Wednesday, March 7, 2012

“Coming or Going”

For todays prompt consider the beginning and/or the end of life.

Write about someone being born
Write about someone dying.

Perhaps you are the baby in the womb, or the mother on the delivery table.
Maybe you are the dearly departing or a relative or close friend.

Does your story involve someone coming into the world or leaving it... or both?


  1. IN OR OUT

    He had endless energy and a need to feed his motor to enable it to run as long as the daylight held out. It wasn’t so much that Davy Peters was a hyper kid, it was just that he wanted to experience everything life had to offer. For him there was no future. It was “in the moment” where Davy lived and that was always enough for him.

    He loved summer vacations the most. His days started with the first peek of sunrise and ended well after the streetlights’ first flicker. There was always a pick-up game to play, or places to explore – always something to do. Davy ran just about everywhere, there was no slowing him down. And young Peters would come home every now and again to grab his baseball mitt or his trading cards; his slingshot or his bike. The constant slam of the screen door would always elicit the same response from his mother.

    “In or out!” she’d yell. “Quit slamming that door and either come in or stay outside”

    “Not ready to come in yet, Ma!” Mrs. Peters always heard trailing off in the distance.

    “In or out!”

    Those memories flooded Dave Peters’ thoughts as the last few people filed past his mother’s casket. With all the energy that he seemed to store up, he wished he could have given some to his Mom as her health waned. But, nothing could have prevented the brain aneurysm that took her swiftly; painlessly. All the happy times and the struggles didn’t matter at this point. At this moment, Dave felt her loss tremendously.

    He always assumed that the anguish would subside with time. But now, with both of his parents gone, he felt isolated and alone. His workload always kept Dave moving, and just like the ‘old days’ that was always enough for him. And Peters retained his desire to go as far and as fast as his now four wheeled vehicle could carry him. Nothing slowed him down. In fact, he started to take unnecessary chances, almost to the point of being reckless.

    The occasion of the second anniversary of his mother’s passing weighed on Dave’s mind. He turned fifty late last year and that mid-life thing kicked him to a new level of irresponsible. The sports car he bought himself to celebrate the day was the quickest thing he had ever owned to drive the streets legally. He wasted no time finding that out. Peters loved to get on the open road and let her rip.

    That night was no different. Dave was very unsettled and a bit inebriated from the drinks at dinner. His penchant for speed raised the stakes. No matter how swiftly he went it still wasn’t fast enough. When the rain started to fall, he paid it no regard. The third turn on Old Boston Road was tight and hidden. But as Peters accelerated, he started to hydroplane. All his driving ‘skill’ couldn’t prevent him fish-tailing into a spin. It wasn’t until he finally got control of the vehicle that he saw the on-coming headlights.

    Dave felt no collision. He felt no pain. The lights had continued through him and stayed bright in his eyes. Had he driven into a tunnel, he wondered? As he neared the source of the light, it got larger. And brighter. And more serene. Dave saw two silhouettes in the luminance. And he heard a voice.

    “Davy, In or out!” it said softly. “I can only hold this gate open for a sort time. Come in or stay outside”

    “Not ready to come in yet, Ma!” Mrs. Peters heard trailing off in the distance.

    She smiled. It was then Dave felt the pain. He saw a new light with people huddled around him. An incessant beep sounded rhythmic and deliberate.

    “I think we’ve got him!” Dave heard someone say.

    A face came close to Dave’s. She searched his features and whispered into his ear.

    “I guess it wasn’t your time to go out, was it?”

    Davy Peters finally made the right choice.

    “In or out!”

    1. I wasn't sure what this prompt might bring out Walt, but I must say that you nailed it. A great short story indeed!

    2. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G This is just perfect, Walt. It has everything a great story should scalp is tingling. Good thing I didn't read first, I wouldn't have posted! ;)

  2. Thanks Laurie. It was one that wrote itself.

    Crossing the wooden, timber-wrought bridge; she came to the graves for peace. She came for a piece of quiet. Walking silently was hard to do in late autumn. The leaves crunched louder than she liked and she wished herself weightless, to levitate as the ghosts of this very cemetery.

    She’d walked these roads too many times and knew each large, lifeless stone, she thought.

    The Davis’. Thomas is deceased next to his wife Martha, she knew their Birthdays and the day of departure and that they had two children, Jon and Sara. They were religious people and wouldn’t they be, to be buried here, she wondered. Deep inscriptions told of Faith and Love and Eternity.

    And so it went, on and on, through this yard, she’d invent the lives behind the granite lines.

    Her face contorted in anxiety, she’d been having it bad these days. It seemed the more she worked toward good intentions, voicing them in a whisper to God, she knew must be there, the worse things seemed to get. She really was trying, she thought.

    Bright, red leaves suddenly stirred in forceful gust, thrusting the foliage in a whirl-wind spectacle. She was surprised, as it had not been a windy day moments before. The crimson plume floated in a swirling vortex that brought her eyes to land on a stone that she’d never noticed.

    It was soft pink and gray granite with flowers and the “Foot-steps,” poem, etched on the short side of it. That struck her as odd immediately; people didn’t usually take the time to etch that side. There were real vases with dozens of dried roses, pink like the stone. She must’ve been really loved.

    Sadie was young, a mere thirty-two, she had passed a few days before her Birthday. A chill went up her spine as they had shared the age and the reality of death was striking. Just underneath Sadie’s name was her unborn daughter, Ava, never to see the light of day.

    Her soul felt a jolt, sudden realization. Of course she knew that people could traverse their journeys to the ends of time and live to be one hundred and that the opposite was true, too.

    On the base of the resting place, for Sadie and Ava’s remains, there was scrolling, cursive scripture, it read: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

    Water felt as though it were pouring over her head and shoulders, like a soft electric current flowing over and through her being. She knew then, she sensed that they were okay. They were with Him. He’d drawn them, just as He was drawing her, in life and in death with an everlasting love.

    She didn’t have to try, in her own strength anymore; she just had to let Him draw her with lovingkindness.

    H.G. 2012

  4. ~ALEX~

    It was the 25th of June, when I, um... deceased. I don't know what other way to put it. My friend- was on the run from the police with a look of fright and malice in his eyes. He was cradling a gun like it was his own son. That is when I came along. I was standing in an ally nearby when I saw him running past me like lightning. So, naturally I ran until I met up with him.

    “Back away!” he commanded. Unfortunately for him, my brain does not work like that.

    I took up all the courage and yelled, “Never! Put down that gun now!” I closed my eyes; all I could hear was the click of the gun and the sound of him walking up to me. I quickly paced backward until my back hit brick. I drew in a breath, because it might be my terminal one.

    I give an airy breath and say, “Jay, you wouldn't.”

    I can vaguely remember him saying, “Good-bye Alexander.”

    My last words were, “I prefer Alex.” Then... bang.