In the age of darkness

07 Feb
Photo copyright Dawn M. Miller

Photo copyright Dawn M. Miller

Anna pulled a tissue from her sleeve and dabbed the tears dampening Maude’s face. Another light had just gone out in her world; the encroaching darkness threatened to consume her. What good were the golden years if everyone you’d intended to share them with had left you? She’d outlived her husband, their only child, all five of her siblings, and now one more dear friend. Folding the op/ed page back over Maude’s obituary, Anna rose stiffly from her rocker, shuffled to the phone, and dialed a number by heart. “It’s Anna Hendricks. The usual spray of white stargazer lilies, please.”


Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.     ~Rabindranath Tagore

Maybe it was just my mood in the moment, but this week’s photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers struck me as very sad. It brought to mind one of my grandmother’s frequent complaints in her final years…that she had outlived most of the people she loved. So these 100 words are in her memory, and in honor of all those she loved and lost. I like to think they are all together now, basking in each other’s light.

Clicking on the blue frog will take you to a whole collection of 100-word stories inspired by Dawn’s photo.


Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


21 responses to “In the age of darkness

  1. Sandra

    February 8, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    A sad reality. Nicely done.

  2. Life in the 50's and beyond...

    February 8, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Lovely that you are honoring her memory…. sad, but part of life.

    • dreaminofobx

      February 8, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      I think outliving both of her sons was especially heartbreaking for her. She became resigned to seeing friends appear with disturbing frequency in the obituary pages.

  3. patriciaruthsusan

    February 8, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Quite beautiful and well-written. I think many older people think that way at times.

    • dreaminofobx

      February 8, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      I think it’d be hard to avoid that way of thinking once you reach a certain age. It’s just an unavoidable part of life the older you get.

  4. Riya Anne Polcastro

    February 8, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Wow this is amazing! Great job 🙂 Very touching.

  5. Nan Claire Falkner

    February 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Really good – Sad but I have seen so many people go through this – losing everyone that they loved to be the last. The order for the flowers was pitch perfect. Pure genius! Nice tribute to your grandmother!

    • dreaminofobx

      February 9, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      It must be an awful feeling to be “left behind” by your loved ones, especially for those who have always had such a zest for life.

  6. patrickprinsloo

    February 9, 2014 at 3:58 AM

    That’s very sad. It comes to us all, I suppose.

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    February 9, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    Very sad.. Age turning into loneliness

  8. dmmacilroy

    February 9, 2014 at 6:20 AM

    Loved the quote at the end of your stellar story, This one a little bird told me about. Had to drop by and read. Glad I did. Thank you.



    • dreaminofobx

      February 9, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Thank you for reading, Doug, and for your kind comments. I’m very flattered that a little bird even took notice, much less found my story worthy of mention. This FF community never ceases to amaze me with its nurturing encouragement. Truly a safe haven for a wanna-be writer trying to find her voice.

  9. rochellewisoff

    February 9, 2014 at 6:20 AM

    Dear Michelle,

    This left me with an ache that goes from one side of me to the other. The last line seals the deal. As I read it a third time I can’t stop my tears. The mark of a stellar story and a talented author. I saved this story for last and glad I did for it will stay with me like fine perfume.



    • dreaminofobx

      February 9, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Rochelle, I wish I could tell you how much your comments and support mean to me. Each time I link up, I wonder if my story can possibly stand with the likes of yours and the other talented FF writers. Your words inspire me to look for new angles, try new approaches, wander into uncharted territories. I am truly grateful for the Friday Fictioneers community, and especially for your leadership. As a human being, I hate being responsible for making someone cry. As a writer, however, there is a bit of pride there. Not sure how to reconcile such disparate emotions.

      • rochellewisoff

        February 10, 2014 at 4:40 AM

        Dear Michelle,

        Never feel bad for making a reader cry. It’s the highest praise I can give you. Own it and let it wash over you. Your words make my heart swell (and my head a little, too).



  10. smudgedclarity

    February 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    He suffers the most whose job is to put out the lamp!

    Amazingly written
    You brought out the loneliness beautifully 🙂

    • dreaminofobx

      February 9, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Thank you for reading, and for your encouraging words!

  11. wmqcolby

    February 11, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Beautiful and truly meaningful. Awesome!


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