Hollow – Five Sentence Fiction

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They could not bring themselves to look at his chair, to speak of him, to barely eat the food that had, as always, been laid out so beautifully in front of them.

It was as if the carefully crafted rhythm of their days had been but a fallacy, for he had tricked them all into believing that he was present, that he was there, with them, rather than anywhere else but here, swallowed up by his demons as they chewed and swallowed their food.

“Where is he, Mom, where is Jack?”

She looked down at her youngest, suppressed tears that threatened to burn her with their salt, so strong was the urge to keen, to wail, to shout out the unanswerable question: “Why?”

“I don’t know, honey; hopefully, to a better place for him than here.”

—–

Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this photo for our inspiration.

Please do visit here to read the entries from other writers who love to keep it short too.

Hollow – Trifecta Week 93

Below is my offering for Trifecta’s week 93 challenge word, which is ‘grace’. As you will see from the Trifecta blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘grace’ is:

a: a charming or attractive trait or characteristic

b: a pleasing appearance or effect <all the grace of youth – John Buchan>

c: ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

Here’s my offering below. I will confess, this is a bit of an outpouring from the heart for me. Much of my writing in the past few weeks has been a bit of a life-saver.

Please check here for the other entries, and vote if you can.

*****

– Hollow –

On Saturday, it’s my birthday.

Two months since you died.

In an alternative reality, I accept my loss with grace, with dignity, with a gentle sigh.

Of course, that’s not me.

Two months since you died – unexpectedly, cruelly, devastatingly. I have careened from place to place; a pinball jettisoning between home and work and train and tube and car and supermarket and bed and sofa and – just staring.

I cry. I use my sleeve to dismiss the salt and mucus. I want material, buttons and zips to tear at the delicate skin around my eyes, to rub my nose red raw. I want to hurt, physically, because emotional pain has taken on the endless, unforgiving quality of permanence. I want momentary, sharp discomfort, and most of all visible evidence that I can point to and say – look!

Look at what is tearing me apart inside. Look what happens when my dad – my dad – dies decades too soon.

I watched the last almost-missed sigh as it escaped from you.

I felt your pulse disappear under my sweat-slicked fingertips.

I saw you leave. I saw you not coming back.

*****

Trifecta