down the diminishing length of her cigarette, she sits, sucking as if its her last breath. for it just may be. holding the warm smoke inside, letting it twist and mingle, she exhales loud, with purpose, as if she can blow it all away.
setting the cigarette aside, her finely manicured fingers tear her napkin into paper dolls, crinkles of contemplations furrowing her brow, as she chisels them to the right size, meticulously. a small smile turns her lips, in the taking away, for once it is torn, it will never be the same.
filter to her lips again, she takes a quick hit, anxious to move and arrange the little family she has created, pushing them here or there at a frantic pace. like some unseen goddess, she is in control, relishing it, even in its brevity.
free will wins out, they begin to move on their own, and she sits transfixed as they fall in love and multiply, covering the whole table in a little paper empire. then she recoils in horror as one bumps her cigarette, igniting a fire.
one after another they crumble into black piles of ash, nothing she can do but watch them blow off the table. once again her life spins, thin veneer showing cracks, she looks for the door, never once looking back.
on the sidewalk, she pauses, then throws back her shoulders, ready to persist, all in her own power. to ask for help would show weakness, she just can't afford, so on down the street she walks, disappearing around the corner.
taking one last sip, i cross to where she sat, like a mirror to my past, and tamp out her forgotten cigarette.
This is a Theme Thursday post. The title is an homage to the Beatles song Help, which is also the theme for today. And before you start worrying about the drugs I am taking, I did see the lady make paper doll people, but they really didn't move...I don't think. Smiles.