We walked this beach many times. As little girls we promised to be best friends forever. Then came careers, husbands and children of our own. The walks became less frequent. We compared notes on our life’s progress until the pain from the pancreatic cancer became unbearable. Your daughter’s words still haunt me today. “You better come quick. Mom’s dying.”
This post is written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We are challenged to write a complete story (beginning, middle, and end) in 100 words or less. My story follows the picture below. Other stories may be found by clicking here.
The sweet smell of her perfume still lingers in the room. It was her room. The room she escaped the hectic life she lived. It was not a crowed room. It was clean and sunny. Here she would keep a few of her most precious possessions. The sea shells collected from their favorite beach. A small art project she had started after a recent trip to Japan.
He still remembers the first time he saw her. An introduction at the place they worked. A feeling that she was the one. The first and only time he felt that emotion.
The telephone call came at 6:04 p.m. I remember the exact time because the national news was beginning and the ringing of the telephone irritated me.
It was Sara. “Jeff passed away last night,” she cried.
I was speechless. My mind going from full speed ahead to a full stop in a nanosecond.
Jeff was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia four years ago. I was a witness to this disease’s rapid progress through his mind and body.
We were both terrible golfers. But Jeff started to have difficulty keeping his score. As the disease progressed we would tell him what he scored. He would say, “That sounds about right.” At one point he took a swing at an imaginary ball. He went through all the motions: put the ball on the tee, took a practice swing, then took a full swing with a beautiful follow through. But he forgot to take the ball out of his pocket. “Mike, you forgot the ball!” Mike went through the same procedure again without the ball.
As this terrible disease progressed he would lose the ability to recognize family and friends, forget how to use eating utensils. Four years from diagnosis to death. Jeff was 62 year old.
I woke to the sound of fabric ripping. The sound of an angry bear accompanied the next slash. Evening light streamed through the opening. The front of the tent suddenly collapsed to the right. The sight of the huge animal filled that void. Suddenly it stood and the blood red eyes focused on the remains of the meal I had just finished. I desperately tried to find the zipper on my sleeping bag. I realized I did not have time to escape. I quickly covered my head and slipped as far down as I could. The first blow was lethal.
Helen could smell death before she entered the strange contraption. Little did she realize that it would be her own death.
It was an oder she recalled vividly. The call had come from a neighbor of her fathers. His windows were closed and he had not been seen for two days. Even at the age of eighty-five her father had been an active senior. His daily walks were a common occurence in the neighborhood.
It was Mrs. Cullen who called. “It’s your father. We haven’t seen him for two days. I called the police. You had better come.”
A policemen exited her father’s front door as she arrived. She pushed back against him as he tried to block her entrance. Then the putrid smell almost brought her to her knees. She knew she would never be able to purge that smell from her memory.
The door closed. The ride started to spin. She realized as the smell enveloped her that it was the smell of her death. The looks on the other occupants confirmed that they too smelled their pending death.
He could feel the leather straps tighten as he struggled against them. The strap they had placed under his head tilted him backward so he could not see, but could feel, the sister straps on his ankles.
And he was turning in slow counter clock wise circles. Adding to his mounting fear was the fact that in addition he was moving upward. He looked at the ceiling in this dim lit room and saw row upon row on what looked like sixteen penny nails. Thousands of them. Calculating his rate of accent he estimated he had five minutes to live.
This post is written for Friday Fictioneers. The challenge is to write a complete story, beginning, middle and end using 100 words or less using the photo prompt for inspiration. My story follows the photo below.
Well, I should get out of this hotel bed. What a wild party that was last night. And to think Brian said I should’t drive home. I don’t remember that beautiful light fixture up there. Hey, that’s Uncle Paul and Aunt Marion looking down at me. They weren’t there last night. Why are they saying I look natural? What do you mean I was only 36; I’m 34.
And there’s my Mom right behind them. Why’s she crying? And she’s got her black dress one. The dress that she reserves for funerals.