The clock ticked and tocked so loudly.
It always did when the long, annual wait ensued.
His nimble fingers brushed the side of her silent face as he sighed. It wasn't time yet. But, soon. Soon he would don his favorite mask as neighbor kids trotted up the sidewalk.
There was sure to be the usuals; a ghost, several witches, a clown, a devil, a Trump. None would surpass his one, true love, though, and he knew it.
He clutched a mug and chugged down the last warm remnants as he stared at her face, lying on the table. They would be together, once again. They would be one, like before.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
He reached for his mask. As he pulled the fragile skin over his head, he noted how dry she had become, especially around the stitching. She wasn't the young, fresh face from yesteryear anymore.
"I told you to stay hydrated." He muttered as the doorbell rang. "Now you'll get the lotion, and like it!"
I saw you in the clouds today.
"Stop whittling away at me!"
"But if we just take a little out of here..."
"...and a little from over there..."
"I said STOP!"
"...and a pinch from here..."
"I can't take this anymore! You're hurting me!"
"...and then put this there..."
"...and this can go right over here...
"...and this should go up over here..."
"Wait, what are you doing?"
"There. Oh, what am I doing? Well, can't you feel what I'm doing? I'd think you could feel that."
"I CAN feel it! I've been screaming at you to stop!"
"Why would you want me to stop?"
"Because it hurts!"
"Ah, yes, growing can hurt."
"GROWING? I'm grown! Why are you doing this to me?"
"Oh, dear, I'm just building you up."
She rises up a little dark.
But inside, she is mush.
Blessed with a voice
no silence could shush.
And I love her.
Molly Roland is a writer by nature, and she enjoys stepping over the invisible lines society loves to draw.