99 Word Flash Fiction: A life Span

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

The florist delivered more buds. Listlessly she read the attached card, these from a childhood friend of his. Not many had known him from birth. This was close. Happier times. They’d have better memories than her. The career failure, withdrawal, excessive drinking, anger. How that anger had hurt her. And him. His abuse caused his body to fail. The dementia that came and left him needing care. Those final hours as he battled for breath, his legs and face both purple.

Now the flowers arrived. A sick joke. She preferred the cards. Flowers, like him, buds one day then dead.

In response to Charli’s prompt:

January 14, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a life span. It can a life of a person  as if flashing by or the life of a honey bee. What key elements would show a lifetime in brevity? Does it add to a character’s development or create tension? What is the emotion or is it void?

Respond by January 13, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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19 Responses to 99 Word Flash Fiction: A life Span

  1. TanGental says:

    How powerfully poignant. The metaphor of the buds is telling. Good Stuff, Irene (I’ve never asked. Is it by preference Irene or Alison?)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Good stuff, Irene. The parallel between the buds and the dead husband (?) is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    Powerful writing and that last sentence a punch. Good stuff. So much emotion contained and expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Annecdotist says:

    Very moving flash acknowledging the range of feelings, and especially the rage, that come with bereavement. I remember my grandmother, a widow in her 60s although she seemed very very old to me, annoyed at the sympathy cards she received, but I think a similar reaction to the flowers actually it’s it better, the feeling of what’s the point when they don’t last.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it is a really hard time and I think you do feel every emotion it is possible to have during it. Having something to focus those emotions on helps whether you see them as negative or positive items. Something lasting has more potential to ease the pain – maybe – we are all so different.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Norah says:

    Great flash, Irene, packs a punch with emotion. As you say, each of us and our response to grief is individual. What may give one comfort, may only add to the hurt felt by others. It is always difficult knowing how to respond to someone who is grieving. There are no right words.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Sherri says:

    Powerful story Irene. Resonates in so many ways….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Life Stories « Carrot Ranch Communications

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