On Sunday night, I learned that one of my best high school friends recently passed away.  This week's contest is dedicated to her memory.

I can't believe she's gone.
It was only yesterday when we were playing around and flirting like teenagers do.  She was one of my three best friends, the ones I called my angels.
She was the quietest of us, her voice a gentle trickle of a mountain stream, but her smile lit up an entire room like a lighthouse beacon slicing through the tumult of a hurricane.
Twenty years have come and gone but I always said to myself "It's okay.  I'll go visit her next year.  I'm so busy, there's so much to do."
Now I'm sitting out on my front porch.  My cigarette burns away while I drop gentle wishes on the wind.  I listen on the wind for her response, but there is only silence.
Still, in my heart, I hear her.  She speaks to me in that same gentle voice. Now my angel has gone to be with her kin, in the bosom of Abraham, in the loving arms of the Father.
Good-bye my angel.

The Judge

Our special guest judge will be here next week.  I apologize for the miscommunication.
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This week's judge is, once again, my favorite lycan, Lupus Anthropus, a regular on the Flash Fiction scene.  Check out his work at http://fulmoj.wordpress.com/
Lupus has a challenge of their own called #TitleTwisters.  Stop by and check it out!

The Prompt

I can't believe she's gone.

The Rules

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Comments

05/21/2012 12:33

So sorry for your loss Wakefield.


I can’t believe she’s gone. When I was with her or even hearing her over the phone; I felt like she cared about every aspect of my life. Somehow the world seems a much darker place without her light beckoning to me. We often get busy with our own lives and forget that life can change in an instance. No life, no matter how much it touches others, is infinite.
People often say nice things about people when they are gone, but this woman was the real deal. She cared about people. Total strangers were touched by her kindness and warmth. She couldn’t pass homeless people on the street without giving them her last dollar.
You’d think someone as gentle as she was would have been brought up in the lap of luxury; but her parents though well intentioned, were poverty stricken. They were the salt of the earth kind of people, who struggled but persevered through tragedy and strife. That’s probably where she got her effervescent spirit, which never seemed beaten down no matter what life threw at her... until yesterday.
Two days ago her number came up as they say. What a stupid saying just like ‘Only the good die young’. It didn’t bring her back from the aneurysm that took her life away. It didn’t comfort.
She gave her all to the world and the world had come back and kicked her into the next. I was angry. Angry at a God that would take her before I even said goodbye.
I crept to her coffin, it was two hours until the funeral and I was the only one here. I stared at her. This wasn’t her, this wasn’t Amy. Why hadn’t I told her I loved her? Why I hadn’t I been with her? Could I have saved her? I felt broken and bruised.
“Alan?” I heard and looked around. There was no one there. I was hearing things.
“Alan.” I heard again and recognized the voice but it was impossible.
“Alan you gave me shelter and a place to escape when the world made me feel alone. You gave me love and tenderness when I needed it. You gave me the strength to be the light in the darkness .You have nothing to be sorry for.”
“Are you okay?” I find myself asking.
“I am. I am surrounded by light, by goodness. I am with God all mighty how could I be all right when he holds me in his loving arms.”
“I miss you.”
“I am here Alan and I will always be here if you need me. A whisper you can’t understand, someone being kind for no reason at all. If you love me, spread kindness in my name. Remember me speak of me but find some happiness. Life is too short not too be alone. Promise me.”
“I promise.” I answer.
She was gone leaving an emptiness, but I would fill it with kindness. For someday I knew, I see her again.
500words
@SweetSheil

Reply
05/21/2012 12:36

darn that was the first draft it copied not the one I copied here is the oe I wanted to post.

I can’t believe she’s gone. When I was with her, or even hearing her over the phone; I felt like she cared about every aspect of my life. Somehow the world seems a much darker place, without her light beckoning to me. We often get busy with our own lives and forget that life can change in an instance. No life, no matter how much it touches others, is infinite.
People often say nice things about people when they are gone, but this woman was the real deal. She cared about people. Total strangers were touched by her kindness and warmth. She couldn’t pass homeless people on the street without giving them her last dollar.
You’d think someone as gentle as she was would have been brought up in the lap of luxury; but her parents though well intentioned, were poverty stricken. They were the salt of the earth kind of people, who struggled but persevered through tragedy and strife. That’s probably where she got her effervescent spirit, which never seemed beaten down no matter what life threw at her... until yesterday.
Yesterday her number came up as they say. What a stupid saying just like ‘Only the good die young’. It didn’t bring her back from the aneurysm that took her life away. It didn’t comfort.
She gave her all to the world and the world had come back and kicked her into the next. I was angry. Angry at a God that would take her before I even said goodbye.
I crept to her coffin, it was two hours until the funeral and I was the only one here. I stared at her. This wasn’t her, this wasn’t Amy. Why hadn’t I told her I loved her? Why I hadn’t I been with her? Could I have saved her? I felt broken and bruised.
“Alan?” I heard and looked around. There was no one there. I was hearing things.
“Alan.” I heard again and recognized the voice but it was impossible.
“Alan you gave me shelter and a place to escape when the world made me feel alone. You gave me love and tenderness when I needed it. You gave me the strength to be the light in the darkness .You have nothing to be sorry for.”
“Are you okay?” I find myself asking.
“I am. I am surrounded by light, by goodness. I am with God all mighty how could I be all right when he holds me in his loving arms.”
“I miss you.”
“I am here Alan and I will always be here if you need me. A whisper you can’t understand, someone being kind for no reason at all. If you love me, spread kindness in my name. Remember me speak of me but find some happiness. Life is too short not too be alone. Promise me.”
“I promise.” I answer.
She was gone leaving an emptiness, but I would fill it with kindness. For someday I knew, I see her again.
498words
@SweetSheil

Reply
05/21/2012 12:37

My condolences as well, Wakefield.



“I can’t believe she’s gone,” Alex lifted a stone to skip it across the water.

He couldn’t even smirk at his own impotence as the stone rolled out of his hand to stick in the moist soil above the lake. Kiara sat next to him, hugging her knees to her chest. Alex felt so much older than he had at the beginning of the year. The sudden weight of age made it seem like he’d known Kiara much longer than he really had. Though he still couldn’t believe he was talking to her about Noelle.

The cat-girl’s ears twitched before she finally spoke, “I bet she was beautiful.”

Alex nodded, tears suddenly blurring his vision, “She was the most beautiful person I ever knew, inside and out. I should have been able to save her!”

The one-time hero thought his tears had run dry that first week after she left, but here in the cool damp above the evening lake he found a fresh torrent he was too weak to hold back. Noelle had said she needed some time alone, to sort things out. He’d known he shouldn’t have let her go. His heart had been screaming not to leave her alone. But he allowed her to walk away, and now she was gone.

Kiara’s arms locked around Alex’s shoulders and her tail curled around his waist. He was glad she was there, but crying into the night he couldn’t quite feel her warmth. It was so close, and yet out of his reach. Alex had given himself wholly to Noelle, and when she disappeared everything he valued in himself had gone with her. Even as he pursued the training to properly cast the spell that could have saved her, he did so as an empty reflection of the hero he once was.

“I hope you know what an inspiration you still are to all of us,” Kiara whispered into his heaving chest. “In the eyes of the world, you’re still a hero. You’re still my hero.”

337 words
@DavidALudwig

Reply
05/21/2012 13:19

I can’t believe she’s gone. My world shatters as I see that the beast has ripped her soul away. I scream into the fading light of day. How can I even pretend to want to go on? She is my life and my light. My face sears with the molten tears that stream from my eyes. I stumble and fall to my knees before her crumpled body. My howls echo through the rooms of our home.

I do not want accept that she is dead and I do not want to prove it, so I do not touch her—not at first. I do not want to live life with her as only a fading memory. I do not want to forget her face, her smile and her love. The way she touched my hand in the evening light will never happen again. We were finished with school when we met. Her eyes twinkled when she smiled. I knew I loved her at that first meeting, what else could it be that I felt? I could see she felt the same, her eyes held back nothing now they show nothing.

My hand trembles as I slowly begin to take the truth. I touch first her shoulder, no response or warmth. I pull the hair that veils her face away softly, smoothing it behind her ear. My eyes are blurred; I still do not want to believe. How long is it that I’ve been away? A few days? A month? I cannot recall. The smell from her is putrid and it makes me gag. I turn her and cradle her in my arms. My sobs are as strong as ever. I am to blame for this, even though I did not take her life. I hold her close for a few moments before lying her back down on the floor.

I force myself to leave and not look back. I stop at the doorway but do not turn for one final look. I push the memory of her decomposing face from my mind. I will not remember her that way. I think of her sparkling eyes and brilliant smile. I see a neighbor peek from a cracked door and quickly shut it when they see me notice—no condolence. I half-fall down the stairs and through the door to the street. The light of day is all but gone. I throw my head back and shriek my grief into the night.

@ChuckWesJ
410 words

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Miranda Kate
05/21/2012 15:05

“I can’t believe she’s gone.” That was all David could think of saying when Robert had told him Isabella had left. But strangely he wasn’t surprised she’d gone; he had known all along she would find it difficult to take. He knew he’d been foolish keeping it a secret for so long, but he simply hadn’t known how to tell her. And in the end he’d been forced into a corner.

David wondered if it would have been different if Isabella’s work colleague, Robert hadn’t been his ex boyfriend, or at least if he hadn’t told Robert first. But he couldn’t help it; Robert kept bringing Michelle up and reminiscing about her; talking about all these feelings he had had, which David had never known about. And then he kept saying how much David had reminded him of her. It had been difficult, Robert had been shocked, but the birth mark had clinched it.

But then it’d meant Isabella had to be told, and he knew that it would risk their entire relationship. He wanted to propose to her anyway, and had debated with himself so many times how and when he was going to do it.

The part about the car accident David had been in, had upset her, but she had refused to accept the gender change at first, as the transformation had been so complete, so fully functional; he’d known she had no idea. But the more detail he went into the more she realised that he was telling the truth, and to begin with there had been a glimmer of hope.

But then David had to confess to telling Robert, and explain why he had told him. The look on her face; the concept that they had once been lovers; it was more than she could bear. She had left, packing her bags while he had been at work. And ironically it ended up being Robert who had called him, to tell him, after she had handed over her work to him.

And when he arrived home that night he felt as empty as the flat he was standing in. Sorry wasn’t going to fix this.

360 Words
@PurpleQueenNL

Reply
05/21/2012 16:01

“I can't believe she's gone,” Robert said to his beer.

“Something troubling you, brother?” a man sitting a couple of stools down said.

Alcohol is the great duller of pain, but there's a fine line that must be walked. Just enough and the pain can almost disappear for a while but a little more and the pain comes back worse than if you never started drinking. Robert was teetering on that fine line.

“I've lost my best friend and the only woman I ever loved,” Robert said.

“Then perhaps I could buy you a drink. To help ease some of the pain,” the man said pulling up the stool next to Robert. His accent was unusual, was it Scottish? “Another drink for the grieving gentleman.”

“We were only married for a short time, three years. We have a son who will grow up without a mother,” no tears welled up and his voice didn't waver. The numbness looked like shock.

“I'm sure she's in a better place now,” the man said. Was it an English accent? Australian?

“It was so sudden. How do you prepare for something like this? How do you move on? I want to crawl into a bottle and never come out, but then my son would grow up without a mother and a father.”

“You must have really loved her? I wish I could say I understood, but I don't. I can only offer you my shoulder to cry on and my ear to listen.” A little New York in the accent? Almost Southern at times too.

“I wish there was someone to blame for all this. Someone to take out my anger and frustration on. Someone I could make feel the pain. But there's not. Who do you blame for cancer?”

“I'm sure it is all part of God's plan. Sometimes he calls home the souls he needs most.” It was such a difficult accent to place. It sounded like he came from everywhere.

“I've never been much a believer in God and something like this doesn't make me want to get to know him better,” Robert sipped his beer hearing the growing frustration in his voice.

“Perhaps there's something I can do to help after all,” the man said in his odd worldly accent, the smile clearly evident in his tone.

Robert finally looked at the man sitting next to him. Tall, handsome, and tan. Well dressed in an old style but still oddly fashionable white suit. On anyone else the outfit would make you question his sexuality, but this man was most obviously heterosexual. He radiated a confidence and magnetism that Robert had never experienced before.

“What if I told you that your wife could be with you and your son again? I can make many things happen, I just need one little thing from you,” the tan man grinned.

“Anything to get her back and stop this pain.”

“Let's make a little deal,” the man said as the bar disappeared around them.


500 words
@unfoldingmyth

Reply
05/21/2012 19:33

Sorry for your loss, my friend, but had to put my unique twist on the phrase.

Getting The Beat Down

I can’t believe she’s gone! I don’t know if the bitch likes getting beaten silly or whether she thinks I suddenly developed amnesia but she actually left the house without my permission…again.

I’m left with no choice but to express to her the depth of my displeasure in a more memorable way than last time. You’d think a broken nose and an eye so swollen shut she was running into stuff for a week would suffice but it seems not.

I really don’t ask all that much from her. Cook my food, wash my clothes, clean my house and be available when I require a bit of “stress relief”. That’s it in a nutshell. I mean, from time to time, there’s some stuff added on; but in essence that’s it.

She gets the sweet end of the deal: broadband, deluxe cable, her computer, and that’s just the tip of the freakin’ iceberg. She can shop online for damned near anything and it comes straight here. In exchange, ALL I asked is…don’t be out and about running with those worthless slutty friends of hers.

She doesn’t have the gray matter, apparently, to differentiate between the stuff that’s important and the crap those femi-Nazi bitches tell her she’s “entitled” to. I suppose what works for them works but then it seems their men (those that aren’t too bull-dyke to even get a man) are willing to let them wander around willy-nilly with no guidance and no direction.

If women were smart enough or capable enough to fend for themselves without a strong male hand to guide them that would be just fine. But they aren’t and we all know it. If left to their own devices they wind up as whores or crack heads or worse. I’ve seen it more times than I care to remember. I call it the “unnatural order of things”. When they are allowed the freedom to do as they wish and don’t get a bit of discipline or direction, well they just end up dicking things up sooner or later. It’s just a sad, unavoidable fact of life. Plain and simple, I say.

Well, I guess it will be time for a little remedial learning a la closed fist whenever the stupid wench sees fit to drag her fat ass home. She best be having the time of her life because I am pretty damned sure by the time I get done with her, she ain’t going to be in any shape to try leaving the house for a damned long time to come.

Oh good, silly bitch didn’t lose her mind entirely. It looks like she was sensible enough to leave me something to eat. Oven timer shows it ought to be about done any second. Wonder what the hell she made ‘cause I sure as hell don’t smell any food cooking.

Huh? What the freak? An oxygen bottle?!? What the hell’s THAT doing in the oven? And who the hell…aww…no way man…she wouldn’t…how the?


BOOOOM!!

500 words @klingorengi

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Miranda Boers
05/22/2012 04:07

Excellent, got his come-uppence thanksfully! Brilliant piece!

Reply
05/21/2012 20:05

“I can’t believe she’s gone. They’re all—just gone.”

Isaac spoke softly, but his words hit hard. I felt my walls close in on me, holding everything I felt in tight, holding me together, but only just. One day—had I only been home for one day? And everything I knew and loved had gone?

“It’s my fault,” he said. “I’m so sorry, Circe.”

By the door, my standard issue duffle sat stuffed to the brim with clothes and last minute presents. To my right, the Christmas tree twinkled cheerily.

“No.” I tested my strength with the word and didn’t break. “No apologies. Not from you.”

“But—”

“Marley planned this, Isaac. Long before you called things off on the dating front.”

I understood the guilt riding him. The same feelings threatened to ride me straight into the ground.

“You don’t know that.” His voice caught, wobbled as he tried to breathe through it. “Not for sure.”

“Yeah, I do.” I ran a hand over my head, rubbed at my temples. “When she called to guilt me home for Christmas, she was warning me.”

I let my eyes go blind, relaxing them until I saw nothing but a white blur. Snow. Endless snow. If I just kept breathing, maybe I wouldn’t see the memories of flashing lights, of my family ripped away from this world by a selfish girl and a .22.

“Maybe if I hadn’t kept my leave a surprise—maybe she wouldn’t have—but then again—” I sighed. “I have to call my brother.”

“Oh, God,” Isaac groaned. “He’s gonna hate me.”

“Shut your fool face, Isaac,” I said.

“How can you be so blind to my part in this mess, Circe?”

“Marley’s brand of madness doesn’t come from a guy breaking up with you.”

“Right before Christmas.”

“Not even then.” I bumped his shoulder with a loose fist. “Get your head out of your ass, boy.”

That earned me a glare.

“I’m only five years younger than you.”

“Five years and a full tour of the Middle East.”

Isaac nodded sadly. “That shit makes you old before your time.”

“You calling me old?”

“Seems fair.”

I laughed. Almost. It was a weak effort, but heartfelt.

“It takes a special kind of monster to kill your own parents, Isaac. To look them in the eye, because Marley didn’t wimp out and shoot them in the back—” My voice tripped over itself. “She made sure they saw death coming.” I let myself see Isaac. He looked so young and broken. Time would heal him if he just walked away. “I know the monsters, Isaac. Far better than you.”

“Convince my brain of that.”

“It isn’t your brain that needs convincing.” The heart needed far more reassurance, I knew.

“You’re so cold, Circe,” he said. “I wish I could be like you.”

I squeezed my eyes shut. I’m only cold on the outside, I thought.

And I prayed the ice would last long enough to see me through.

@caramichaels
500 #WIP500 words

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Rebekah Postupak
05/22/2012 10:16

You have such a knack for sharp, realistic dialogue. Nice.

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05/21/2012 20:11

This entry is taken from real life and I've always struggled with portraying it. My mother passed away almost 4 years ago when I was 24 and pregnant. I still cry whenever I hear Coheed and Cambria's song "Wake up".

In saying that Death is not an easy portrayal.

A Life Lost

I can’t believe she’s gone. It was like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from no matter how much I wanted to.
“Stacey... your mother’s dead,” my father’s words rang out and the rest of the world went dark.
No, not dead. Not after everything that’s happened.
“No!” I sank to my knees on the bed and let loose, almost dropping the phone.
“Put Rhys on.” I heard my dad say. I thrust the phone in the direction of my husband and tried to make sense of the one sided conversation that was happening around me.
She can’t be dead... she just can’t be. I hadn’t even called her back. She was dead and I’d never get to hear her voice again. Shit! The phone call ended and I already dressed by the time my husband had come and taken me in his arms.
“I thought...” But I didn’t know what I thought. The sentence was left hanging in the air.
“I’ll call Mum,” he said. “Get her to watch the kids, then we can go.”
I watched mutely pacing the small confines of our bedroom as he made the next call.
“Mum? Laureen’s died. Can you come up?”
The time after that is a blur. I couldn’t help thinking that it was all preventable. That my mother’s death could have been prevented.
“I should have said something,” I said while we waited. “I knew something was going to happen. I thought I was being silly. I thought it had to do with the baby.”
“What would it have changed?” Rhys asked.
“I’d known something was wrong for the last eight weeks,” I muttered.
The half hour drive felt like forever. Coheed and Cambria “Wake Up” came on the radio and the tears I’d been fighting began afresh.
Cars littered the front yard as we pulled up outside my parents house. I walked in finding the door unlocked. My sister, her fiancée and our grandparents sat around the kitchen table silent. All except for one, my dad, sat in the lounge room, talking in a low voice to two policeman.
Shit!
Finally my sister spoke. “She’s in the bedroom if you want to go see her. It’s like she’s sleeping.”
But she wasn’t sleeping. The air was void of anything and it was clear that she was dead. My mother was dead.
My mother was dead and all I had to show for it was a life full of regret and bad decisions. 24 years old and I’d never once told my mother I’d loved her.

@StaceyJMcIntosh
423 words

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Jeff Tsuruoka
05/21/2012 21:25

The Last Fair Deal Gone Down

I can't believe she's gone, I thought.
I let my head fall back and laughed myself stupid. My laughter rang off of the hoodoos and then faded away over the landscape. I laughed until my throat was raw and my heart was pounding in my ears.
Who was I shitting? Of course she's gone.
I looked for her but could no longer make her out in the distance.
The heat rippling against the lifeless ground made it impossible to track anything that wasn't sitting right in front of me.
“Sorry, honey,” she said before she left me lying at the bottom of a mesa. “But I was in it for the money!”
I knew it too. But I thought... I thought... I don't know what I thought. You know how it goes.
I had to hand it to her. She played it just right. Hard during the robbery. Unflinching when we had to shoot our way out of there. Wanton during the celebration sex on our first night out under the big sky. Cool when the jeep overheated and we had to leave it behind. Determined as we slogged through the heat and the dirt on our way to the border.
Cold when she pushed me over the edge of the mesa.
Uncaring when she climbed down to examine my broken legs and relieve me of the canteen while the pain was still making pretty lights in front of my eyes.
“Sorry, honey. But I was in it for the money!”
All I could do was nod and drool, which I did as she picked up the suitcase and headed off alone.
I thought about her dragging that suitcase full of cash across the desert and started laughing again. I laughed until the pain made me stop.
I looked down at my legs. I didn't want to but I did.
Each one of them was bent in a way a human leg should never bend. I could see jagged bone sticking out of one shin.
I laid back against the uncomfortable pile of rocks I'd landed in and let the glass vial I'd been holding in my hand slip out.
The sound of it tinkling against the rocks got me laughing again.
I never got around to telling her about that vial, which meant she had no idea it was full of cyanide.
And she didn't know that in the time it took her to get down off the mesa I emptied that vial into the canteen.
I guess I was thinking right after all.
Kinda.

429 words (435 with title)
@JTsuruoka

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Phoenix Lavan
05/22/2012 00:20

My condolences. I shall pray to the Goddesses and Gods for the safekeeping of her soul and the comforting of her family and friends... And here's a story:



I can’t believe she’s gone. I had turned to grab the item she requested and when I turned back… she’d vanished. “Aria?” I gently call her name and peek around the terminal. A chill slithers up and down my spine. “Goddess, protect me…” I close my eyes, praying.

“There is no room for the Goddess here.” A calamitous, echoing voice booms. The giant beast, known as Voyd, is composed of howling and shrieking black flames with sinister ruby eyes. It steps into view, resembling an amalgamation of bull and wolf. Piercing horns, razor-sharp teeth, massive muscles and deadly claws in all the worst ways of its four-legged form. Anything alive in the terminal is either hiding or fleeing now. “Where is she?” It demands, the force of its voice creating shockwaves.

“I-I don’t know.” I squeeze my eyes shut and cover my ears futilely, praying that Voyd doesn’t detect my masked scent.

“What did you acquire for her?” Circling menacingly, it keeps its eyes trained on me.

“A simple trinket, I’m not sure why she would even want it.” I hold out the transparent orb for it to see. The entire building shakes under its laughter. This trinket is much more than it seems and Voyd knows this.

“And why are you helping the infiltrators?” Voyd comes within inches of me, my skin starting to burn. This isn’t good. Any more and it will be able to smell me. The black flames sweep back as Voyd inhales deeply. It’s too late. It roars, sending me reeling into a wall. “You ARE an infiltrator! You do not belong here!” It charges with the speed of a bullet, purple stars bursting before my eyes as it impales my left side with a horn.

The white-hot pain magnifies as my human skin melts away completely, leaving alabaster scales and reptilian features behind. I will not survive this. Even if I manage to escape, this is a mortal wound. Bright lights erupt like tiny explosions on Voyd’s back and side, causing it to fling me from its horn. The world spins several times before I crash to a stop. Pain is paramount, but I can’t think of that now. I have to flee.

“Paean!” I hear Aria yell my name from nearby. We scurry away as fast as we can manage. We only pause a moment for Aria to heal my wound with the power orb.

“Aria, where did you go?”

“I saw it coming. I would have warned you if there was time. It moves so fast…” A massive claw slams down on her, startling a gasp from me.

“INFILTRATOR!” Voyd blasts me away with his voice. Aria was not so lucky. Trapped beneath its claws, Voyd decapitates her. I turn and retreat. There is no time for grieving.

“Goddess, in my time of greatest need, help me escape so that I may avenge your fallen children.” I pray. She’s gone again. This time, she’s not coming back.


499 words
@PhoenixLavan

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05/22/2012 00:34

Sorry for your loss! I loved your piece, it made me all emotional.
---

“I can’t believe she’s gone,” I said, and stared at the coffee table.
“I know hon, I know,” the police officer said, and a woman pulled a blanket around me.
“Did you hear anything? Or see someone?” the first one asked, while holding a pencil and notebook in his hands.

I blinked once, slowly, and tried to think.

The images of Layla on the floor, and the pool of blood, flashed before my eyes.

I blinked again.

“Can someone get us another blanket?” he yelled.

I blinked again.

There was something off with the memory, something nagging at me, though as horrible as it was; I wanted to help.

“Her necklace was missing,” I said, though it hardly sounded like me.
“Hm?” the police officer said, and turned his attention back to me.
“Her necklace. She always wears it, at least for the past two years, Dean got it for her,” I said, and tried focusing on the police officer.
“Who is Dean?” he asked, scribbling something down.
“Her boyfriend. Or ex, I’m not sure,” I answered.

Guilt washed over me, and I closed my eyes. She hadn’t deserved this, but I couldn’t be sure. My body wasn’t reacting normally, and my brain seemed to malfunction. She had been my best friend through two years, and my room-mate, but I didn’t have much to tell them. The past week had been silent, because we both had finals coming up, and we’d decided not to bother each other.

I blinked again.

“Here hon,” someone said, and shoved something into my hand.
It was a handkerchief; I hadn’t realized I’d started crying.

“Her parents are on their way, and we’ve called yours. Is there anyone else you want me to get a hold of?” he asked.

Just then, two people carrying a stretcher, walked by us. It had a black bag on top, and I knew it was her.

My best friend, who was dead. My best friend, who had been murdered.

I shook my head, and stared blankly. “No,” I said, and resumed staring at the coffee table.

His face turned into a grim line, and the door behind him opened.

She looked like Layla, though older, and she screamed like a garroted pig. The man following her was large, and as dark as she was blond, and he held her tightly. Several people gathered around them, and I watched it all from the outside.

A memory flicked, though I was in too much shock to recognize it, I seemed to be holding a knife. Another memory throbbed, and I was looking down on Layla’s lifeless body.

I blinked again.

She should have kept to herself, for only two more days, but she has broken the silent week.

I wondered when I’d be allowed to go to my room; I had my science final tomorrow.

Word count: 474
@ChessnySilth

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Chessny Silth
05/22/2012 00:39

EDIT: She should have kept to herself, for only two more days, but she had broken the silent week.

I wrote has, rather than had, how embarrassing!

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05/22/2012 05:47

So sorry for your loss, Wakefield.


I can’t believe she’s gone. I toss in turn in bed, listening for the sound of her voice, knowing it will never be again. Her absence has left a hole in me that cannot be replaced. And I’m not surprised. I mean, despite all that they had said, in the deep recesses of my mind I somehow knew it would come to this.

I think I even knew it the day of the surgery, before they’d even started. When I woke up, I just had this foreboding feeling that things would never be the same. Those doctors, McEhlone and Kuiper, both assured me that this was for the best. They said that, when they were done, we’d never know.

How could I argue? They were the experts. They called her a “parasitic twin.” Those were the words they used, as if her presence in me was harmful. Sure, I had headaches, but they only came about when I’d done something wrong. It was her way, my sister’s way, of telling me that I needed to right my ship.

The surgery took eight hours, and they supposedly removed numerous pieces of bone, some lung tissue, and a few “underdeveloped” limbs. They stated that she was anencephalic, meaning she had no brain. They explained that it was simply not possible for her to communicate with me. But they were wrong. As soon as I awakened from the anesthesia, I knew it. Her voice was no longer there. Her absence, as I said, literally left a hole in me.

Now that she’s gone, I can’t believe I listened to them. I can’t believe how undeniably inept they were. And I now know there’s only one thing I can do. I must avenge my sister’s death.

292 words
@rastrohman

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Bob Mahone
05/22/2012 07:15

My condolences Wakefield. I wrote this with a Mother's Day/Memorial Day mindset. Hope it blesses!

... from Head to Toe, to Hell and Back, for God and Country ...

“I can't believe she's gone.” Mom made dreams reality.

Running barefoot through the cornfields of Upland was how the locals recalled Bobby Ray. He was a skinny, chestless boy, who had freckles to punctuate his smile. A smile, so big, it could only be upstaged by that glowing mop on his head that looked orange in the sunshine.

“You got that flaming head from your Nana”, his mom would always say. Then she’d light up his heart with her smile, and that’s where he’d gotten his perpetual happiness.

But His Uncle Sam scalped him, gave him a helmet, a push-up addiction, and a huge chest. Obstacle courses cut his torso into a tight waist, over strong thighs and flexing calves. So, when his boots splashed endlessly in and out of the muck of the rice paddies, he did not tire. He did not smile so often, but he did not complain. He did what his squad brothers did, he did his job.

It was not all work and no play in the Nam. And no one knew how to play better than Felix. Bobby Ray swore they must have named that cartoon after his pal, his true brother, his hero.

Seeing a pair of Stacey Adams doing the mashed potatoes on the floor of the Cotton Club was not unusual. It was Felix’ daily proclaimed, get me home, “no-shame-in-his-game”, dream. The bandy legs that moved this pair about had a veteran’s swagger. In contrast, however, the young man’s proud chest was under slightly sullen shoulders, just as his head was prematurely grey. But no brother in Harlem would say this white boy couldn’t dance. Bobby Ray was dancing the dream of the friend who died saving his life.

It would be a half a century more, and a good life, for Bobby Ray. His white hair was but an inch from the lining of his casket. He’d left instructions that he’d be put to rest in his uniform, and the old guy looked great, dead man’s chest and all. But you never see below the waist, so they just closed the casket.
And, it was like there were no feet. Were those wing-tips? Not the shoes. You know … angel wings. Wow! What a span? And, a halo! And, …

He seemed to wake, and his eye focused on the best friend of his life. “And, that was your last dream Bobby Ray”, Felix was saying.

“Where are we?” Bobby Ray asked.

“We wait here under the altar, until the day of the Lord. You are now part of that great crowd whose lives gave testimony to the love of God. We watch and we pray.” Felix answered, reaching over to hug Bobby Ray, “I saw you at the Cotton Club. Thank you, for living out my dream.”

And, suddenly, looking fresh from the salon, “Hey Carrot top, How you like me now?”

“Nana!”

But even heaven lit up when Bobby Ray looked beyond Nana and saw his mom’s smile.

@Computilizer
500 words

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Rebekah Postupak
05/22/2012 08:23

“The List”

I can’t believe she’s gone. By all the rules, she shouldn’t be: according to the List, Dena was owed another fifty-two years, eight months, seventeen days. She’d paid in full, too—I witnessed her making the final cash transfer, and signed my government-approved name to it, all legal and everything. Even your grease-dripping lawyers will have to agree the contract was valid.

You developed the List to do away with this exact situation, the “hideous wrenching of unpredictability,” your brochure says. The List “provides peace, happiness, security.” Right there on the front of your brochure, in big, glowing letters.

Well, Dena’s gone, you fatheads, and now her husband is fighting in court over her bank account, and her kids are crying and confused, and our dunderheaded government took her house back, and if you did even ONE stinking thing you promised in the contract, I’d like to know what it is.

“Calm down,” my wife says.

She can say this because she’s still got thirty years left, plenty of time for calm. She knows I’ve only got another month left myself, and she’s got her eye on Ted next door. A month, blast it all, a MONTH, and the way I see it, your company should go right down the toilet where I’ve just flushed my contract codes.

Nobody at your office would talk to me on the phone about it. Cowards. I tried in person, but your guy at the front desk said, “Read the small print, mister, there’s an exception for car wrecks.”

He didn’t need to call security like that, just did it to show off. Probably has a hundred years left, I’d bet. And anyway, it was a lie. I read that contract fifty times, me and Dena did together, read it line by line, and we could read every word just fine. Wasn’t any words any different size than the rest of them.

You can flush your small print, you crummy floozies. Flush it with my contract, with the government, with the whole world.

You owe Dena. You owe her big.

And I want my little girl back.

353 words
@postupak

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05/22/2012 09:30

Okay. Time to reread each of these a few times. I shall send my decisions on to Wakefield early this evening. Thanks to all who participated!

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05/22/2012 11:29

Sorry for your loss, Mr. Wakefield. May stars watch upon her soul.
~ ~ ~

"I can't believe she's gone", I said to myself in a hushed tone, looking away from Jess who told me about her loss. The way she broke this alarmed me even more, she actually handed me a chocolate while we were climbing down the stairs after our college bell rang.

I looked at her and asked, "Why? What's the occasion?", unwrapping the chocolate.

She raised her head but said nothing. I then looked at her girlfriends who were coming along with her, they seemed taken aback. I was confused at what was happening, why is everyone acting weird. I asked her again, "What is the occasion, Jess?"

"It's her sister's birthday.", one of her friend said, not looking in the eye.

I didn't understand it, i knew Tess's sister's birthday was still 4 months away.

"Her birthday is in September, right?", I quizzed them.

Jess, who was silent until then, spoke, " It's not her." she said, looking into my eyes. They were empty, i could read them. My heart started racing when she said it's not her. Pain started to creep in, right from the depths of the heart. Those eyes, those eyes, i could see what they mean. "I have another sister. Elder to me and younger to the one you know.", her eyes still empty.

I couldn't understand that. I knew Jess had a sister and we often talk about her family but she never mentioned her 'other sister'. Why is that? i asked myself in my head.

"She's no more.", Tess said, head hung low.

I was about to ask her when did it happen? But as if she knew , she said, "Long time back. When she was a kid."

We were walking slowly all this time but now i stopped dead. My heart was heavy, i couldn't move my legs. I couldn't look her in the eye. Words deserted me. This is a girl i am deeply in love with, though she doesn't know about it. I could't bear the weight of the knowing that I am going through.

I wanted to tell her, "Oh poor Jess, i love you. nothing would happen to your family anymore" and i wanted to take her in my arms and hug her, letting her know i completely understand her loss and that i would and be all i can, to fill the gap her late sister left behind. But i didn't. The type of bond that was between us was not such, we were just friends. Good friends. I respect that.

Wrapper still in my hands, i stood there, still lost. In thought and in emotion.
Jess slowly said, "Jay, it's okay. Come, let's go."

I looked at her, her eyes still bore the same emptiness but her face was, as always, smiling which is one of the reasons i love her. She cares about everyone. Clutching the wrapper hard, i walked again, now a little closer to Jess.

I am there for you, i promised her, in my heart.
~ ~ ~
500 words
@sankarajayanth
~ ~ ~
this actually is a real one. :\

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S Jayanth
05/22/2012 11:32

it's "jess" not "tess". i was kind of caught in the emotion of the actual thing, i fumbled with the made-up name. :-\

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