Tag Archives: death

Haunted – Flash Fiction

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“It’s been 15 years, but I still regret what happened at the lake that night”
“I know,” she replied softly, “but it did happen. You can’t change it now; you need to forgive yourself – I’ve forgiven you”
“But I killed you!” his voice strained
“and you’ve had to live with that on your conscience; I’m not going to punish you for it. Besides, you’ve been stuck with me “haunting” you since then”
He smiled at her apologetically across the dining room table
“you must hate me” he stated
She thought for a second:
“No. Well… I did, but not, not anymore. Being dead, you kinda learn to let things go”

[110 words]

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Filed under creative writing, thriller, writing exercises

Curiosity Killed the Cat

A little exercise in creating tension and mystery. I like to think that I haven’t done too badly, but either way, I would love to receive any comments or feedback. Happy reading, SK.

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No one was home, but she felt the need to tiptoe, moving swiftly and easily around the living room. She had no idea what she was looking but knew there had to be something. He had changed and she needed to know why. She couldn’t explain it; she just felt it in her gut that something was not right. Sometimes he acted perfectly normal, but other times he was overcompensating for something, definitely indicating his guilty conscience.

She snooped and spied amongst his possessions but everything was in its place, meticulously organised as always. Nothing out of the ordinary. She rummaged through his office; maybe there was a paper trail that would lead to the truth. Nothing. Becoming frantic she started searching every single cupboard and drawer in the house. There had to be something to confirm her suspicions, to satisfy her curiosity.

Looking at the clock, knowing he would soon be home, she was about to give up, pulling out one last drawer. In her disappointed, unsatisfied state, she pulled the drawer completely out of the unit, noticing something very shiny and very black hidden in the space beneath it. A small, locked box she had never seen before.

A renewed vigour pulsed through her veins. She was about to get some answers. Feeling time running out, she frantically picked at it, forcing it open so she could finally know his secrets.

Flicking through every item in that box, realisation slowly formed and her heart palpitated as the truth sunk in. what she didn’t know, however, was that in her flustered attempt to get the box open and reveal its contents, her husband had arrived home.

And there, sitting on the floor of the living room, the true identity of her husband before her, she inhaled her last breath. She should not have found out what she did, so he had to kill her.

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Filed under based on writing exercises, creative writing, mystery, thriller

I am Writer!

I have often heard the phrase, “write what you know” and currently, I know blank white pages, so here is an exaggerated version of someone’s attempt to write something. Happy Reading …

I am staring into the abyss that is every writer’s worst nightmare… The blank white page.

Whether it’s actual paper or the representation of one on a computer screen, the blank white page will mock you, taunt you as the words fail to materialize in your mind and through your fingertips.

I know of many writers who have died this way, refusing to move until that page has some little black markings on it; but the words never came for them. They simply wasted away, not eating, not drinking, not showering, just rotting away until they were skeletons, festering amongst dust and rodent droppings. Scratch marks on their desks where they dug out their frustration. The stench of decay and failure occupying the stale air.

I know I should move away, avoid that fate, but I can’t. I am immovable; stuck here until I overcome that blank white page. I can’t let it win. It’s not writer’s block… I don’t believe in it. The words are in me, they are just intimidated, refusing to come out, to put the blank white page in its place; refusing to master the white demon before me. I manage to look away sometimes but I can feel it watching me, drawing me back into its game. The desperation for words overtakes me; I can feel it rising up, making me more aggravated. I start shaking my legs, trying to release this bad energy from my body without lashing out at the blank white page; because the minute I show it my frustrations, I will lose.

I think of George Orwell, when he described the act of writing “like a long bout of some painful illness”. I wonder how he overcame it; how he tamed the blank white page before him? He was obviously a better writer than me. Maybe I’m not talented enough to overcome it? That only the real writers can push through and cover that blank white page with their dribble. That’s it! The blank white page is a test. If you don’t fill it then you are not a writer. Hard luck, find another hobby, don’t give up the day job, thank you and goodnight.

That thought of never writing again scares me to the soul though, tears my heart apart. I must force a positive attitude upon myself. I will ruin this blank white page. It will not defeat me!

I continue the struggle to find the story within me when I finally get my eureka moment. I finally start writing. Ferociously putting my mark on that page; it is no longer blank; no longer pure virginal white. My words start to cover that page, telling it exactly what I think about it. How dare that page mock me! Who does that page think he is? I am writer, hear me roar!

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Filed under based on real life, comedy, creative writing

27/365 – In Hospital

 

Day 27 – A story very close to my heart, inspired by real life, but edited and exaggerated…

I stood over her hospital bed, looking down at her drifting in and out of sleep. This could be her last day on earth; hell it could be mine, I could get hit by a bus on the way home. I needed to do something; I could tell Nan was itching to do something too. Two weeks in a hospital bed is enough to send you a bit stir crazy, but when you’re just watching time tick by, wondering if this will be your last hour, that’s got to be torture.

Ideas started to race through my mind; I wanted to give her one last adventure. Every time she opened her eyes, I could see that mischievous look of hers. It was her body dying, not her mind. But how could I do anything when she was all wired up? And it’s not like I had the means to take her anywhere; I can’t drive, so it’s not like I can kidnap her and take her home; her absolutely favourite place. This had to be small. Small but significant. She was 77 after all; she’s done her living; this just needed to be a “see ya later world”.

I came out of thoughts when my parents left the room to speak to the doctor. This was my chance. If I was going to give her one last hoo-hah, this had to be it! I couldn’t watch her waiting to die. Waiting to die is not living. I desperately wanted to give her one last chance to live; to go out of this life happy, not bored.

I acted on impulse. I couldn’t take her to the adventure so I had to bring the adventure to her. I had very few resources. Running down the 6 flights of stairs from the ward, I went to the little on site shop looking for inspiration.

Running back up the stairs, still avoiding the lift, I went back to Nan. In my hands I held a pack a cigarettes and a lighter. Rummaging through my Dad’s coat, I hit the jackpot; his hip flask. Rubbing my fingers over the engraved initials of my Granddad, the idea of my grandparents reuniting in the afterlife crossed my mind, and a smile crossed my sorrow.

My parents were still in discussion with the doctors, so locking the door, I turned the lights on bright and woke up my Nan. Smiling I said “I’ve got something for you” lifting up the pack of cigarettes and the hip flask; her eyes brightened and she smiled. She’d given up smoking many years ago, but it didn’t seem to matter anymore. Placing a straw in the hip flask, I bought it up to her lips; she drank with such enthusiasm. Lighting her a cigarette, she inhaled as if she had never quit.

A sense of peace seemed to wash over her. Her face was more animated now; not a hospital face at all. We sat smoking and swigging from the hip flask, telling jokes and reminiscing. She told me that she wanted to get up out of bed and have a proper look at the view from her window. Sitting her up fully in bed, I struggled to swing her weak legs out of bed and onto the floor. Picking up her catheter bag so she didn’t pull it out or trip over it and with her hand on my shoulder, I lead her over to the huge floor to ceiling window. We looked out over the city of Birmingham, pointing out the university clock and trying to work out where home would be in relation to the hospital.

She reminisced some more, telling me a little about her childhood. Taking a few more drags from a cigarette, she coughed and spluttered.

“Smoking kills” she said

“oh well” I replied light-heartedly

“I’m not scared” she whispered.

“I am”

Leading her back into bed, she thanked me for getting her out, and for giving her one last cigarette. I’d do more if I could I thought to myself and all of a sudden she started to sing. Averiderci Roma, my granddad’s favourite song.

She stopped singing and just lay there. The time in between each breath became longer, and the breath shorter. I bent my head down, resting it on her shoulder, listening to the world going on on the other side of the door.

“Goodbye Nanna” I whispered “Love you”

And listening  for her breath, I heard silence.

 

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Filed under emotional, inspired by real life

22/365 – At Death’s Door

Day 22 – I wrote this surrounded by tissues and tablets, inspired by my own illness. I chose to make it a drabble, so there isn’t a lot of description, and like yesterday’s piece it’s a stream of consciousness. Happy Reading…

It’s consuming my entire body. Feel like I won’t make it through the night; the pain, the dizziness; feel so uncomfortable. My bedside table, an array of tablets and tissues and empty mugs, but there isn’t enough medicine and tea in the world to help cure what I’ve got. My heart beats hard and slow, like it’s gradually giving up, not getting enough blood around my body, letting my skin break out in cold sweats.

My girlfriend gets into bed beside my dying body, I ask how she’ll cope without me, she says,

“Oh man up. It’s just a cold”

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Filed under based on real life, comedy, drabble, twist endings

20/365 – Ethel, The Ship, and The Tower

Day 20 – This piece was inspired by a dream I had, probably subconciously thinking about the cruise ship in Italy right now, and for some reason, the woman in my dream was Kate Winslet acting… not only are my dreams random but there’s actually actors in them, like my own personal movie; so strange (but pretty cool). Oh, and the story is very close to the dream I had, with only a few tweeks, I didn’t just watch Titanic. Hope you like it…

The year was 2004; a pretty unremarkable year for me personally, well, except for one remarkable lady who entered and vacated my life at this time. Our story as friends is only a piece of flash fiction, rather than several chapters of a novel, but I’ll never forget the wit and wisdom she shared with me, or the pure loveliness of her.

Her name was Ethel. I met her when I was volunteering my spare time at a residential home, helping to entertain and provide companionship to the elderly. It did take her a while to come out of her shell when I would sit with her in her room, but when she did, she regaled me with her stories. Living through World War I, life as an army nurse during World War II, witnessing the moon landings, and multiple presidents being shot; where she was and what she doing during the recent history of the USA and personal stories of her husband and children.

She really opened up to me; the staff there at the home were really pleased that someone had managed to get through to her. She’d never spoken to them like she did with me and I think most of the staff thought she was a lost cause, not bothering to be social, just waiting for death to take her from this earth.

But I know that she wasn’t actually waiting for death. She was holding out, refusing to die. This was because the frail 99 year old that I visited with had something about her that she wanted the world to believe. She felt she was special and wanted someone to see that. I found this out when one day in mid-July, she said to me,

“You know… I was on board the Titanic, on one of the first lifeboats to be launched”

Before I could respond, she continued,

“I was also in the World Trade Centre, the North tower, when it got hit by those planes, I was only on the ground floor at the time, so I left immediately to avoid the chaos, not knowing how events would unfold. I was quite lucky really”

I looked at Ethel, not quite believing what she had just divulged to me, but looking into her eyes, I could tell she was telling the truth.

I asked her many questions about what she remembered of these events. Although it never occurred to ask what a then 96 year old woman was doing at the World Trade Centre.

“You actually believe me?” she asked

“Of course” I replied

“Oh good” she looked relieved, “everybody else I’ve told, didn’t believe me”

I went home that evening imagining what it would have been like on the titanic, you know, before it sank, all the glamour and majesty of it. When I got through my front door, I told my parents about the wonderful, lovely, special person that Ethel was, telling them that she must be the only person that can boast about being involved in two major events in history.

I went back to her the next day, hoping for more stories involving major events, maybe she had some kind of memorabilia or something I could look at.

The day wouldn’t pan out as I hoped though. Upon my arrival at the residential home, the staff at the desk where I signed in told me that Ethel had passed away; going to sleep, to never wake up again, shortly after I had left her. I was shocked and deeply saddened. I immediately left, wanting to be alone, but instead of going back home, I walked to ground zero. I looked around the site, thinking of Ethel being there on that fateful day and it occurred to me; Ethel had finally found someone who believed what she had about being special. With that she finally let go, comforted in knowing that someone on this earth didn’t write her off as just a crazy old woman.

It was then I decided to write a book in memory of this remarkable woman, writing down her stories as she had told them to me; making sure that everybody knew just how special she was.

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Filed under chick lit, dreams, historical events

17/365 – My Shadow and I

Day 17 – By covering staff shortages at a children’s nursery, I’ve made a new friend in a little boy who is always by my side. He made me think of the phrase “me and my shadow” which in turn led me to this story. It started out as a descriptive piece of a person’s shadow which then turned into journal style entry by an elderly person, who is kind of reflecting on life. Hope you enjoy…

Me and my shadow. My shadow and I. we are inseparable, indivisible; a constant companion as I wonder the path of life. Friends may come and go but my shadow is for keeps. My shadow, my silhouette, can sometimes look too fat or too thin, it can sometimes look too tall or too short but I don’t care as long as it is by my side.  We do have our moments… I’ll sometimes get angry and stamp on my shadow; sometimes my shadow will disappear for some alone time; and sometimes it has multiple personalities.

But through highs and lows, I can rely on my shadow to be there for me. It cried tears of sorrow with me when relationships ended; it cried tears of joy when I eventually got married and had children; it danced with me; ran with me; lay still with me. And as I die, my shadow will die with me.

Nothing comes between my shadow and I.

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Filed under creative writing, inspired by real life