1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Winner mootz Short Story Contest 114: Flash Fiction Special

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, May 28, 2012.

    mootz - A Living Thing

    “... it's benign,” Dr. Willow said, heavy brows knitting.

    The words came and went like a gentle breeze—one that knocked a small boulder off my shoulder. Still, one tumor down, two to go.

    “Just, the big one, doc,” I said. He shifted his stance, his weight falling back on a right foot that seemed to want to leave the room as much as I did. I don't think he realized how far away he seemed with that simple gesture. “The one--” I trailed off. “The one in my head.”

    He swallowed.

    “This isn't easy for me to say--”

    “Sticks and stones, doc,” I said with the last bits of courage I could muster. “No matter what you say, you can't hurt me. What's done is done, you can only help.”

    A curious, brief smile curled on the edges of his lips, only to disappear like a shadow caught in peripheral. False hope? Yes. My heart fluttered for that moment.

    “I admire your spirit.”

    “I admire co-eds with penchants for short shorts,” I wryly snickered. I kept my gaze level and the laugh that he replied with was as uneasy and burdened as I could handle at the time. My answer was there in his eyes, I just had to read it, though I wouldn't yet.

    “If we could've found it sooner--”

    My eyes glazed over. I could see his fingers twitching about his files—my files, or charts. I think they are called charts. My legs dangled over the edge of the gurney table and I couldn't feel the floor. With nothing to stand on, I felt alone. I was gone!

    No images flashed before my eyes. No farewells came to mind. No loose ends. As I slowly returned to my body, the doctor's words came back to me, as if the volume of the entire world rose.

    “--twelve months... maybe fourteen.”

    “In time for a check-up,” I chuckled. “In time for a check-up,” I repeated, voice low the second time. “Perhaps I shouldn't have missed so many in a row before now. Well, I did. I messed up and I can already see it on your face. I'm different now—I'm 'terminal.' Don't you dare think you can treat me like that! Don't look at me like I'm your grandfather with a foot in the ground. Treat me like a man, like your damn friend.

    “Say it, Willow. Say it! Look me in the eyes and say it so I know I'm not dead to you. Tell me 'I told you so.' Now!”

    A thousand muscles twitched in his face, ones only the doctor could name. Truth and honor, life and death, duty and disaster... I don't know what struggles were surfacing on that damn doctor's face. I just know he couldn't say it, and that I was too far gone to still be a living thing in the eyes of others.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Congratulations, mootz!
  3. Skodt

    Skodt New Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    Good work with the dialouge and character feeling. I think that your work with the characters was what won you this.
  4. mootz

    mootz Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Thank you.

    Thanks a lot. Getting across the age and attitude of the characters in the limited space was my goal and challenge. Now, if I can only do that consistently throughout the course of 120k words, then I'd be set. lol
  5. Erato

    Erato New Member

    Feb 23, 2012
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    A place called home
    Congratulations as well.

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