Short Stories

Ashes to Ashes


It was cold outside; winter had finally begun with its low temperatures and endless rain. It was, for me, the preferred kind of weather. I poured myself a glass of red wine then walked into the living room and turned the light on. The white envelope was still patiently lying on the coffee table just as I had left it. Some days – or maybe weeks – had gone by since I received it, but for some odd reason I had forgotten all about it. I put my glass of wine on the table next to the envelope, looked at it for a while, then headed to the fireplace and proceeded to light the fire. The room was chilly and I needed the warmth.

I lit the fire in the fireplace and sat on the red sofa facing it. It had been a long day and my strength was fading. Outside I could hear the rain start to fall, creating different beats as the drops hit the window. It reminded of me a life that I had ended in favor of starting a new one. And yet, there was that white envelope, sitting there like a white ghost of that life, staring at me, daring me to take a plunge into the past. The flames of the fire were starting to flare, radiating the much needed warmth into the room.

I grabbed the wine glass with my eyes staring at the envelope. I wondered what it could be thinking of if it had the mental capacity to do so.


“I sat there, patiently waiting for her to grab me, to find out more about me. But she was a coward. She could not even look at me long enough! What a pussy! She is bigger than I am, and yet there she is: confused and scared of me. I have to admit, though, that it gave me a sense of power and authority. I felt strong; as though I had the ability to shape her whole world with just the few words that I hold inside. I smiled, but I am sure she could not see my smile as she was all wrapped up on her thoughts, ones I could almost hear; I could almost touch her fear. Poor woman, incapable of facing me despite my tiny size. “Coward”! I shouted it out but she could not hear me. I wonder why she had become so deaf and dumb.

I felt sorry for her, sitting there with a glass of red wine, staring at me, unable to make a move. She did touch me once, or twice maybe; but she quickly threw me down as though I had caused her pain; as though I had sent an electric current into her whole body through her fingers – those rough and coarse fingers. She really could use some cream!”


I guess some time had passed by when I finally came back to my senses and gathered my strength and courage. I put my wine glass down on the table and grabbed the white envelope with determination. I still was not sure I was ready, or even wanted, to know what its contents were. But I knew that I had to do something about it; I had waited a long time for this envelope. I flipped it to the back side and read the return address again. It was still the same address I knew too well; but I was also fully aware the tenants had changed. For a moment, I allowed that envelope to take me back to a life that I had left behind, and the images started to play before my eyes. However, I smart not to let the past conquer my present.

I stood up. I had made up my mind and there was no turning back; no returning to the demons that almost stole my soul and left me lifeless. I walked towards the fireplace and carefully ripped the edge of the envelope, then slowly pulled out the letter. I could read the writing on it, and was able to make out a few words. A loud thunder struck, as though warning me of the consequences of my actions. I smiled. The rain outside was pouring, its tunes loud and incomprehensible to the human mind.

I knew for certain that I was on the right track. I looked at the empty envelope in my hand one last time, then threw it into the fire. I then looked at the letter that was now exposed to the naked eye, the blue ink and the child-like handwriting visible on the reverse side. I tossed the letter and its contents into the fire, and watched as it slowly turned to flames and then to ashes.

A sense of relief came over me; I knew that I had finally put the past to rest. I was looking now towards the future, to a new beginning. I did not want to go back in time, nor hold on to what had long gone. I was determined to write new chapters in the story of my life; to create new memories; and to sing old songs with a new melody..

I sat on the sofa and took a sip of the wine. “The end is only a second chance for a new beginning”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s