Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are fear, ignore and weightless.

Conjoined

Betta traced the distance between raindrops on the cool glass with her index finger, idle and child-like, her view of the world on soft-focus.
An echo of her own soft voice mentioned casually from the next room that she thought the rain could have held off for at least another few hours, since it really was going to make things a lot more difficult and there were a few art pieces she had no desire to expose to the elements.
A single tear rolled off Betta's cheek and made an oblong spatter on the glass. With her thumb, she wiped it way, indistinguishable from the soft rain that now pelted the glass.
Things had grown tenuous between them in such short order. She had feared it, but acquiesced to Gretta's wishes. They’d been together since their tumultuous birth and Gretta was the stronger one, more striking, always.
Gretta's hair was wavy and dark, having the color and luster of a good bar of chocolate. Her skin was flawless, with an olive hue. While her teeth were crooked – their parents had no cash or desire to get two mouths fixed at the orthodontist – they were white and gleamed.
Betta, on the other hand, had hair that would have looked stylish on a rat – bushy, gray-black and if she didn’t spend considerable time and money, it took on an oily tone before noon.
Her skin was the same olive color, but throughout puberty, it had erupted, tiny, angry red volcanoes that left scars.
Her teeth? A copious coffee drinker, their hue was closer to banana skins going bad.
She tried to ignore Gretta's restlessness as they entered their teens and early 20s, often feeling what Gretta truly wanted in her heart, which fed Betta's as well.
Gretta passed through the doorway, asking Betta if she had been listening.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I’m only taking a few things. The rest of the furniture, it’s yours. You picked it out, you should have it.”
She nodded and returned her gaze to the window.
“Don’t you love me anymore?” Betta said, her breath creating a ring or fog on the windowpane.
Gretta's shoulders slumped. She put a hand to her side, elbow cocked at 90 degrees and rubbed.
“Of course I love you,” she said. “Always have, always will.”
Gretta twisted her head, heard the satisfying crunch of tendons stretching and waited.
“Then why?”
Gretta rubbed her hands across her face, kneaded the blood that pulsed hot and angry, diffusing it, redirecting.
“We’ve talked about this, don’t you see this really is for the best?”
Betta took tiny sips of air, the tears flowed freely.
“We’re connected,” she said, lifting the tank-top toward her breasts, exposing an angry scar that still bore the lingering blues and yellows of heavy bruising.
“We were conjoined, but that was another lifetime ago,” Gretta said.
“I never really wanted this,” Betta said, spittle coating her chapped lips.
Gretta spent a lifetime hooked to her. Sharing blood, organs. Hearing the murmur of Betta's weaker heartbeat in her ears, feeling her timid tremblings rattle in Gretta's bones. Surgeons had severed the physical connections, the bone and sinew, but Gretta knew the emotions ran deep.
Deeper for Betta, perhaps, as she fed on Gretta's strength, humor, charm.
Gretta had no desire to hurt her twin.
But that time had come. The moment where they needed to stand separately.
Alone.
“Look, with you, I felt anchored to a life I never wanted,” Gretta said, resting warm hands on her sister's trembling shoulders. “Apart from you, I feel truly weightless.”

27 comments:

anthonynorth said...

A great depth to this. Pulled apart in more ways than one.
Excellently done.

Carina said...

Great writing! Lots of wonderful images.

Leo said...

hi Thom, you really paint a picture with your words.. using the 3words well as well :) really nice..

do come contribute at Thursday Tales too, our meme could use story writers like you to take us forward! :)

Thomma Lyn said...

As ever, outstanding. Wonderful and heart-tugging interplay of emotions between the two.

quin browne said...

With the continuity issue aside... (you KNOW I'm like that!) it's a good piece of work..





PS My word verification was 'crone'... trying to tell me something? AHA!

Larry said...

very nice story and the discriptiopna were great her teeth like banana skins turning darkfog on glass good job thomg enjoyed reading this ..
Larry

Andy Sewina said...

Yeah, a careful treatment of a difficult subject, well recorded Thom!

ThomG said...

This went through a major edit, since my fine friends and comrade-in-arms, Quin (Miss Continuity) made the correct call that conjoined twins cannot be male/female. I tried to suspend logic. Hope this still works.

Angel said...

This would be so sad in real life. Hard for both of them, but probably necessary for a full life.

b said...

Hence the phrase about lovers...they were joined at the hip. It suggests that separation could be painful in a great many ways.

I liked this story...too!

b
http://torristravels.blogspot.com

mark said...

Thoughtful and thought provoking. I really liked the line, 'taking small sips of air'

Good work as always, Thom.

Tammy Brierly said...

Well done and so sad for Betta.

Stan Ski said...

All twins have a special bond, but for most, separation leaves only mental pain and scars.
Well written piece.

melodygreen said...

I love how you took conjoined beyond the physical and showed how lives were truly intertwined (how could they not be?) Feeling sad for Betta here too... but for Gretta as well.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I've sometimes wondered what it would be like for conjoined twins to find themselves separated after a lifetime together. It must be an amazingly difficult mental place to be.

Amity said...

A poignant reality Thom...how many do really suffer like this? The wish to be separated is quite heartbreaking esp if it comes in later life when most of their growing up years were spent of being together?

Very very nice use of the prompts Thom!

Timothy P. Remp said...

"A copious coffee drinker, their hue was closer to banana skins going bad" this line stuck with me because I love black coffee.

Nicely done Thom.

-Tim

http://timremp.blogspot.com/2010/05/adepta-sororitas.html

peggy said...

That took a creepy turn at the end! Wonderful use of the prompt words. You've created a poignant, melancholy picture.

Matt Merritt said...

I think it’s even better with two women. The more they have in common, the more stark their differences are.

The pacing is perfect. You really held me in the moment and peeled back the scene.

Really good stuff again.

Matthew Glenn Ward said...

Mmm poetic, elegant

:-)

Laura Eno said...

I had something heartwarming to say until I got to your comment that implied this was written at first with male/female conjoined twins...now I'm howling with laughter at all the messed up biology that conjures.

Ehem...sorry...bwahahaha!

Valerie said...

An interesting view of the subject. Sad, but also a bit bitter, given how different the girls apparently were. Interesting that the procedure seemed to give them the strength to say things they'd been holding in. Nice read.

mazzz in Leeds said...

"Deeper for Betta, perhaps, as she fed on Gretta's strength, humor, charm" - very cool, and arther creepy. And a I love a good creep.

Dee Martin said...

I've never thought about what it would be like, the assumption being that if conjoined twins were separated, they would both be happy. Like Peg's shadow story the word it leaves me with is bereft. Interesting that I identify with Betta...wonder what that says about me?

Gracie said...

This is very nicely layered, and the idea of them feeding off each other, one physically and the other emotionally, is very intriguing.

Well written and thoughtful. You don't see this subject every day.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Wow. So intense and surprising.

Wow.

Read my three word wednesday contribution here.

one more believer said...

excellent storyline thommyg... sometimes these procedures are not successful but still they move forward... reading this perspective i guess that is why.. the weightlessness of not being connected... enjoyed the point of view of both the weak and strong.... and funny how the furniture is always part of the breakup...