If you just open your eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This one is a little different, more poetic than I normally write, it has depth though, if you look.

If you just open your eyes




The old man shook in my arms, like a terrible gale had overtaken him, coatless in the closing night.

I could tell that there was a part of him, that hated being held by me, A part that pushed away my warmth, a part that was ready to die alone.

That last part of his fraying dignity, that small scrap still scrurrying around the dying drain of his life. The shredded, tangled trace,  of his now and forever, bereft manhood.

And I could actually feel the tethering ties tear, the last safety straps broken asunder.

I held him closer, I gave myself to the embrace we shared, part of me was certain it might be his last.

I could feel him grip me back, with the last of his strength, the barriers in his mind broken, his only shining light, my own. He hated me at that moment, for finding his weakness, for finding him afraid and alone.

But I still held on…

I talk about him, and his weakness, his frailty, and his fears; I talk about his dignity, and his oh most painful hurt. I must admit, when I speak of him, I speak of myself as well.  Of all of us, really.

We were designed to be pack animals, but in the dark of the night, we are all, beseeching the barren of light, please sir, just a spark, a tiny trickle of dawn, a silent sliver of the shine of life itself… please, I beg you.

We all cry out into the darkness, into the silence of the lonely hours.

I held him just as tightly as he held me, while the light faded from his eyes, his heart, his very soul.

He did not die alone, and forever, from this day forward, I will not be as alone as that. I will have his embrace. His last grasping at shadows shaped like people.


The end

Submitted: October 07, 2021

© Copyright 2021 chrispy. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I hope you will forgive feedback. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say...

There is something here, for sure. But in this current version the piece tries to combine objective analysis - facts about human life and death - with the emotions that might be felt by the two participants in your scenario. IMHO this doesn't cohere, quite, and comes across as a little overwrought. Specifically the overall text does not consistently immerse the reader in the authenticity of the lived experience of the narrator.

It would be interesting if you revisited it and posted a version two here, more fully imagined.

Please take this as encouragement. Based on that you said you wanted comments... :).

Thu, October 7th, 2021 6:36pm


thank you for your feedback, it's always appreciated. If I do revisit this, and I'm not sure I will, I will definitely post it. This piece is not specifically about the characters themselves, it's more of a metaphor for the human condition. It's about how we're all struggling alone, dying alone, but were never meant to be. Thus, the title, If you just open your eyes. This is kind of a call to arms, for people to see other's around them, and to try and give comfort where they can. The characters were never meant to be specific people, so I chose not to delve into too much detail. It's purposefully vague, because of the varied and many forms of suffering we endure. Thanks again, glad you enjoyed it, at least, I think you enjoyed it.

Thu, October 7th, 2021 12:40pm

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