“Life will kick me down he had said”, Samuel spoke into the glass. “Get back up he had also said”, Samuel said, looking down at his breath covering the window with a film of fog. The words had lost meaning. He only repeated them to himself. He had heard somewhere that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. “I have been punched in the face plenty”, Samuel said. “And I have never dropped. I never stopped”, he said. “Never broke, hardly bent, never came to a halt requiring a moment of silence or any pity”, he assured the man who was standing behind him. Samuel said he was ready to take on day after day, ready to take on the world, and ready to take on his life. “There is little to stop me from rolling, barging endlessly into the unknown with confidence and coming out on top”, he said, clenching his teeth.
The doctor nodded without any emotion.
“Do you feel like you’re up now? Do you remember anything from the incident?”, the doctor asked Samuel. Samuel shook his head, thinking the doctor was playing a joke on him.
“I shouldn’t be here, man. I should be out there”, Samuel said, pointing out into the building’s parking lot. It was a windy and rainy evening, and not a soul was to be seen outside.
“I’ll give you time to think it over. You’ve been through a lot and you should probably lay down and rest.”
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. I cannot be defeated”, Samuel said, patting his chest.
The doctor bowed his head slowly before walking out of the room. Samuel expected resistance and protests to his stance and began shaking. The blue ceiling lights flickered, the white sheets on his bed sterile and uninviting. He looked out into the evening through the window. He could hardly see himself in the reflection.
Hi Friends and Followers,
Moments is out in paperback form, available through Amazon, Adlibris, Barnes and Noble, and Create Space.
Below is a link to Amazon. It’s only $9.99 + shipping and combines poetry with short stories.
*I wrote this story for a flash fiction contest based on the work of artist Adam Kluger*
I gave him my back as I always did when I could no longer bear to look him in his face, even after years of looking up to him in admiration. He was my father, the only man I truly respected, and the only one whose expectations I could never seem to live up to. I was nearing forty, he was well into his sixties but age was insignificant in our relationship. I closed my eyes to think back to our days as children, on the beach building sandcastles and playing in the water in a setting of bright sunshine. This was my place of happiness. He was always in the backdrop, detached from us through work, on the phone or reading his newspaper. He seldom looked up to see what we were doing but we paid full attention when he did.
This was the first time I turned without anger or without a feeling of inadequacy. I had aspired to be like him, to be a commanding figure in the eyes of my children but never lived up to the larger than life image in my mind. Now, after all these years of seeing him on rare occasion, he was present and had offered me undivided attention. He had greeted me with a firm handshake as he always did. After an hour of dinner without a hint of distress where we had laughed together more than I could ever remember, I was left disappointed and hurt. More than anything, I was terrified. My father was only human.
“Don’t worry, son.” he had said looking me straight in the eyes. “The doctors say there is still a chance I may somehow survive.”