This One Last Thing


I sit at the window; watch the city decay three floors below.  The lights in the restaurant across the street go out.  Nobody’s hungry anyway.  Buildings bulge and buckle.  The sidewalk seems to undulate.

A fist bangs at my bedroom door.  “Mr. Frake!” 

The smoke begins.  Sirens wail.  Hand on my shoulder.  “We must leave.”

I shake my head.  “I am an old man.”

“You can’t give up.”


“I’ll never make it.”

“No…”

“Do not tuck me into the ground in a fancy box lined with velvet.  Take me, what remains, back to the Pine Barrens.  Take me deep into the forest and lay me down upon brown needles.”  I grasp his hand over my shoulder.  “Let nature do her gentle work.”

“Mr. Frake!  You must come with me now!”

Outside, the rat-a-tat of the guns begin, sharp staccato.

I squeeze his hand and release it.  I wheel around to face him.  “You’ve been loyal to me all these years.  Promise me this one last thing.”

“It’s not right.”

“I will become bird and soil and tree.  I will nurture the earth.  I will travel the world as I have always wanted were it not for this.”  I indicate my wheelchair, my constant companion, more faithful perhaps even than the man who stands before me, tears in his eyes.

“Leave me.”

He pauses.

“Leave me now!”

“I swear to you that I will return.”

I nod.  This is enough for me.

“I love you, Mr. Frake.”  He kisses my cheek and I think of all the possibilities for his life that he’s sacrificed in order to make my own possible.

“The Pine Barrens,” I say.

He nods and runs for the door.

And I sit and wait for whatever might come.

And I picture myself lying deep in the forest, nurturing life as yet unborn.

It is a new start.  It is a fresh start.  For the two of us.

“Thank you, Stephen,” I whisper as the door swings on its hinges.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was decay.

This has also been linked up with Yeah, Write.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: This One Last Thing

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This One Last Thing


I sit at the window; watch the city decay three floors below.  The lights in the restaurant across the street go out.  Nobody’s hungry anyway.  Buildings bulge and buckle.  The sidewalk seems to undulate.

A fist bangs at my bedroom door.  “Mr. Frake!” 

The smoke begins.  Sirens wail.  Hand on my shoulder.  “We must leave.”

I shake my head.  “I am an old man.”

“You can’t give up.”


“I’ll never make it.”

“No…”

“Do not tuck me into the ground in a fancy box lined with velvet.  Take me, what remains, back to the Pine Barrens.  Take me deep into the forest and lay me down upon brown needles.”  I grasp his hand over my shoulder.  “Let nature do her gentle work.”

“Mr. Frake!  You must come with me now!”

Outside, the rat-a-tat of the guns begin, sharp staccato.

I squeeze his hand and release it.  I wheel around to face him.  “You’ve been loyal to me all these years.  Promise me this one last thing.”

“It’s not right.”

“I will become bird and soil and tree.  I will nurture the earth.  I will travel the world as I have always wanted were it not for this.”  I indicate my wheelchair, my constant companion, more faithful perhaps even than the man who stands before me, tears in his eyes.

“Leave me.”

He pauses.

“Leave me now!”

“I swear to you that I will return.”

I nod.  This is enough for me.

“I love you, Mr. Frake.”  He kisses my cheek and I think of all the possibilities for his life that he’s sacrificed in order to make my own possible.

“The Pine Barrens,” I say.

He nods and runs for the door.

And I sit and wait for whatever might come.

And I picture myself lying deep in the forest, nurturing life as yet unborn.

It is a new start.  It is a fresh start.  For the two of us.

“Thank you, Stephen,” I whisper as the door swings on its hinges.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was decay.

This has also been linked up with Yeah, Write.

Labels:

30 Comments:

At May 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

This piece is surprisingly comforting for a scene in which something so apocalyptic seems to be going on. I love the idea of him traveling the world the way he wanted to after he lets go -- a gentle decay within all the violence.

 
At May 29, 2012 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous justkeepinitrealfolks said...

WOW, heartbreaking, yet full of hope to live life on your own terms.

 
At May 29, 2012 at 5:05 PM , Anonymous De Miller Jackson said...

This is poignant, and sad. This line lingers:
"more faithful perhaps even than the man who stands before me, tears in his eyes."

 
At May 29, 2012 at 7:18 PM , Anonymous Renada Styles said...

it is sad to see someone resign to the inevitable; however, the inevitable is inevitable, so why not let it come with an air of ease and acceptance when the time is nigh

 
At May 29, 2012 at 7:29 PM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

Powerful decay! Love the imagery. You might want to try my writing workshop hop if you visit....

 
At May 29, 2012 at 7:50 PM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

Came back to say yes, I'm on twitter and glad you're considering doing my workshop! There is a twitter button at the top of my blog, but I'll look for yours while I'm here:)

 
At May 30, 2012 at 5:31 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

I like this a lot!

 
At May 30, 2012 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Gina said...

A gentle decay, acceptance. And I'm left with a somewhat positive feeling for his future even though tinged with sadness at the same time.

 
At May 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

A tender and poignant tale of devotion.

 
At May 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Violent death is traumatic, but it is oddly comforting that he has been able to voice his final wishes and is ready to accept his fate.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 4:46 AM , Anonymous Habiba Danyal said...

What a beautiful post kelly! good luck :-)

 
At May 31, 2012 at 5:02 AM , Anonymous Imelda said...

This is beautiful and sweet and sad all at the same time. I like the characters.

 
At May 31, 2012 at 11:26 PM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thanks for linking up this week. You've managed to combine heartbreak and hope--which is not easily done. Great job with the prompt. Hope to see you back again soon.

 
At June 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM , Anonymous Jennifer Worrell said...

What a sweet story! Love the way you showed the devotion. Such sad senselessness we humans conjure to create such sacrifices.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM , Anonymous Erin Margolin said...

wow. nicely done. i wish i knew more of the backstory or that this would be continued...will it be?

visiting from yeah write.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Mayor Gia said...

Awww, how sad/sweet.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM , Anonymous Kerry Daley said...

Wow, great writing! You had me on the edge of my seat.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM , Anonymous Kristen said...

A great piece of writing. Like Tara R said - devotion at its finest.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous Jamie Walker said...

Beautiful. I can almost smell that fresh new forest just with your words.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Dawn said...

Very well told!
I also would like to know if there will be more to this... :-)

 
At June 5, 2012 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous Kerstin Auer said...

Wonderful! I can see and smell the forest, it seems so peaceful and I can feel the longing in your words.

 
At June 5, 2012 at 10:57 PM , Anonymous Lisa Nolan said...

Lots of suspense! Great dialogue! And it all mixes soooo well with a "deep in the forest" mood!

 
At June 6, 2012 at 3:31 AM , Anonymous Sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms said...

I like the wear you evoke the mood and bring the setting alive. Great piece, Erin

 
At June 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM , Anonymous Jamie Miles said...

oh dear. That decay word and the human body. Great interpretation.

 
At June 6, 2012 at 8:16 PM , Anonymous Michelle Longo said...

I found this chilling, in a good way though!

 
At June 6, 2012 at 8:19 PM , Anonymous jamieywrites said...

Brilliantly written, Kelly. A twist in the word - decay....

 
At June 6, 2012 at 8:29 PM , Anonymous TriGirl said...

That left me feeling so sad. Very well written.

 
At June 7, 2012 at 4:15 AM , Anonymous Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Wonderful.

 
At June 7, 2012 at 5:22 AM , Anonymous tara pohlkotte said...

acceptance and decay...they don't always go together, yet you somehow worked them in perfectly.

 
At June 7, 2012 at 9:04 AM , Anonymous SisterhoodoftheSensibleMoms said...

Wow, that is the most uplifting depiction of the word decay. I'll be thinking about this one all day. Ellen

 

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