A story a day until there’s a sleigh! This holiday season, I’m sharing a new flash fiction piece inspired by a holiday song every day of December until Christmas. Today’s story is inspired by People Look East.
The pain felt like death–probably because it was death. Margaret’s kidneys were functioning at 20% capacity. Without oxygen, she gasped for breath. With oxygen, her breaths were gurgled with acid reflux rising in her throat. Her wrinkled skin was tinged corpse gray.
“Organ failure,” the nice doctor had told her during one of her lucid moments. “We’re looking to make you comfortable.”
Margaret pumped the button on her opium drip and felt the rush of relief swelling up like a dream–her worn and battered body resting on a cloud.
She wondered who would come for her. Her mother had seen a great aunt. Her father had been visited by his own father. “Daddy,” he’d called out like a little boy. Her sister had been ushered to the beyond by their grandmother. “Granny’s here” were her final words.
Margaret thought most likely her brother, Jim, would be the one to come to her. He’d been killed in action in France–blown apart by German shrapnel–when Margaret was just thirteen leaving a void in her heart.
The last of the family left living, no heirs of her own, Margaret was technically dying alone, but she believed in her heart she wouldn’t be for long.
Love was on the way.