The Five Stages of Hopelessness by Louise Mangos

The Five Stages of Hopelessness

Louise Mangos

Back in spring, my garden was fertile, rich with the hope of you. I pulled my fingers through your loamy soil, watching the first ecstatic caress shiver down your body. Your warmth worked its way into my skin. Longing to be a part of you. Lust.
From cupped palms we scattered seeds into the furrows, sewing a thousand promises to grow and multiply. We quenched the thirst of our earth with the waters of the summer rains. Falling into our eyes. Blind love.
Billowing cumulonimbus threatened the horizon. The hurricane gust of a violent hail storm bruised our flowers, tearing delicate petals from their stems. The chance for bearing fruit was lost. Barren.
My tears fell like lethal fat snowberries. Salt of the earth. The burnished leaves of autumn shadowed the golden bruises on my cheek. Broken.
I raked and tilled the earth, turning the putrid foliage back into the soil. I gouged into the soft flesh of overripe fruit hanging from invasive poisonous vines. Juices stung my open wounds. Anger.
Now the winter wind howls across the holes in my soul. The ground cracks with frosty neglect. The cold sleet of remorse scours my heart.
This iron earth. Now desolate and void.
I dig and dig and dig. Rupturing the roots. Burying my regrets.
Burying parts of you.
The biggest pieces that wouldn’t fit in the incinerator.
About the author: Louise writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, which have won prizes, placed on shortlists, and have been read out on BBC radio. You can connect with Louise on Facebook, Twitter @LouiseMangos, and Instagram as louisemangos, or visit her website where there are links to some of her short fiction. Louise lives on a Swiss Alp with her Kiwi husband and two sons.

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