Short stories, Flash fiction, and Novel Excerpts

Posts Tagged ‘Meaningful Sacrifice’

Heart shackles, Mind chains

In Writing on January 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Lynn stepped back, her bloody kai held in a loose grip.  She looked on, unmoved by the figure whimpering on the wet pavement before her; she would subjugate herself no longer.  The pall over her soul lifted a little more.  Every time she stepped away from her tortured past, moved to pull herself from the pit she allowed others to put her in, her soul grew from the struggles to take back her life.

Her psyche still carried a stain, like a gangrenous stench lingering unnoticed by those around her.  She would no longer allow what went before to dictate her choices however.  Life was effort, a battle to prove herself daily.  From here out, she would revel in the marvelous joys around her.  This was her life, her choice, and her mind.  Woes betide those who would take them from her.

Without rancor, she tossed the kai beside the man, turned her back, and walked away.  Her heart held no pity, sorrow, nor anger at he father; she forgave him.  He would have power over her no longer.  Her life was her own; she was on her way to live it, her way.  Finally unfettered, she smiled, for the first time.

Brave Man

In Writing on December 13, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Her life is in my hands, I thought with cruel irony.  Fate, the harsh mistress she is, gave me the means to save my little girl. 

Taking a drag from my last cigarette, ashes falling on my feet, I scratched vigorously at the paper card.  My heart tried to jump out of my throat as two numbers matched.  My arms tingled when three lined up.  I began to shake as four joined in the row.  At five my breath left me in a strangling rush.  I paused in my mad scrambling.  Six is all I need for the jackpot.  I’ve won a goodly amount already but oh God, just one more number to win big!  Taking a deep breath, and then throwing my cigarette butt on the ground, I scraped the card to reveal the last number.

I bounced down the street.  I smiled at every passer-by.  People walked wide around me, some stared, others averted their gaze, and one woman scowled and dragged her kid away by the arm.  I didn’t care.  Then my phone rang and Sue’s cell number flashed at me.  She hadn’t called me in months.

“Hello?”  I asked.

“John?  It’s me—.”

“I know who it is, I know how to use a phone,” I said interrupting her.

“We need to talk,” she said.

“We are talking,” I replied rudely.  “What do you want?”  My day was starting to sour by the minuet.

“Its Cathy, she’s sick again.”

My stomach dropped to my feet.  The concrete and glass swirled around me.  No!  Not again, they said it wouldn’t happen again.

“Is it…?”  I could complete the question, fearing to make it come true if I gave voice to it.

“Yes.  Look, your tests came back,” she said, her words clipped and breathless.

 “You’re a positive donor.  I don’t know if you ever found a job, but the operation costs seven-grand.  My church said they can help, but that will only cover part, do you have any money?”

The world still spun about me: I fell more than sat down, blood welling as I scraped my hand; I focused on the bright red fluid, bringing myself under control.  I heard Sue begging through the phone,

“Please John!  Please!  I know you don’t like me, that’s fine I deserve it, but our baby!  Please!  Don’t do this to her.  Give Cathy a chance, please,” she broke off, sobbing into the phone.

I got up off the rough pavement and walked to the corner taking a right.  Sue always took Cathy to St. Christen’s, and the hospital was only three blocks away.  I was only here to collect the winnings from the lottery ticket.  Not the whole thing, but enough.  It would be enough.

“Mr. Green?  Mr. John Green?”  The white coated doctor asked.

“That’s me,” I said, my hand raised.  “Are you ready for me?”

He looked up from his clipboard, his brown eyes sad, “Mr. Green, there have been some complications.” 

I said nothing, I couldn’t.  I had the money, more than enough, what possible complication could there be?

“Sir?”  He grabbed my arm, and the fog lifted from my brain. 

“What kind of complication?  I brought the money!” 

I didn’t realize I shouted until Sue ran over, “John?  You’re here!  How did you—.  But.  Oh never mind, thank you for coming!” 

She latched onto my arm and memories of our ten-year marriage welled up.  Shoving them to the furnaces of my heart, I burned those thoughts from my mind, like all the others of her. 

“Doc, what’s the problem? “  I asked him, ignoring my ex-wife.

“Mr. Green,” he paused.  His throat bobbed and when he looked up his eyes glistened.  “Both Cathy’s kidneys are failing, I’m sorry.  You’re the only match, but since you only have one you’re ineligible,” he coughed trying to hide a sob, and failed.  “Why didn’t you say something?”

 Sue wailed in my ear, her fist beating against me.  I shoved her away and pushed past the doctor.  He grabbed my arm, swinging me around, “You can’t go in there right now!”

“Do you have the money?”  I asked shouting.

He nodded dumbly, and I slammed my fist into his nose.  Sue wailed and shouted but I ran on.  I had to save my little girl.

*******************************************

 “And no one told him a kidney was on the way?”  The officer asked.

“No, I don’t think so.  Who could have known what he’d do?  Nobody had time,” she explained.  “He just ran in, picked up a scalpel, and slit his own throat,” Sue said to the officer.

“They were able to use his kidney though?”  He asked.

“Yes, he wrote a short will in blood, right there beside his head.”

“Brave man,” he said.

By:  Ben Pollard