“I Was With You” – Flash Fiction
Car accidents seem so cliché and that, more than anything, bothers me most. You were everything but, which is why I hate telling people that’s how you died. Hit by a car. One minute folks are making small talk at a dinner party, sipping Diet Cokes and eating Triscuits, the next they’re staring out the window, embarrassed or shocked or both. What can they say? This many years later, I still don’t know how to respond either.
Is it possible to feel closer to you now than when you were still alive? I carry you beneath my skin, imagine you’re sensing the world through my pores, feeding off my pulse, resting with me when I sleep. It’s not that far of a stretch if you think about it. You started, after all, inside of me.
Very poignant, period.
Okay, I had to laugh at that second Anonymous comment. "Poignant? It's bloody awful."
I love the twist at the end, I certainly was not thinking the death was to a child (full grown or otherwise). The "you were everything but" made me think of a lover who just wasn't quite "the one." That coupled with the "Is it possible to feel closer to you now than when you were still alive?" I was really thinking this was a lover, not a child. ZING!
Agreed, I thought it was a lover and loved it was a child instead. Actually it's pretty heart-wrenching either way, especially when you think of telling others how someone died, I think. I almost died when I was policing by a tow truck swinging a car it was towing towards the open door of a patrol car which slammed shut on the bigger man who stood inside the door with me and saved my neck. I thought, wow, wouldn't you just know I would not go down in a blaze of gunfire. "She was killed by a tow truck." Jeeze. Course, dead is dead to the dead.
Thanks for the comments, all. I actually deleted the negative one. Not because I don't mind criticism, but because I mind anonymous put downs without specifics. Your thoughts/responses are interesting to me. I hadn't even thought that the "you" was anyone BUT the narrator's child. I'm glad the ZING was there in the end. And as you know, my mag's blog is open to flash fiction right now, so I hope both of you submit and tell your writer's groups to submit, too…more at http://trachodon.submishmash.com/submit
I found the final few words to be a "zing," too. Very moving and emotionally powerful, Katey. Nice work.
My husband was sitting next to me as i practically went into crying convulsions when i read the last words. they still make me cry.
i'm a mom!
VERY powerful, katey!