It’s Been Almost a Year


Untitled - Vivian Maier



It’s been almost a year, and at ten years old, Charlene has stepped in as the caretaker. She bursts with survival instincts, but underneath, I know she aches, perhaps more than I. How many years will the grief eat at our weak souls? Will we have relief by the time Charlene is thirty? Will we survive long enough?

Eric worries me. He’s only eight and he walks around dumbstruck. He’s helpful, and he carries my things, but he acts as if he just returned from the war zone in Afghanistan. I want to believe he is moving toward being able to live as a human. After all, he is not the most devastated casualty.

Timmy is only four. His disposition makes my anger rage at the dead woman and creates startling fears of the future, of his future. He constantly looks up, thinking that he might be able to see the moment when his mother incarnated wickedly as a psychotic ape and smashed the glass,  jumping out of the ninth story window. I wonder if he thinks he might go back, 11 months in time, and he might save her by catching her with his tiny hands. I know he cannot process the permanent structures of a suicide. I can’t process those things either, but I know not to look up for her.

It’s been almost a year. It seems we won’t ever recover because time takes far too much time.


Sunday Picture Press III

Indigo Spider has a picture prompt challenge called “Sunday Picture Press.” I’m not good at these, but the above picture haunted me, so I wrote a VERY SHORT story. Enjoy others at the prompt post. I am sure they saw the photo far differently!

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  1. #1 by claudia on May 29, 2011 - 8:00 am

    oh my goodness carl – this gave me shivers…you paint a sad picture and i wish it was only a tale but i know there are more than enough such stories out there and they are real

    • #2 by Carl on May 29, 2011 - 11:18 pm

      Thank you, Claudia. I appreciate your reading and commenting.

  2. #3 by stillight on May 29, 2011 - 11:46 am

    Excellent piece of flash fiction. Liked your take on the photo.

    • #4 by Carl on May 29, 2011 - 11:19 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed a visit to your blog. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. #5 by noobcake on May 29, 2011 - 1:28 pm

    I liked it. I thought it caught the mood of the photo really well, a solid interpretation.

    • #6 by Carl on May 29, 2011 - 11:25 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

  4. #7 by Indigo Spider on May 29, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    Such a well told story. It tells so much for such a short piece and captures the devastation of the children left behind so well. I think you did a fantastic job and it is one of my favorites, thanks Carl!

    • #8 by Carl on May 29, 2011 - 11:27 pm

      I am grateful for your comment. That means the world to me. You provide an excellent sand box with those pictures!

  5. #9 by pattisj on May 30, 2011 - 9:54 pm

    I like your interpretation of the picture. We each have our own stories to tell, don’t we?

    • #10 by Carl on May 31, 2011 - 6:57 am

      We do, don’t we? Thanks for your comment!

  6. #11 by MyWordsWhisper on June 1, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Such sadness some have to live thrrough. You portrayed that very well, and also the roles that emerge from devastation like this. Enjoyed it!

    • #12 by Carl on June 1, 2011 - 9:10 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

  1. Sunday Picture Press IV | Indigo Spider

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