To Die and Not to Die

Guess what today is… No not hump day. We don’t play that game around here. But it is Wednesday. This is vote day for Indies Unlimited and their flash fiction challenge. If you’ve been around for a while you know the drill. But if you are new…

On Saturdays Indies Unlimited gives us a picture and a written prompt. We have till Tuesday to come up with a story of 250 words based on the prompts. The best stories of the week are then put up for a vote on Wednesdays. Sounds easy right? Sure, 250 words aren’t too many. You could do that in your sleep.

Or maybe in a coma…

To Die or Not to Die

Death comes in a variety of ways. Sometimes it swoops from the blue and carries its victim away in the blink of an eye.

To Die and Not to Die

Photo by K.S. Brooks

It was not like that for Barry. Death had nestled inside him – an incubus, coiling its black tendrils ever tighter around his vital organs. It sapped his strength, then his will.

It went on like that for a long time. Everyone expected Barry to die at any moment, but he just lingered at the gates of death. One day, Barry got tired of it and he just decided not to die after all…

Barry sat up in his hospital bed and pulled the wires from his chest. Panicked nurses rushed into the room only to stumble over each other when Barry said hello. He paid them no mind after that as he pulled the IV needle from his wrist.

“Well, then,” Barry said. “Now where are my clothes?”

Janice, the night lead recovered first. “You haven’t got any here,” she said. “Your coma… Family needs to be notified…”

He yawned and stretched, refreshed from a good nap. “I can’t leave, not dressed in this.” Barry twisted and pulled at the hospital gown, a brisk breeze attacked him from behind. “Could you be a dear and get me something to wear?”

“Sir… Barry… You’ve been in a coma for the better part of six months,” Janice said. “You shouldn’t be up and about.”

“Tut, I’ll have none of this talk,” he said. “I’ve been a lazy lay about for long enough.” Barry marched to the door, past the gawking nurses. “Don’t hold my calls. I’ll be on the way home now.”

Janice raised her hand and opened her mouth but had nothing else to say as he slipped through the doorway.

“I hope I can catch a cab.” Barry’s voice drifted down the hall after him. “I’ll catch a death without proper clothes…”


Remember to head over to Indies Unlimited and put in your vote for your favorite story this week.

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