Monday, December 27, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 647 - Sandra Seamans

BEST LEFT BURIED - SANDRA SEAMANS

My psychiatrist believes that a man is molded by his memories. He contends that the past will nurture a child into a responsible adult or create a monster. I asked him why a man can’t be responsible and still hide the monster in his heart. After all, the world itself doesn’t lean toward a black and white view, there’s plenty of grey lingering around the edges of life. Doc tossed me one of his superior smiles, shaking his head at my ignorance.

So we began. Sadly, my memories were nothing more than a wisp of smoke caught in an updraft. Totaled, along with my automobile. Doc believes I was on my way to church so I must have been a good man. I asked him how he knew I was going to church.

“Because there was a Bible on the seat beside you,” he said.

Funny thing is, with all the churches in town, not one minister of God came forward to claim me as a member of their congregation. I’m seeing raggedy shades grey, but not Doc.

After a few sessions with the Doc, I snagged onto a torn bit of memory. A glimpse of pink toenails swishing through cool lake water.

“Good,” says Doc. “Now concentrate on that memory, try to bring it to life.”

That night, after the session, I stretched out on the bed forcing myself to remember. I could see those blushing pink toenails gracing slender shapely toes. From those toes I imagined high arched feet sliding up into a pair of strong young legs that glided into a heavenly sweet spot residing between her perfectly tanned thighs. I could feel my imagination drowning in the girl’s sweet perfume as our bodies came together in the heat of a fine summer afternoon. My heart beat faster as the passion built, until finally, I lay exhausted and spent, the image gone.

As the months traveled by I tried to find her, slashing my way through the dark recesses of my brain, fighting to bring the girl with the delicious toenails back into my life. But the more I sliced through the darkness, the more I realized it was an impotent search for what never was.

But the Doc, he just wouldn’t give up. He pushed and prodded at my mind until I slid farther into the black chasm of my memories. My heart exploded with pleasure when I found her there, cowering deep in the darkness. I grabbed her hand, struggling to pull her out of the hell I’d cast her into. But I couldn’t. No. Not so much I couldn’t, as I felt a sudden desire not to tarnish the imagined memory with the reality I’d discovered. When the session ended I told Doc I was through. I told him it was better not to chase old memories.

Of course, Doc, being Doc, kept insisting that it wasn’t natural for a man to live without knowing who he was. But after seeing that twisted slice of what I might have been, I told Doc that there were just some things that were best left buried.

That was the last time I saw Doc. He calls now and again, wondering if my memory’s come back. I tell him no. There’s no point in telling him about the Pandora’s box he opened, because the day is fast approaching when he’ll realize the flaw in his theory.

I keep to myself these days. I go to work and pay my bills, a responsible man, living an ordinary life. But comes the night, I enter the dark confines of my imagination, savoring that fine twisted memory of blushing toenails painted with a splash of blood. I live everyday as a respectable human being waiting for that monster in me to be fully resurrected.

I do wonder though, if Doc realizes how beautiful his daughter’s toes are.

BIO: You can find Sandras stories scattered around the internet in places like Spinetingler, PulpPusher, and The Thrilling Detective. Her scattered thoughts about writing can be found at My Little Corner.

17 comments:

jrlindermuth said...

Excellent tale, Sandra.

Jane said...

Beautifully done. We know what territory we are in when the pink toenails appear; the destination is a great surprise.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a last line!! And the answer is no, no father ever looks at his daughter's feet. Gorgeous.

Charles Gramlich said...

Some monsters are best left alone. Or let sleeping killers lie.

Chris Benton said...

A lovely spiral of dread, a pitch-perfect piece.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Fantastic. Great ending,too.

Michael Solender said...

thought I left one earlier - wonderful twist and great dig at the shrink!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Wonderful, thanks Sandra.

Hilary Davidson said...

Great story, Sandra!

Al Tucher said...

Great way to round out the year, Sandra. One of your best.

nigel p bird said...

what lies within is dark indeed. a great way to reveal the inner self. remind me never to go to the Doc.

sandra seamans said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

AJ Hayes said...

Most of us recoil when the monster roils a bit and exposes itself to our inner eye. Briefly, just a hint of what we are or can become. Some of us look just a fraction too long and very . . . bad things can happen. Very bad things indeed. This story makes us stare right into the eyes of the nightmare. And see it recognize us. Brr. Shiver. Bravo.

Joyce said...

Love the way this lets you share his journey through the dark and winding streets of his mind. And you hope with him too that one day, he will see the light of day. Then the mask comes off and you see what's behind it. As has been said, best to let sleeping dogs lie...

Chris Rhatigan said...

Beautifully done, Sandra. You waited until the last sentence to throw in that wicked twist.

M. C. Funk said...

The blank spaces in this story, as with the blank places in his memory, speak with the voices of clear and terrible brutes. Great cold flash. I'll be dreaming of toenails in a river tonight.

Naomi Johnson said...

That last sentence really creeped me out! Nicely done, Sandra.