Annie On Writing

June 22, 2016

The Journey by Dustin Alexander

Filed under: Twisted Tales,Writing Tools — Annie Evett @ 4:30 pm
It seemed like enough, what she saw, the passing of a life, eaten away bit by bit by cancer, the patient’s family around him. Except it wouldn’t be the thing that would change Tina Swelling’s life. It would be the moment after her patient passed away. The strangest thing was, it seemed so clear, the heartbeats that were fading into silence, yet the sounds of life that would emerge were the clearest, the sounds that would lead to a figure that would be on its knees beside the patient, the figure that was the very cancer that killed him.

He was naked of course, his eyes were terror at the light that was beaming into them, Tina could see that much. She was the first person to see him there by the side of the patient as everyone else was crying. His eyes shocked by light also had tears coming down them, he was pale, his hair hung past his neck. His head tilted the way a dog does when it hears something unique to them, he was hearing how loud life could be, the various sounds that are background noise to us, hardly thought of, nearly overwhelmed him, flooding in, almost drowning, all this in a single heartbeat.

He had a sort of curved forehead at least by to Tina and crow’s foot as if the front of his hair was so scared it ran out toward the back. Scars showed on his thin body and he looked eaten away. His eyes met with Tina’s for a brief moment and his lips quivered as they said something. It was hardly a whisper but it was the end to something very poetic, at least how it sounded, Tina couldn’t actually make out what it was he truly said.

Once the family saw the man, the mother screamed as he appeared to them as if out of nowhere but to Tina it definitely seemed like it was from somewhere, she tried to trace the what she saw back to its origin but couldn’t. The oldest son who almost looked bored and kept finding reasons to leave the room, though it could have been his way with coping with this, responded to scream by looking to the source, heavy bags under his eyes turned to dark circles of rage, making him appear demonic. This son took large strides to the frightened disease in the form of a naked man. He curled his fists and reacted to the unknown the way most react toward something they didn’t understand.

Large, wide, sloppy swings were what the son threw enraged, the rest of the family backing away awkwardly, knocking into each other, screaming louder, they’re attempts at words clashing together becoming mere gibberish. The naked man did nothing to defend himself hitting the wall beside him, giving the TV bolted to the corner right below the ceiling a rattle. Everyone else hardly could react in those two long minutes and then the man pushed his way through the grieving family, eyes closed prepared for more blows of pain but there was nothing. He ran out into the hallway.

Within a lazy fifty seconds there was a scream toward him and the sound of running followed. Tina saw all the eyes of the family members stare at her and before they could accuse her they all said the same thing looking at their father, husband, on the hospital bed, they said his name. The naked man had looked so much like him, enough so the son couldn’t run after him, he questioned his fists now, confused and harmed deeper than he’d ever thought possible, of a father he hadn’t felt anything for since he’d been ten.


1 Comment »

  1. The idea of a personification of cancer is interesting!


    Comment by ganymeder — June 26, 2016 @ 11:14 am | Reply

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