Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pondering Death

I'm fairly sure that I've mentioned here in the past that I read the obits from the London Free Press, the daily where we used to live (yep...morbid, but a hobby nonetheless). I discovered yesterday that another person I knew years ago has passed away. We weren't close. He was an ex-cop who was a supervisor for a security company I worked for 18 years ago. As a matter of fact, he hired me on. There was an 'economic downturn' back then and I was very grateful for the job as my unemployment money (aka pogey, or the dole) was nearly used up.

Of course dying is a part of the life-cycle. We all do it at least once. As we get older we discover that friends and relatives are dying all about us and we ponder our own mortality. Or something like that. Isn't the old saying that these things happen in threes? AVD was the third man that I used to work with that has died since Mid-March. Same with celebrities...Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper and Rue McClanahan all died within 6 days of one another. Anyway...enough of old wives's tales. This has put me in the mood for a horror story.
I have unearthed a micro-flash story for your reading enjoyment. It was my first story to appear online in the spring of last year. FlashShot has a 100 word guideline but I have added a few words and reworked the story to change a couple of things giving it more symbolism (I hope). It's amazing how better something flows with an additional 16 words.


The Dream

I have the dream nightly. It has been so since my mother’s death four days ago.

I lie sleepless on the floor of a dark cave. I hear a shout of pain and jump to my feet. As I move to the entrance a small mound rises beneath the stone floor. I approach it but the slate turns to grass and the lump becomes a pile of soft earth.

Today is mother’s funeral. I drag my damp body from the sweat-soaked sheets of my bed. As I walk towards the bedroom door I stumble and fall to my knees. There is a mound beneath the shag carpet. I gently touch it with trembling fingers. It moves.


OK, moving on to a more upbeat topic....I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I'd like to remind everyone the deadline to enter a story into the Land's Edge flash fiction contest is only two weeks away. If you're going to enter a story, you'd better get cracking. All you #FridayFlash people! Get to work on a flash story...or I'll have Cathy Olliffe do some creative photo shopping to one of your pictures. You just never know what you'll find on the Internet...

You can link to Contest information here.

You can link to a description of the ever-popular Newfoundland fiction prizes here.


DEZMOND said...

oh, what a great topic for a Sunday, but, at least the picture is amazing ;)

David Barber said...

Like the post Alan. Kind of spooky that I have just sent a story off to Flashshot not 5 minutes before reading this. Enjoyed your story and, yes, I will be entering your comp.

Best wishes.

Natalie L. Sin said...


*My visceral reaction to the ending. Well done!

G.P. Ching said...

I have done my share of pondering death this month as we lost my husband's father in a tragic motorcycle accident recently. Sucks getting old and losing people.!!! I like your micro-flash. I'm intrigued by your contest but the squirrels I keep in my desk drawer to write my flash fiction are demanding extra nuts for extra work. I just don't know if I have the nuts for it.

Danielle Ferries said...

A chilling little read :)

Bukowski's Basement said...

Don't feel too bad about reading obits, Alan... I work at a paper and believe you me -- you ain't alone.

Well-written piece of micro-flash as well.

Anonymous said...

Very atmospheric flash! Really enjoyed that.

I tried writing an entry to your contest at the weekend, but it ended up as 749 words of dialogue and a stabbing. And it wasn't about an actual holiday. And I'm not sure "mingle-puppies" is a thing. I may let it expire peacefully, and try something else.

katey said...

Nice flash, that was totally creepy. I really like the picture that kinda goes with it, too.

Obits are hard not to read. I mean, death as a misunderstood inevitability. It's too fascinating.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Dez- Not very 'uplifting' for a Sunday reading, was it? I liked the photo too.

David- I knew that about the FlashShot short story...psychic on my dad's side. My aunt Jenny used to read tea leaves...

Nat- Glad you liked it. Now write one a few hunderd words longer and enter it in the contest!

GP- Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Death sucks, indeed. Get those squirrels working overdrive lady! Doesn't need to be fancy just set a scene around a holiday or festivity.

Danielle- Thanks! Glad you like it.

Anthony- Thanks for the compliment. I suppose obits are a paper's 'bread and butter'.

Anton- Welcome back. I heard that you were out of country for a while...perhaps the 'mingle-puppies' could be Christmas presents. Work it out, I know you wanna win some 'fine Newfoundland literature'.

Katey- Thanks a lot. I thought the photo was 'apropos'. I hear ya, sister, about the misunderstood inevitablity. Hmm...sounds like a story idea to me...

Akasha Savage. said...

I loved that flash fiction spooky...just the way I like them. ;)

kathryn said...

Yes, that was a creepy flash...but also sad. So, the topic is death, huh? I always close my laptop to activate the password protection when I leave the house. I figure if I die whilst out, I don't want anyone answering my email.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Akasha- I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Kathryn- That's kind of the same thought process as our mothers telling us to wear clean underwear incase we are run over by a truck.

Laurita said...

That's a lot of creepy in a little flash. Very atmospheric. (I'm a little late to the party, sorry!)