Flash Fiction, 298 words. The pen is mightier than the sword and more devastating.
|"This doesn't make any sense." a phrase I'll never forget, spoken by my father as he read a diagnoses letter from the hospital. He slid down the wall into a heap, never before had I'd seen him so vulnerable. His fingers trembled still gripping onto the paper, I wrapped both my arms around him stopping what I didn't realize was a panic attack.
We drew a part that fateful day. Not out of the absence of love, father's mind was always occupied in deep reflection. No longer would he play with me, yet always insisted on serious conversations. "Hey, dad, let's pretend we're action heroes" I'd often prompt. His face used to light up and become animated. It was as though the child inside him never truly went and there'd be no better friend one could have asked for".
After that letter, it all stopped. “A day will come when you'll need to help your mother, promise me you'll do that" he'd frequently say. I made that promise over a dozen times.
Adults always tread on the topic of father discretely around me, phrasing the reasoning for his attitude as the dreaded 'C' word. He was supposed to visit the doctor, following that letter, he'd argue that it was a waste of time he didn't have.
I no longer recognized him as the man I once so admired until one day I caught him again reading another letter, in floods of tears. “It was only a mistake, oh my god thank you, thank you so much!” he shouted out to the heavens.
The hospital made a clerical error, no longer did father believe his life would end in six months. But on reflection, another unfortunate soul out there received such devastating news, with little time left to live.