Saturday, April 22, 2006

Entry #4

"The Widower's Light"
by Flood Vax

I am sorry to tell you your wife has died.

In a funeral home, under some stairs, Dobson is crouched in an alcove.

She had a good life.

The funeral director is closing up. He listens as she makes her way through the building, turning off lights and closing doors. The ceiling lights of the corridor in which he hides go out. The only source of light are twin lamps, set on a table opposite his alcove.

I cannot leave Frances alone in here.

Footsteps approach. He tries to hold his breath as she walks past. His lungs betray him. He tries to catch his breath but he is caught instead.

'Hello? Who's there?' The startled director turns his way, blocking light shed by the lamps. He waves his hand dismissively. Only an old man...but nothing escapes his coughing fit.

Frances has never been alone at night since we were married.

'Mr. Dobson! Are you-?' Dobson lurches into the corridor. Stumbling, he knocks over one lamp. It flickers out, in shards.

She would have lived if I didn't panic.

Unstable, he reaches for the director. She backs away, confused. Dobson, still fighting for air, is panicked. Reaching for the table, the second light falls. The director tries to pass him to get to a phone. They collide; he collapses.


'Mr. Dobson?'

Find a way to live without her now, Dad.

The director blindly feels for vital signs. Finding none, she goes back to her office to use the phone.

[Flood is a new blogger to the internet and a wanna-be author. With no experience and nothing published, Flood relies on a "Fake-it-til-you-make-it" attitude.]


Bernita said...

Really good.
Needs a little pruning or clarification.
Things like first hiding in an alcove and then hiding in a corridor.
Really liked the light going out in shards.
The ironic motivation - she had never been alone at night since they were married - is most poignant.

Erik Ivan James said...

Like Bernita, I was caught by the "...never been alone at night...". That added a very meaningful touch.

Robin said...

I loved it!

Jeff said...

Good job. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliments/critique. Fool that I am, when I submitted this the first time, I did not do a word count.

It was twice as long as was asked!

It was my first time editing for the economy of words, and it was difficult and almost sad, in a way. I am really proud that I followed through, though. I wanted to give up.


Bhaswati said...

So touching. Frances has never been alone at night since we were married. That line made me smile; it's so poignant. You did wonderful :)

Jaye Wells said...


This one actually made my eye's sting. That's tough to do with me. Good job.

Now I need a kleenex.


Anonymous said...

Nice job. You captured the heartbreak of a long married couple when one dies. And how true that the one left behind soon follows. I'm glad you didn't give up on this story.

Jerilyn Dufresne, author said...

Wonderful and touching. Jer

Lyn said...

I've really enjoyed reading the series of stories, Jason. Thanks again for hosting and allowing/encouraging us to participate. Flood, you have a strong plot - needs a bit of pruning as mentioned, but very evocative. Not sure if he's calling himself Dad at the end? Could you clarify for me? Thanks again for your story. Lyndon (Entry #24)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, thanks for your comment. I would be grateful to discuss my entry with you, but involves linking the original, which I am hesitant to do before the contest is closed. Could you tell me which blog from your list would be better for discussion or would you prefer an email?

Lyn said...

Flood, Oh that's right. I have too many dang blogs! lol, at any rate, email me at lyngperry at yahoo. I love writing and discussing ideas, I am not an expert and don't even play one online! :-) Thanks for the reply. Chat with you later, lgp

Anonymous said...

Flood, what a powerful theme. He's told to find a way to live without her when he knows he can't. Grief in the extreme.

Great pacing here.