyone turned to look at him.
“Young man…”
“What did you say?”
“Oh Lord, here we go…”
“It’s not bullshit,” Jonas shrieked, tears in his eyes.
“She jumped off a stool and hung herself from a tree you ignoramus dumbass,” Albert said.
“Hanged,” Aunt Mavis said. “The correct way of saying it is hanged, not hung.”
“Oh Lord,” Mr. Martin crumpled up his napkin and tossed it onto his gravy-streaked plate.
“What?” Albert shrugged.
“Why do you say she touched the sky, love?” Margaret tried.
“Because I saw it. I saw her jump up in the air. Her hands reached for the sky. And she smiled when she jumped. She was happy. But then she fell down and the stupid rope around her neck ripped her soul out of her body before she could land. And I ran over and grabbed her hands, and they were cold to touch because only moments before her fingers had touched the sky. They went clean out of our world and into whatever is beyond it. I saw it. I know it happened.”


24 thoughts on “Cold Fingers

  1. Team Oyeniyi

    I had two suicides in my family, neither by hanging I have to say, but I thnk my mother’s fingers were cold long before she touched the sky.

      1. Team Oyeniyi

        Sorry! It wasn’t meant to! It is so long ago now (40 years) that for the most part I just see it as facts. I wrote about it – it is one of the featured posts on the slider – and it links back to an earlier related post. It did leave me with a fear bureaucracy will never move fast enough to save lives though.

        1. screen_scribbla Post author

          Facts hit hard too! But in your particular case I meant that in a good way. Sometimes ice cold water in the face feels good. I will be sure to stop by and check out the posts you made reference to.

  2. Mike

    Another great piece, very cleverly crafted.
    I love the idea of ‘cold hands’ because she had touched the sky.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thanks Mike.
      I love that image too, but struggled for it. I opened the story up and then found I’d written myself into a corner because I couldn’t explain to myself why her fingers would be cold. Then it hit me. I know that you have similar moments. So satisfying.

  3. Find an Outlet

    How I want to hug Jonas and talk to him and listen. If he’s 10 going on 16, he’s less a child than a force to pay attention to. Sensitive children stifled by bland witless family…I want so much more for him. Beautiful and sad.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Here, here. Kids like Jonas are forces to be reckoned with indeed, but all too often get trampled into the sidewalk on the way to adulthood. It infuriates me too.

  4. Indigo Spider

    This post brought to mind Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” She, too, took a tragic story and turned into something else. The innocence of the children contrasts so sharply with the death so there is sadness but something more. Great work.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m not familiar with Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” but will look it up.
      Thing is, I find myself drawn to dark themes, but feel that tragic endings are sometimes a cheat – an easy way out. So I try challenge myself to find endings or conclusions that are not logical ones. The so-called illogic of children can only be described as beautiful.

  5. Madison Woods

    Very good story. I agree with the comments of valbrussell and chessirecat – you’re very talented.

  6. jeremythurston

    Damn. I would slap half these people just cause. I can see why that poor girl hung herself. I felt sad after reading this post. Great job scribbla! I hope one day I’ll be reading novels posted under ‘scribbles’ 😉

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      Thanks Jeremy. Glad to know I could evoke an emotion from you. Hehe… I’d be temtped to use the “scribbles” pseudonym as an author.

  7. valbrussell

    You have talent. Serious talent. Don’t waste it, write that novel and send it out into the world.

    The subject matter, as it happens is very tragically familiar to me and because of my own witnessing of an event such as this with someone I loved dearly, you have made something hideous beautiful through the eyes of a child. I’m impressed. I’m rarely impressed and never this impressed, until now.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      I am truly sorry for your loss of someone that you loved. We should all see the world through the eyes of a child more regularly (finger pointing directly at me!) as I don’t believe the stories children tell themselves to understand things is too far removed from a lot of the bull we tell ourselves as adults.
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience and impressions here. I find feedback like yours is the most precious to me.

  8. chesshirecat

    compelling. How do you get into the minds of the young ones like this?
    I told myself (as a teenager) I would never forget how to be young. I lied. You, however still have the imagination to be a kid. What a gift.

    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      I’m glad you liked the read. Funny thing is I told myself the same thing you did as a teenager. And I also lied. Only recently have I re-reminded myself of my youthful promise. This is one of the ways I try to stay true to it. It’s never too late.


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