[Short Story] - Loss

in writing •  last year  (edited)

The writing prompt was:

Provided by @mariannewest

Image courtesy of @rocking-dave

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. There was nothing you could do.” The police officer kept repeating to me.

“I could’ve helped! I could’ve... At least tried.” I sobbed.

“And get yourself killed too? You did the right thing, John.” He sat down next to me on the sidewalk and put his arm around me. “There was nothing you could do.” His words didn’t help calm me down even though I knew he was right.

After a few moments of awkward silence, he lit up a cigarette and offered me one too–I declined. “I’m sorry to have to ask you this, but do you remember anything that could be of use?”

Thomas and I found ourselves in the middle of an armed robbery that day, and it was only by a miracle that I ran back to get ice cream when Thomas was already waiting in line to the cashier.

Just as I left him in the waiting line, two masked men entered through the front door and fired three shots into the air to strike terror in both the cashiers and the customers. Everyone dropped on the floor instantly–myself included.

They shouted for everyone to put their hands behind their heads and for the cashiers to empty their registers.

I didn’t see anything, but judging by what I heard, Thomas didn’t do as instructed, and even talked back when they asked him again.

“Why don’t you put the guns down and we find you two a proper job? I’ll help you.” Tears came pouring down my eyes. “That’s what he told them before he got shot. He was a hero, officer. A real life hero.” The lump in my throat made it near impossible to talk. “And all I did was lay down on the floor and do nothing!” I yelled, grabbed a rock that was on the floor next to me and threw it as hard as I could. “I could’ve helped! I could’ve been there for him!”

The officer dropped his cigarette and hugged me. “He will forever be a hero, John. In all our hearts.” I could feel his voice start shaking as well. “As long as we live, he lives, too. Through all of us.”

“I just lay there. I didn’t help him.” I kept muttering to myself.

He got up and offered me a helping hand. “Come, let’s get you something to eat and then get you home.”

“But, …”

“Don’t worry, the others will wrap it up here. Come.”

I took his hand and he helped me stand up, then escorted me to his police car.

“So, where to?” he pointed at the passenger seat when I had already wanted to sit in the back.

“Taco Bell,” was the only reply I could muster.

That was the first time I ever drove in a police car, and also the first time with the lights and the sirens on–per my request.

Being away from the crime scene, enjoying a warm meal, and talking about everything other than what had happened helped me feel better. It turned out that the police officer that had been talking to me the entire time was in fact one of the best detectives in the country. He worked undercover a lot, and some of the country’s greatest arrests were under his belt. I enjoyed listening to stories from his work, even though they contained a lot of death–they kept my mind busy.

When I asked him about his colleagues, he told me he had lost many of his friends, too. “My line of work isn’t really known for its safety,” he chuckled, “but you’re never okay with losing a colleague. Or worse, a close friend.”

“Does it get any easier with time, though?”

“That, my friend, is up to you to decide. If you let it consume you, it will only get harder. If you choose to confront it and make peace with it, it will get easier. Time itself will never heal your wounds, only you yourself will.” He saw me starting to tear up again, so he continued. “That doesn’t mean you have to try and forget about your friend. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t. What I meant was that if you allow for anything in life to have power over you, it will have power over you. Acknowledge your loss, confront it, and accept it. Remember him with pride and with a smile on your face.” He noticed a tear rolling down my left cheek. “He wouldn’t want you to cry, now, would he?” We both smiled as he offered me a handkerchief.

We talked some more about whatever topic came to mind, when we suddenly realized the time read midnight.

He drove me home–with the sirens on, of course–thanked me for cooperation and the information I gave them and left. I thought I would see him again at the funeral or at the station when I got summoned there, but I didn’t. I didn’t even get to know his name.

All I remember of him are the words he told me before I left his car–which I still live by to this day.

“Remember, John, you always have a choice. You can choose to suffer, or you can choose to smile, no matter what the world throws at you. Always a choice, John, always.”

Liked what you read and want more such stories?
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I present you with my first published collection of 33 morbid stories!

Some of the stories are exclusive to the publication and some are freely available on the Steem blockchain, most of which been completely overhauled before publishing (or at least checked for all typos and other errors), so you're bound to be thrown off your chair even if (you believe) you've read them before.

E-Bits of Dread - 800x1200.jpg

Purchase options:
Amazon kindle
e-book from me (purchasable with STEEM)
Paperback available starting 22nd August.

But honestly, do you really want to miss out on exclusive content?

Short stories I have written so far:

Happy ending
#1 - Living off the grid
#3 - A young thief
#8 - A traitor from hell
#9 - Not alone
#10 - Millitary testing grounds
#13 - Bigfoot
#14 - And angel in love with a whore
#15 - Down the rabbit hole
#18 - Reborn as a 10 year old
#19 - A struggling door to door salesman
#24 - Rebellious talking food
#26 - Ssssnails!
#28 - Mission Erased
#32 - Dog's breath
#38 - Abducted
#42 - Killer clowns
#43 - A penny
#44 - Fear
#49 - Morning coffee
#50 - Midnight sunshine
#51 - My new home
#52 - Protest
#2 - A dolphin tea party
#4 - Stained hands
#7 - The giant depressed onion
#21 - The red star
#25 - Long-distance Relationship
#27 - A dream
#30 - Potato
#31 - Dragons
#33 - The Jungle
#35 - A life lesson
#36 - Unicorn meat
#39 - The Purple Road
#40 - Immortal Store Clerk
#41 - Artemis' Hell
#46 - A scientist's journal
#47 - One of many
#48 - Gone in 10

#5 - The homeless man
#6 - A blind date
#11 - The wealthy man
#12 - Happy ending
#16 - Asshole soulmate
#17 - My bunny Fluffy
#20 - War veteran
#22 - Wishing to meet a villain
#23 - School trip
#45 - Crafted armor

#29 - Green Chewing Gum
#34 - Turkey Trauma
#37 - Stuck in a loop

Want such a table for your own work? Or even make it better? Learn how to do it here.

Five minute freewrite challenges I have fulfilled so far:

Fire, Toilet, Flash, Soft feet, Pillow, Grounding, Surprise, Ending the pain, Going for a walk, Car Mechanic, Murderer, Dog hair, Ducks, Untested medicine, Forbidden love, Vacation, Awakening, Dentist, Wild west.

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Hi svashta,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit curiesteem.com or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

  ·  last year (edited)

Thank you so very much for your support and this upvote(s)!
I feel honored that you have chosen my work!
I will proceed to create ever more! :D
You have a great day too! ;)

That's a nice story with great lessons.

Forgetting people we've lost is nearly impossible no matter how hard we try, but we can come to terms with what happened and let ourselves heal from the pains of losing them.

And to be honest, I wouldn't even want to forget. Ease the pain, sure, but forget? Never.
I still have tears come to my eyes when I think of certain individuals who have already passed away, but it's a certain type of happiness to be able to feel that way and to be able to remember those moments.
They're gone, sure, but the memories of them will never be. ^^

The beautiful memories is what we have left of them, forcing ourselves to forget it will be a disservice to ourselves.

The pains are what we have to get over.

Indeed! ^^

It's an eternam struggle... But not of the bad kind ^.^

definitely not a bad one...

There you go, doing what you do best, writing a story that keeps my attention from beginning to end. Those words to live by are perfect! Oh, and you just casually mentioned that you published a book...CONGRATS @svashta! How exciting! : ) I not into morbid stories so I will have to think about purchasing this one.

Resident cat here, choosing to smile as I deliver today's new prompt: https://steemit.com/freewrite/@mariannewest/day-300-5-minute-freewrite-wednesday-prompt-towel

Win a Membership in Steem Basic Income - Tell us About a Favorite Freewrite

Thanks! :D Very happy to hear you liked it! :D I'm thinking of writing more of the... non-morbid ones... in the upcoming weeks/months... to fill a collection and have it ready for publishing :P so that each can find something they like within my work ^^ Because, as you stated, not everyone likes morbid ^^
Hopefully, some of the upcoming stories change your mind about the purchase, if nothing else because you'll want my entire collection :P

Just did it! :D Thanks for the prompt delivery!
Get it? prompt as in quick and prompt as in prompt. ;D

Excellent work, and man you are a prolific writer. You not only worked in the grief aspect, and dealing with it, but also the natural life lesson that we each need to learn to be happy. It's our choice how we respond....

Thank you very much!

And yeah, I struggled a lot with the loss of my grandfather, then actually learned to draw power from the memory of him. Everything in life is a learning process that cannot be rushed. Once you get these two things down, life becomes much simpler (I don't want to use the word easier haha :D)

Oh, and, since you enjoyed this story.. Maybe you'd enjoy some others of mine from the "misc" or "happy ending" column also ^^ if you find some extra time, I invite you to give them a read.. Or some of the more brutal ones if you're into that ^^ the choice is all yours

I enjoy a little bit of all types of endings. I'll try to hit a few of them

Then I believe you're bound to find something for yourself! :D
Thanks for stopping by and I'm very happy to hear you enjoyed my work :D

You are a brilliant writer, and thanks to you for sharing your work with us.
Will be keeping an eye on this space. Just curious, how much is your book in steem?


Thank you very much for the kind words! And very happy to hear you're interested in more of my work! :D

As for the price of my book I'd rather use SBD as opposed to STEEM, just because SBD is "pegged" to the value of a dollar, and therefore makes it all a little easier.
I'll make an entire post with all the options and prices on the 22nd of August when I get the proof paperback copies of the book and see if it can get published or if it needs a tweak or two. :P
But until then, I think a fair price would be 5 SBD for the e-book, and 9-10 SBD + shipping for the (signed) paperback (if bought with SBD)

I totally get it. Okay, I'll wait for that post. I'll be happy to buy a copy...if it's too much hassle, I'll get the ebook version. Gonna follow you now, so I don't miss it. Cheers to more sales, mate. 😊

No hassle at all for me, just a longer wait for you! :P
Awesome! :D thanks for the support! :D
Hopefully in the meantime you will read some of my former stories too ^^

Hahaha. Still I wait. I'm in Nigeria at the moment. And even if I leave soon, I think I'll still be in Africa(Nairobi I think). So factor that in. I'll prefer a signed copy. 😁. If the hassles are too much, then will go for the ebook version. I'll surely check out your new posts later in the day.

You are welcome, and thanks for dropping food for the soul. Regards mate.

Haha okay :D I'll let you know when a signed copy is available and how much the shipping costs (I have never shipped anything internationally yet) so that you then know all the variables. :D
Thanks again for the interest :D

Hey! :D
Me again.

Commenting to let you know I've written the post dedicated to my book and the prices and shipping are all fixed now.
There's an ongoing 20 % discount on all orders placed until the 1st of October to make it more accessible to the early adopters, then the price will go up to 15 SBD (Now 12 SBD with worldwide shipping included - no matter where in the world you are ^^).

You can find the post here, or through the feed of my new account @davidkain. All of my polished work will be published there from now on ^^

  ·  last year (edited)

Just commenting to let you know the paperback version is live on amazon and that I have updated the prices on all formats.

$3.99 for e-book over amazon or other retailers and
$8.99 for the paperback over amazon,
And as for SBD/STEEM prices
2 SBD/STEEM for the e-book from me and
8 SBD/STEEM + shipping for a signed paperback copy directly from me.
There is a twist, though. I"m getting my paperbacks delivered to me on the 3rd of September, so it might take a while if you want a signed copy.
I am stationed in Europe, though, and it might actually prove to be cheaper to buy the paperback from me as opposed to from amazon if you are from Europe also. But, as said, it might take a while. :3

Thanks again for the interest! And I'll be making a separate post for the book when I get a hold of my paoerbacks, likely on the 3rd of sept. Want to include a picture of me holding a copy. :P haha

You are doing very best

This.. I want to eat this.. I'd drink a Irish Stout with it.