September 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

September 7, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a busy character. It could be a busy beaver, gnawing birch trees endlessly or an executive on the go. Go where the prompt leads.

The last of the shopping had been put away, and the house was as neat as a pin.
She’d done all the washing and ironing, and prepared dinner in the kitchen.
No time to relax though, just a shower and then off to visit.
She got to the hospital and her mother’s bed was enclosed in a curtain.
The family emerged from behind it.
They looked tired.
‘Where were you? She was asking for you.’
‘I was busy. How is she?’
‘It doesn’t matter now. She died half an hour ago.’
Being houseproud is a heavy burden to bear.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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12 Responses to September 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

  1. Norah says:

    It’s never good to be too busy for the important things in life. Maybe being busy sometimes removes us from painful situations though. Accidentally intentional.

  2. scifihammy says:

    That was unexpected!
    Glad to say that is never likely to happen to me . . .

    • My first MIL was diagnosed with terminal cancer less than a fortnight after we were married. That first year we spent alternating between hospital visits, looking after his Dad, doing his washing or shopping, as did other members of the family. Husband and I took it in turns to visit daily so that she always had a visitor. That last weekend, I caught up with my housework, not visiting Saturday, but going in on Sunday. She told me I was the only one who hadn’t visited the day before. I felt dreadful, and incredibly selfish, and swore never to be ‘too busy’ for anyone again. She died the following day, but at least I got to apologise.

      • scifihammy says:

        Aw I sympathise – but no matter how much you visit them in hospital, the chances are they will die the moment you leave – as happened to my siblings, and a friend of mine. My own Elderly died a few hours after our last visit and just before our next.
        But yes, I also learnt long ago that hw isn’t everything.

  3. the story leaves a lump in the throat.
    I could not be with a close friend when she passed away. I wish i was with her.

    • My best friend died four days before a planned trip up to see her. Her husband said she knew I was there, just couldn’t see me for the minute, and she fell asleep for the last time in his arms.
      Perhaps your friend felt your spiritual presence before she passed away.

  4. susanzutautas says:

    How sad 😦

  5. Deborah Lee says:

    Oh, the regrets! But was staying busy her way of coping?

    • For me and first MIL, it was just catching up and at least I got to see her before she passed away. I know of several people who keep busy to save them thinking of more unpleasant things.

  6. Charli Mills says:

    A somber look at which tasks we choose to busy ourselves with. But I learned a new word!

  7. Pingback: Not Now, I’m Busy « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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