An Absence of Fireworks #microfiction #shortstory

In life, he was a fizzing firework of a man, exploding with anger and good humour in the same moment, showering sparkles and emitting sparks in equal measure.

That isn’t the man in front of me, a reedy desiccated version of corrupted flesh.

Not long they tell me and I tell them I’ll stay. Awake I watch for signs, flickering glimpses of light, of a fire within but the matches are damp. Maybe that’s my fault: when I woke just now, my head on the blanket next to him, my drool had soaked into the fibres.

Speech, if you can call it that, bubbles through mucus, hissing memories and popping with inarticulate fears.

Kind yet seemingly indifferent hands squeeze and primp, tap and remould this nearly human, prompting groans and one beautiful grimace, so full of life you could also imagine the curse that no longer has the energy to surface.

How long have I counted the small crestings of his chest as one more breath circulates and leaves? A day, a life?

He hasn’t the choice but to go gentle into that good night. Death, when it comes is a single breath unbreathed.

It’s peaceful and pain free.

For him.

This is for Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations

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 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.
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15 Responses to An Absence of Fireworks #microfiction #shortstory

  1. That is a brilliantly written ending – the last three paragraphs. I hope it finds its way into a novel one day!


  2. esthernewton says:

    Very poignant, Geoff. A story which stays with the reader for some time after reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jan says:

    Nicely done Geoff – especially the line “Death when it comes is a single breath inbreathed.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The hair on the back of my neck stands at attention. You’re a word wizard, Geoff. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Monday Motivations | esthernewtonblog

  6. Very affecting. I was with my uncle when he died and I found the end very mysterious. What makes the life spark suddenly go out? The transition was so subtle.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I mean ‘just go out’ .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sacha Black says:

    Wow. Just wow. This: Death, when it comes is a single breath unbreathed.

    Also – love that poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I was going to say how much I LOVED the first line. And I do. But the ending is brilliant. Love this piece, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

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