Vermilion

#AtoZChallenge – Flash fiction based on life’s philosophy or mood or emotions, interpreted using colours.

She looked at her brother entering the house and a stone pressed her heart. His eyes told her everything was over. Her legs gave way and she sank on the floor.

* * *

He lay on the ground shrouded in tricolour and flowers. Dry-eyed, she sat on the floor, waiting for someone to wake her up. Maybe he would plant a kiss on her forehead and laugh the nightmare off.

‘It’s time,’ someone said and they lifted the pallet.

She saw them take him away. Sure it was a horrendous dream—she smiled and closed her eyes.
* * *

She woke up to the chanting of mantras and decided to take part in the Pooja. Tears came again in a never ending deluge­—she was finally awake to the unbearable reality.

Her gaze dropped to the bedside photo, he was smiling while putting the Vermilion on her hair-parting. It was the best wedding photograph, he had said, the colour of Vermilion matching the blush on her cheek. She glanced down at her plain clothes, hands without bangles and forehead without the things he liked. How would she keep him in her life without the things he preferred? Nothing would change, the memory had to be kept alive.

She moved like an automaton and opened the cupboard.

The last stop was the small drawer. Taking out the small silver filigree box, she put the red Vermilion on her forehead.
___________________________________________________________

Check out more A-to-Zers at:

Flaming Sun by Sundari Venkatraman
Devika Fernando Blog
Bewitched By Words by Aathira Jim
Njkinnys World by Nikita Soni

Shanaya Tales
Flightless Bird Thoughtful Wings by Swathi Shenoy
A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose by Shilpa Garg

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