Short Story: The Tavern


Even as she lay cuddled with a coo in my arms, I knew Lizzy was already an individual in every sense of the word, and I would have to learn to let go of her someday, albeit painstakingly, although she was born of me. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait for my Lizzy to grow up, so one day as a teenage girl she would scream at me that I’m being too old fashioned, and then years later we would talk head to head like how elderly women do.

I packed a bag with diapers, towels, two bottles – one with warm water and one with milk, dressed up Lizzie in what I considered her favorite white gown and drove downtown to grab some luxury clothing for her and a nice dinner together. ‘The Tavern’ was the latest happening place in town. And I was not to be disappointed. I felt Lizzie would love visiting that place when she was grownup, and promised her we would visit The Tavern every month.

I tried some clothes on her, and she looked too gorgeous for my own eyes to fathom. There was jubilance in her little smile and her wide open eyes rolled around the enormous structure of the mall. I walked around the mall so she would see everything her eyes fell upon and showed her the Tavern mascots in the ground floor welcoming the visitors. There was excitement all around, and Lizzie was enjoying herself. And neither of us knew we would be dead before dawn.

The last thing I remembered before losing conscious was a blasting noise, and a grip of heat that permeated my legs as the floor below cracked open pulling me down with it. I fastened my grip on Lizzie not wanting to let go of her on whatever it was that was about to befall us. Then there was a deafening rumble, followed by a blackout silence.

I opened my eyes not knowing how long had past. I couldn’t move my arms or legs, or felt any pain. There was darkness and dirt all around, and the place smelt a damp stench of faeces and urine. I couldn’t hear any voices, although I was hoping some rescuers would soon remove the debris over me and pull me onto a stretcher and place a smiling Lizzie near me. And suddenly that reminded me of Lizzie and I started rolling my eyes in panic trying to locate her amid the deathly chaos around me.

I tilted my face to look for her and a pain seared through my neck and back. I screamed. But the darkness swallowed my voice, and I desperately shook my head trying to look around for Lizzie. Barely two feet from me, I saw a baby smeared with blood and dirt and her face distorted beyond recognition. If at all anyone could recognize her, it was me.

I’ve cried many times before, but when I cried that moment, it was different. There were no tears, no sobs or sniffles, no nothing. There were sprinkles of water that escaped through the debris and fell on my damp face. Some of it diluted the blood on Lizzie’s face that looked as if she were bathing in a rain of blood.

I felt sleepy. I closed my eyes as a rapidly engulfing peace took over me and whatever was left of me began ebbing itself out. I felt I was standing on a long stretch of green pasture fondling Lizzie in my arms and showing her a group of white flamingos dancing under the bright sunlight. Lizzie, in her white gown, was laughing the way only she could. I tugged her close to me and kissed her, knowing nothing could ever try to separate us.

We continue to be together, though not exactly the way I thought it would all be. There’s peace here, and fun. And I don’t feel sad for what has happened. If anything, I’m only sad for what has not happened – a teenage girl screaming at her mom that she’s being too old fashioned.


8 Responses to “Short Story: The Tavern

  1. 1 Tanay

    A greater part of this fictitious write-up goes in sync with a Hollywood movie, World Trade Center that I have seen. It brought to my mind those scenes…. Especially the part when the fire fighters are down there sandwiched in the debris.

    Good one Kishore…

  2. Good one Kishore. Very nicely written. But why such a theme I wonder…

  3. 3 Kishore

    Thanks mate. Haven’t watched the movie yet, will do so soon.

    Some stuff I was reading, Garuda mall Had to take it out of the system, you know?

  4. 4 Tanay

    Kishore, were you there in Garuda mall when the mishap happened. I am talking about the accident in which a tiny tot lost his valuable life..

  5. 5 Shanae

    :( awww…i don’t like this story, ki…the ending is sad.

  6. 6 Taks

    that was a good one, kishore-da
    it left me numb & speechless for a little while … i could see lizzie & her mother amid all the dust & debris

  1. 1 Jared Londry
  2. 2 Ebon Talifarro

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