The Old Woman Who Lives

Posted on: June 13, 2010

There is an old woman who lives and that is all that she does. She lives.

She lives in a one room, she lives on canned food and leftovers and she lives on money scrapped from selling recycles and charity from charities. I see her occasionally, on gloomy days and lonely days, the kind with overcast skies and angry dark clouds that threaten to unleash their anger like water from red fire hydrants except there must be a humongous fire hydrant in the sky. The kind of days during which everyone seems to know that the clouds are angry and they all hide at home shaking like leaves behind shut shutters except the old woman who lives. I see her from my bedroom window hobbling along the sidewalk and looking for recycles. She never look up once and I stare and stare until she hobbles out of my sight.

Sometimes I see her on hot humid days, days when the leaves drag their feet across the cement like I do mine. I see her sitting on a stone chair and her vacant eyes stare into a distance I do not see. Sometimes I see light flickering in those deep wells flecked with silver, like ghosts trying to escape from hell and like shiny lover’s eyes brimmed with tears. They flicker so much, like fidgety candlelight fighting for survival in wind, like a dying heart struggling against the hand that squeezes it. I want to shout and will it to fight, like the spectators shouting and cheering during a boxing match. I can hear the referee shouting one, two, three, four! but the light always loses and the eyes turn back into wells, into wells so deep that you can’t hear the splash of water when you throw a pebble into it. Sometimes I thought I heard a sigh, a sigh so soft it might have been the whisperings of shadows but I know, I know, I’m not the only one who wishes the light to win.

One day I see the woman who lives no more. One day turned to weeks and weeks into months. Perhaps she is tired of living, and living is such a tiring thing. I know because we all must sleep to keep on living. Maybe she was so tired she decided to sleep forever and in her eternal dreams, He in his dark cloak came and she was not even afraid as he led her by her hand into the distance she always wanted to go.


2 Responses to "The Old Woman Who Lives"

I really enjoyed your story!
The descriptions of seasons were so beautiful and the whole story was emotional.

Sorry for using up space with my comment,
but I will like to introduce the new blog that posts creative writing written by students in Doshisha International Higschool.
I participate in the class too, and I was thinking if you could read my story.
If you have interest, please push the link:

thank you very much,

Nice contrasts in descriptions, though could be better i feel (but dont ask me how to improve cos i have no idea how =X)

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Day by Day, Time Slips Away

June 2010
« Mar   Aug »

I Bled Roses

Boulevard of Broken Dreams