It began on a magical night beside the river Thames… or so my mother tells me. There was a twenty-car pileup and my parents were stranded in the fallout as her labor gained momentum. By sheer dumb luck, there was an OB three cars up and one to the left. An hour later, I came screaming into the brightly-lit night beside the blackened river, with all the lights of the city twinkling in its eyes, and beyond it, St. Paul’s gleaming like something out of a fairy tale. “The whole world was alight,” Mom used to say. “There was magic in the air.”
It’s been a good run since that night. I don’t regret a moment of the twenty-three years I was given. We all knew my run was going to be shorter than most, although I admit I wasn’t prepared for it to be quite this brief. Still, I’ve made the most of the moments. I’ve learned, I’ve loved, I’ve given my all.
And tonight, it will end, at the far corner of the world, in a place where no created light has ever shone. I feel my smallness here, beneath the dark skies and the deep silence of the back country. I can feel it coming, death spreading its fingers out from someplace deep within. I rest my head on my husband’s shoulder, our sleeping bags zipped together and our fingers threaded together. There’s nothing to say, only one last moment to embrace as we gaze up at the stardust slung across the heavens like a thick carpet for me to tread on my journey into eternity.
I missed the title, you know, the thing that said, ‘fiction’. And I’m all like, ‘what the what?!?!’. Now, it makes sense. beautiful!
WOW! this flowed so well, as if you were right here telling me the story. You grabbed me and led me to the end, and now I need to know where they are going, and why. (Or maybe it’s better to just use my imagination)
either way, I loved the journey of words you just took me on. 🙂
Wow, so sad. It doesn’t matter why her life is shortened. What matters is how she lived. Nicely written.
I love this, Kathleen. How you tied the beginning and the end together in under 500 words and with both photo prompts.
I admit, I am very curious as to the why, and how she knows, however.
I can’t pick a favorite line, there are too many. 🙂
What a lovely comment! I admit I have no idea what she’s dying of. I think perhaps a brain tumor, but I didn’t have time to figure out what sort of tumor would be untreatable and not affect a person’s ability to string pretty words together. 🙂 It would have destroyed the romance of the piece anyway, right?
It is most often true that if I haven’t written it, I don’t know the answer… yet (being one of those “pantser” writers). So I completely understand.
Doesn’t make me any less curious though. 🙂
Talk about beautifully done! This just simply gave me goosebumps! Your writing style is like a finely woven piece of storytelling tapestry! Very well done Kathleen!
Oh my goodness. When I read the lines, “We all knew my run was going to be shorter than most, although I admit I wasn’t prepared for it to be quite this brief. Still, I’ve made the most of the moments. I’ve learned, I’ve loved, I’ve given my all.,” I got a pit in my stomach and said (OUT LOUD), “No, no you can’t die!”
But the commenter Steph is right. It doesn’t matter that she had to die, it is how she lived. Beautiful story!