My father died on Halloween, as the sky turned from dusk to dark. The lights inside continued to glow, illuminating his sallow countenance and catching the barely perceptible rise and fall of a chest drawing its last morphine-glazed breaths.
If this were a ghost tale, I would linger on the symbolism of the day. I would illustrate my story with dark forms created by wind that swirled leaves around barren trees. I would recall ominous shadows outside the window, unexplained creaks in the walls or flickers of light drifting into the sky. These would be false. Read more »
She was the sole survivor.
Youth, fresh and green, seemed detached; fleeting days of invincibility that had belonged to someone else. She had not relinquished them easily, employing the subterfuges of age. She had painted her face and donned bright colors. The world would see her beauty, not the lines that etched her countenance.
Her friends were gone. A few, cut down in their prime, had been joined by more as time passed. Soon they had fallen in hoards until only a few remained. She had watched them cling with desperation until they could no longer remember why they held on.
She had been so proud of her strength. Now the miserable chill of death permeated her being, but she had forgotten how to let go.
A merciful god sent a brisk wind. A lone leaf floated away.
The skin of old beliefs is difficult to lacerate. Logic may push and prod, but belief remains tough and nearly impenetrable. Claudia had feared aging, since that first trip to the “county home”.
“I liked great auntie’s house better, Mama. Why does she want to live here?”
Mama murmured something about lots of friends, but Claudia couldn’t imagine sharing her bedroom with five other people, particularly a room ripe with bathroom smells and disinfectant. In subsequent days, grownup whispers about fixed incomes and loss of spouse confirmed her suspicions that the move had not been voluntary. Read more »
It’s been years since I’ve endured micromanagement and struggled to bite my tongue. Must be lingering somewhere in the subconscious, because this is what the 3WW selections triggered. I decided to go with the flow.
She admitted at the trial, descent began with denial.
Surely, it wouldn’t kill, just give a tiny thrill.
She loved her drug of choice. She heard its beckoning voice.
Was the ecstasy surreal? It seemed to help her heal.
Head bent, she faced the judge and prayed he wouldn’t budge.
His verdict was five more. Could she get just one more score?
His digital glare screamed “No!” She knew that it must go.
She began to weep and wail. Without chocolate, life is jail.