The Listener

Bakewell Imbolc 001 (5)

Shadows curl around her like smoke. They are close tonight. She bats their presence away…as if they are flies that distract her from the task in hand. She cannot settle, cannot concentrate. Can’t think for their insistence. She leans back in the chair, stretching tired limbs. Resting her eyes… just for a moment.

But then they are there. All of them.

The dark screen of her eyelids peopled with presence. There would be no rest. They clamour for her attention. She sighs, beginning the slow process of teasing them apart. Most of them are no more than illusion… fragments of herself, shards of the shattered lens through which she sees the world. Memories… those she can dismiss, banishing them to the outer realms of consciousness; some with tenderness and an aching loss. Some no more than a replaying of the day, drawing from it the lessons learned. They can wait.

Fears, hopes, dreams… they mingle with the milling shades. They too can go. There is always time for those… and each one resolved brings another in its wake. They are hers. She has no place here.

But there are others. They are not seen, nor are their voices heard. They are felt, known, present. Older selves and younger, faces from the past far and recent. And the Others. The command from she knows not where… to look, to feel, to open her heart and let them in. These are the lost ones, strewn across the tapestry like a myriad blind stars.

And she must listen, hearing their tales, letting them empty themselves of their pain before they can move on… hearing with love the secrets their hearts had kept; hearing without judgement what none had cared to hear. There is only compassion. Empathy. An empty vessel waiting to be filled.

Winter rain batters the empty seafront; the shutters of the hot dog stall rattle in the wind beside the tawdry sign of the fortune teller. Behind the brocade curtain, tears roll down the faded face of the sin-eater as she opens her heart…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Listener

  1. Ah, the sin-eater. I once saw a made for TV movie about the sin-eater. Don’t remember the name, but it stuck with me. It was a sin-eater taking over the family business by eating the sins of his father, the sin-eater. A horror story with no special effects needed. Good story!!

    Like

  2. Ali Isaac says:

    Great writing! Really made me shiver… I’ve never heard the term sin-eater… sounds kind of creepy. Is it similar to an Empath?

    Like

  3. noelleg44 says:

    Was shivering all the way through this, and then it ended with a ever-creepy sin eater. Over the top, Sue!

    Like

  4. Brilliant! When I got to the end, I had to go back to the beginning again, then it all made sense to me.

    Like

  5. KL Caley says:

    This is fantastic Sue, you really captured the mood!!

    Like

  6. rijanjks says:

    Great teasing story, Sue.

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.