Thursday, May 30, 2013

Death Day

#FridayFlash celebrated its 4th birthday yesterday.  While I didn't discover this fantastic community until well into that time, I have been doing it with increasing frequency for a couple years and I can say that it was the first and biggest domino to fall in the fast building line of dominoes that connects me to other writers.  It was the very first online community I joined up with and its amazing participants have been my beacon whenever I get lost with my writing.  Such a wonderful community deserves a celebration on such an occasion.
Which is why our brilliant creators came up with this challenge to write 400 words about a 4th anniversary. Mine is below.  I hope you enjoy it.
~

The doorbell rang and he opened his front door, heaving it wide and smiling at the last guest as she entered. 

He grabbed her in a fierce hug and released, leaving a hand on her back as he gently led her into the living room where a large group of people were already waiting, excitedly talking and joking with each other, all awaiting the news of their host.

He waved both hands in front of them and they quieted.

“Well, we’ve all made it safe and sound, thank the lord” he said as he surveyed the room.

His friends looked around at each other, smiled and then someone counted down.

“One, two three-“ he shouted.

The room erupted into a shout of “Happy Death Day”, their voices raised and joyous.  The sound was nearly deafening in the small space but he only blushed as he was hit with the wave of noise.

“Thank you, thank you, I love you all,” he said, his face radiating his joy.

“Speech!” his brother shouted and several others repeated the demand, chanting and raising their glasses.

He waved his hands at them, pleading for quiet and fought the tears already stinging the back of his throat.

 “As you all know, it’s been 4 years and 6 months since I was given 6 months to live.  It’s been a long, strange journey to this point and all I know for certain is that I’m living more now with the clock run out than I ever did before life was a certainty.”

“I know you’re all wondering what the most recent results are.  And unfortunately, I have nothing new to report.  My T cells are still hovering in the 150’s and they don’t know what’s keeping me alive.  But we do.”

The faces of his audience shifted as they listened.  Some looked heavenwards, others simply nodded.  A few mouthed words of thanks and prayers of gratitude.  He smiled at them, knowing that they shared his understanding.

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around, but I haven’t known for four long years and it hasn’t made me do anything other than live.  And today, four years after my scheduled death, I stand before you a man at peace.  I love you all.”  His throat closed as the long pressuring tears started to flow.  He let them, he didn’t hide anything anymore.  Life was too short.

18 comments:

  1. That's an anniversary to celebrate!

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  2. Way to be indeed, you just never know when you may get hit by a bus and away you go

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  3. I have a friend who just celebrated the four years since the anniversary of his death. Wonder if it's the same person? Great story.

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  4. Nice character development in so short a piece! Good for him. :)

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  5. Wow! That is such a cool story. But what is it that is keeping him alive?

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  6. Oh I'm glad he's still around! Love the sentiment in the last line.

    I think I found a typo for you have you missed out a word in this sentence?
    "150’s and they don’t what’s keeping me alive. "

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  7. Good, I'm glad they're giving up some illusions. Better to be ourselves with the time we get!

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  8. beautiful story Bev. In my through a glass darkly half empty, I guessed Hallpy Death Day meant they were a collection of dead people in the after-life, but way more prefer the direction you went in

    marc nash

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  9. Discovering his zeal for life in the face of death - a well-spun tale:)

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  10. Lovely story Bev with a great atmosphere. If only we could all think like this...

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  11. Wow, Beverly. That was a beautiful story.

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  12. Damn - death day. What a macabre thing. But it's still a pretty story.

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  13. Life is beautiful, even though we can't always see that for ourselves. I'm glad he is at peace.

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  14. I had the same initial interpretation as Marc, but of course by the end of the story it's clear.

    I've known enough "terminal" cancer patients by now that I sort of wish the doctors would stop predicting. I know one person who outlived her death date by more than two years (though she succumbed eventually), and another one who was told she could expect several more months... then died the following weekend.

    So why not hold a party for it?

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  15. That is such a beautiful thought, that he's living more now with the clock run out than he ever did before life was a certainty.
    Beautifully written!

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Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!