by thefourpartland

Effectively my first piece back from two months of break (I last wrote seriously in November). Hopefully, I haven’t lost my touch too badly.

I lost a friend today. A good friend. One of those you can call in the middle of the night to talk to, one who will hold me when I’m down and knows the right words to say to bring me back. It was a slow fading that took her. We both could see it coming, but neither wished to acknowledge what was happening, and so we meandered on through life, until one day she was gone, and I was without my support.

What hurt most was never saying goodbye, knowing that there was so much life that had been left unlived, so many gifts the world had not received because of a life that was broken too young. Of the two of us, she was the better, the one with more promise to offer the world. You could find people like me anywhere you looked, but her? They came along rarely, for they healed the world about them.

She had healed me, over many long days and nights of conversation and friendship, and so I thought to pick up her mantle when she had gone, but people did not respond to me as they did to her, and I did not have the talent to heal. I became bitter, for I felt rejected by those around me. I had reached out a hand in kindness, and found all too often it was bitten and cursed with foul words and foul intent.

And so here I am now, a changed man once more. No longer healed, but perhaps happier all the same. I feel more myself than I have in some time. Perhaps it’s my renewed taste in food. The ancients always believed you gathered strength from the souls of those you killed, and I have. I have gathered strength from every soul but one.

Killing my friend was an act of kindness, for she was grey and wan when I came to her, and smiled at me as I kissed her forehead. It was the last time we whispered our love for one another, friends, and once, more.

I could not gather her soul to me, for it needed to fly free. I let it go, my best wishes sent winging after it. Then I turned my attention to the room next to hers, and began to gather souls again.


  1. Jen Wylie on 01.19.2011

    Wow I just love it! You certainly haven’t lost your touch!
    I’m all sniffly now.

  2. Susana Marcelo on 01.19.2011

    This was beautiful =)

  3. Kimberly Kinrade on 01.19.2011

    LOVED this! Nice twist. Evocative. Beautiful. Dark. Sooo you πŸ˜‰

  4. The Four Part Land on 01.20.2011

    Glad you all liked it. Decided to make it my #FridayFlash for the week.

    And Kimberly, that makes me sound like I’m an Anne Rice vampire. Please don’t do that.

  5. Kimberly Kinrade on 01.21.2011

    aww but vamps are very “in” right now πŸ˜‰ fine, but it’s still awesome.

  6. The Four Part Land on 01.21.2011

    I am not going to sparkle just for your pleasure πŸ˜›

  7. Tony Noland on 01.20.2011

    I was all set to feel sad for this person, but the dark turn made it a lot more complicated. Evocative piece.

  8. Louise Broadbent on 01.20.2011

    Dark, moving, original…it’s a good ‘un. The last line didn’t quite feel right – might be worth rewording slightly but other than that it all flowed beautifully like a black river of velvet.

  9. Janet Aldrich (TEC4) on 01.20.2011

    Tony had the right of it … the character was sympathetic and repellent by turns. Give his (?) nature, it’s no wonder s/he extended a hand and got the reaction s/he did.

  10. Adam Byatt on 01.21.2011

    I’m in agreement with Tony; you subvert the sympathy the reader has for the main character. Cleverly constructed.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  11. The Four Part Land on 01.21.2011

    The main character’s a he, definitely.

    @Tony, et al – I started writing the piece with just the sad story, and knew if I ended it that same way, it would be dull and dreary and have nothing to it. So I had to change the character somehow to make the story matter.

    @Louise I’d probably rewrite the last half of the last sentence, given another shot. It doesn’t quite convey the same feeling about the character as the rest of the piece.

  12. Lara Dunning on 01.21.2011

    This piece really rocks! The way you have paced it with the reflective sadness and ended it with a thrilling mysitical theme-which ensures the character changes from begining to end.

  13. Seleste deLaney on 01.22.2011

    Beauty and tragedy rolled up in one. Nice to see he loved her enough to let her soul fly free. πŸ™‚

  14. Aidan Fritz on 01.23.2011

    I found this particularly sad; I like when stories play with my emotions, and the complexity added by his darkness at the end just increases the sadness.

  15. The Four Part Land on 01.23.2011

    It’s interesting to see from the comments that the writer does not know everything, not by a long shot. I wrote three flash pieces that night. This, The Village, and one other that’s not posted yet, and of the three, I thought “My Friend” was the worst of the three, that it started without me knowing where I was going, and that it had a tacked on end.

    Instead, it’s universally been the most popular of the three. Glad to know I was wrong about this piece.

  16. Brainhazewp on 01.23.2011

    I had no idea until the very end – excellent piece – certainly havent lost your touch. Its like riding a bike πŸ™‚

  17. ganymeder on 01.23.2011

    Whoa. Let me just say you have NOT lost your touch.

  18. Julio Ricardo Varela on 01.23.2011

    Wow, I was so into the character’s sorrow and grief and how he even admitted that he was happier, but then the ending totally freaked me out and changed the whole feeling of the piece, in a good way. I was intrigued as to why did it.

  19. The Four Part Land on 01.24.2011

    @Julio I have no idea why he did it. I just write these things, and they tell me how the story goes. They usually don’t bother telling me why the story goes as it does.

    @Ganymeder Thanks, glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

    @Brainhaze It might be like riding a bike, but sometimes it feels to hard to get back on. I’m just glad this time I didn’t fall off right away.

    Thanks for the comments πŸ™‚

  20. Maria Kelly on 01.24.2011

    Wow….sad then angry then very, very dark. A nice welcome back piece. Welcome back. You haven’t lost your touch!

  21. L.M. Stull on 01.31.2011

    Ack a perfectly sad, amazing piece filled with overflowing heartfelt emotion. Easily, one of my favorite pieces . . . ever.

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