Friday Fictioneers: She Drifts…

I’m late, late, late this week, with too much on my plate! Sorry I haven’t been as good with visiting as many stories as I’d like to! Thanks to those of you who have made time for my writing; it means a lot to me, and I always appreciate your feedback.

Friday Fictioneers is an addictive, wild and wooly weekly flash fiction challenge. Check out the photo prompt, provided this week by Kent Bonham, and write a 100-word story, with a beginning, middle and end. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is our multi-talented, devoted leader. Check out her blog, Addicted to Purple to join in, or read the other stories in this series.

©Kent Bonham

©Kent Bonham


She Drifts (100 words)

She moans in the dim room– with the beep… beep… beeping, of the machines. I wipe her forehead, tell her that it will be ok, but we both know this is not a fight she can win; only my feeble wishes.

I wipe her arms, her feverish face, whispering that I love her, that I will stay right here. She’s weak from medications that don’t work, that won’t spare her life; the cancer has won.

The Fentanyl lollipop brings relief from the pain, and she dozes in her fuzzy world– moaning for what is gone, and what is to come.

*   *    *

Note: A fentanyl lollipop is used for pain management for patients who can’t tolerate other meds. It is often used with kids.

Make me smile; HELP ME REACH MY GOAL:  I’d love to see my Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I try to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  © 2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Courage, Death, Flash fiction, Friday Fictioneers, Life, Tales From the Motherland and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: She Drifts…

  1. You did it again. And I couldn’t even guess at what the picture was. Great job!


  2. Lovely and sad. Reminds me of the picture you posted when your mother was so ill. Well written, my dear. (Keep on having fun – just stay out of the men’s room!)


  3. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Sad and powerful, Dawn. Even in your busy life, you have a great imagination and ability to compress time. Great job as usual.


  4. Dear Dawn,

    You’ve masterfully tied your story to the prompt and taken my breath away in the process. Your first line set the tone and stage. In a few words you put me in the room. The link was informative but I didn’t need it to understand.




  5. jgroeber says:

    This made so much sense. It might be one of the most clearly written, true-sounding 100 word challenges I’ve read of yours. That it’s a fuzzy place she goes to and that pop now looks so grossly fuzzy (I may be influenced by Amy Reese’s hairball) makes it like an imaginary image, as if we’re seeing into her drug-addled brain. Really wonderful.
    (And you never need to apologize for being too busy to write, except maybe to yourself. Because no one should be that busy. Even if we are.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jen, thanks so much! Wow, I’m touched that this story resonated so powerfully for you. For me, the story comes easily, from my time at Hospice, my time with my own mother… and what I know about loss. I’m glad that came across.


      • jgroeber says:

        I don’t think it’s just because the beeping and whirring of hospital machines is so familiar to me as much as I think it’s because every word here you’ve made count. Maybe sitting on the story in your mind with no time to write it actually helped you distill what mattered most? (I always like to think there’s an upside to not having enough time to write. Ha!) At any rate, you captured it.


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  7. Very very sad, but on the mark exactly for such a situation. A meaningful use for a bizarre prompt.


  8. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    Someone told me that your story was really good, so when I got here it was with a sense of anticipation that comes after wading through stories and knowing that the next one is going to be good….. And then I read, breathlessly, your searing tale of love and sadness. I have a good friend battling cancer right now and have been thinking of him a great deal. Your story brought home the fragility of life and the strength of love. It endures, and so must we. Thank you for writing such a beautiful, melancholy piece.




    • Thanks so much Doug. It tickles me to know that “someone,” anyone (!) told you about my piece before hand, but I’m so glad it didn’t disappoint. THAT is such a let down, when you have the anticipation and then it falls flat. I work at Hospice, and I’ve spent a lot of time (both personally, and professionally) with loss. It is indeed the love that endures; it’s a comfort, in the darkest times. Admittedly, this photo prompted 2 instant story ideas: this one, and one about the end of childhood– so either way, I was going melancholy this week. 😉 Mahalo! Dawn


  9. Vinitha says:

    Breathtaking! No words from me would do justice in telling how wonderfully you told the story..


  10. K.Z. says:

    a sad and beautiful piece. it’s lovely what you saw in this very odd prompt.


  11. draliman says:

    A very sad story, very well written. I dread maybe one day having to watch someone I love slip away like that.


  12. This was so painful but so evocatively told, Dawn. I really admire the way you used the 100 words to convey despair and helplessness thanks to the dreaded disease. Wonderful!


  13. Amy Reese says:

    You took me right to the room with your story, Dawn. So sad and real. What a painful thing to experience, for both the sick and the caregiver. Well done.


  14. margirene says:

    So sad. Your last line is heartbreaking – ‘what is to come’. Well told.


    • Thanks so much Marg. I know that so many of us have been in that room, or known others who have… Welcome to Tales From the Motherland; I really appreciate you taking the time to read my story and share your feedback.


  15. So sad.. such a lollipop really bring together the dark and the sweet.. yes this was sad and stark.. the beeps and the sterile environment is a set construction for tragedies of all kind.


  16. rgayer55 says:

    Outstanding story, Dawn. I can’t think of anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer. My oldest brother succumbed to it a few years ago and people who fighting it are added to our prayer list daily. This really touched my heart.


    • Russell, it touches me that you found this story so moving. No doubt, we have all been impacted by cancer, but more true: we have all been touched by loss. Thank you for sharing your kind, caring feedback. It means a lot to me.


  17. Sandra says:

    Such a moving story Dawn. Beautifully written.


  18. This touched me as well. It reminded me of my father’s battle. He would have been 79 last week.


  19. Sarah Ann says:

    Such a touching and poignant story.


  20. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn, Your story is so touching! My twin sister, Ann, has a non-curable cancer and has had two stem cell transplants. When you go to MD Anderson in Houston, it’s such a different atmosphere being in a Cancer hospital. My sister is doing fine – she was diagnosed in 1996 the first time and then it came back 13 years later. She’s my twin – the other half of me, and I certainly understand your story. I have been blessed with her longevity and I Thank God everyday for this. God Bless you Dawn – wonderful, moving, and so accurate! Nan 🙂


    • Nan, I’m so sorry that your sister has faced such a difficult and deeply challenging situation in her life, and that you and your family have had to watch it happen. Such a enormously painful path to travel. Thank you so much for reading the post and for sharing your special comment. dawn


  21. MrBinks says:

    Very nicely written.


  22. wmqcolby says:

    Sure, better late than never … AND WELL WORTH THE WAIT! Heartbreaking and poignant. Great take on the prompt, Dawn! Hit the nail on the head. Bravo!


  23. ahtdoucette says:

    A powerful, touching story.



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