Gone but not forgotten #shortstory #flashfiction

Charli Mills is in reflective mood this week with her prompt

August 31, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a goodbye. It can be the last polka until next time; a farewell without end; a quick see ya later. How does the goodby inform the story. What is the tone, the character’s mood, the twist? Go where the prompt leads.

The Vet, as a child, hated bedtime. I get it but when she woke in the morning like a Mammoth who’d just been de-thawed and realised the reason he jumped into the ice in the first place was the awful toothache, making sure she had enough sleep was critical.

It was the farewell, the ‘night night’ that did upset her most. The abandonment. The uncertainty of sleep, not knowing if everything would still be the same after that small death. So we had stories and books on tape and a slow moving routine for leaving her alone. Often times I’d go to put her to bed and she would appear in the kitchen to tell the Textiliste I had fallen asleep and could ‘mummy stop daddy snoring’.

One part of that routine was a chant that developed over time. It didn’t matter which of us started it but it was very important that it cointinued to an end. An old fashioned version, perhaps, of the Snapchat ‘streak’ that I believe is rather a la mode amongst the pre-pubescent generations.

Night Night

Sleep Tight

Don’t let the bed bugs

Nibble Nibble Nibble


See you later


In a while


Not too soon

You big ba

(together) BOOOON

Usually we ended up laughing, wrestling to plant the best raspberry on the other. Not the most obvious way to settle someone to sleep but, then again, our family motto, if we have one, and which is carved on the small plaque next to Dad’s grave, states

Always leave then laughing…

As for Mary and Paul, it’s Paul’s friend’s funeral…

leaving can be so hard

 ‘You ok?’
Paul nodded. ‘I feel a fraud going to Jerry’s funeral. I barely knew him.’
Mary held his hand. ‘So don’t go.’
He shook his head. ‘No. I feel guilty, how I ignored his overtures. Now I know how tough things got, I just wonder. If I’d called him…’
‘Shh. It wouldn’t have mattered. If it helps, then go.’
Paul stood by the door. A woman stared. ‘Paul North?’
‘Stella Pierce?’
‘And some. Mrs Marchand now. Why does it take a death to bring people back together, eh? Come on, lots of old faces, lots of old memories.’

If you want to catch up on Mary and Paul’s story click here.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, miscellany, short story, walking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Gone but not forgotten #shortstory #flashfiction

  1. Erika Kind says:

    That’s true… why does it need a death to bring people together….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These days it’s the only time my extended family get together. Not many of Mum’s generation left now, and I wouldn’t know cousins if they knocked on my door.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jennilepard says:

    No you’re the baboon!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beautiful stories, I loved sleeping (even now I try to sleep a lot) 🙂 always thought that sleeping is good, because it will make me forget about the monsters under bed 😉

    mine is here

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sacha Black says:

    cute ditty, were all about singing nursery rhymes at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Epa Colombia Eh Eh | purathrive reviews

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Love the bedtime cheer; reminds me of the many songs and chants Kate passed down to her daughter Molly whose children can all recite each one. I tried to sneak in hypnotic chants — visualizations that left the trio to wander their imaginations so I could try to sneak off and do homework. Lovely flash! It’s such a truth, that we gather at death to share memories rather than having gathered in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Goodbye « Carrot Ranch Communications

If you would like to reply please do so here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.