the chapel

Priceless Joy hosts a weekly picture prompt, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Inspired by the photo prompt, contributors write 100 to 150 word stories. When I first looked at flash fiction and stories as short as a hundred words, I thought I could never write so concisely. But to write big, you should start small. If I can tell a story in less than 150 words, perhaps then I can write a story of 150 pages. (I hope)

This is my contribution to fffaw, week of May 27:

the chapel

photograph: pricelessjoy

She had never seen a sky so blue. It hurt her eyes to look up into the heavens.

So, she watched the chapel. Waiting. Thinking. Could she do it?

Could she walk up those stairs, cross the threshold?

Could she sit in the confessional booth? Priest listening to meter due punishment.

She fingered her rosary – her mother’s rosary. The beads were polished by years of sweat and tears.

She stood. In measured paces, approached the chapel door. With a slight push, it opened.

Into this stain-glass world. Into this holy site. Into forgiveness. Into absolution.

“Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I helped my mother die with dignity.”

word count: 110


17 thoughts on “the chapel

  1. afairymind May 28, 2015 / 10:36 am

    A great piece, Phylor, with a strong build up and a powerful final line. Brilliant handling of a sensitive issue. :)


    • phylor May 28, 2015 / 11:15 am

      I was my mother’s living will. She did not want any measures to keep her alive if she was dying. So I followed her wishes, and she died with the dignity she wanted.
      I guess sometimes I need to say that — the Chapel brought it out of me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ameena k.g May 28, 2015 / 2:09 am

    You with built up the tension with every phrase up until that last line, which made this story great. I love how this story without really stating it, it touches a deep meaning.


    • phylor May 28, 2015 / 8:25 am

      It was a very personal story as my mother wanted no intervention or extra-ordinary measures be taken to keep her alive. I was her “living will” and abided by her wishes. We were with her when she passed. She was semiconscious, but we think she knew we were there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellespeth May 28, 2015 / 12:42 am

    This is great! Makes me wonder what her penance will be.


    • phylor May 28, 2015 / 8:23 am

      I’ve never been a Catholic, so I can only guess — lots of prayer and rosary beads. The priest will have to keep this knowledge secret, so it depends if the legal/police authorities pursue it.
      Thanks for dropping by!


  4. milliethom May 27, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    Very well written, Phylor. You build the story up well before dropping that last line. Being allowed to ‘die with dignity’ is always a controversial issue, and I like the way you handled it here.


    • phylor May 27, 2015 / 3:38 pm

      My mother requested no intervention to keep her alive should she lose consciousness. So, we had the saline solution and oxygen stopped. It was a hard decision, but that’s what she wanted. She passed as she wanted to on her own terms. It was a verbal living will.
      I guess that’s why dying with dignity is so important to me. And the guilt that can come with it, even if the parent has asked you to handle it a certain way.


    • phylor May 26, 2015 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you. I do like putting a twist in here and there!


  5. Priceless Joy May 26, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    I agree with your comment that her guilt is an extension of her feelings of guilt – and like Nortina said, it was a good tension build-up. I really loved this phylor and the last line was a soft punch in the gut. It felt bitter-sweet. I thought this was excellent.


    • phylor May 26, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      Thank you!
      This story just flowed — one of the times that the first and last lines write themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nortina S. May 26, 2015 / 11:59 am

    Nice build of tension. And the last line was so said, but so beautiful too. Lovely story. :)


    • phylor May 26, 2015 / 12:23 pm

      The tension is an extension of her feelings of guilt. Thank you for dropping by and leaving a very nice comment. I’ll be over to read yours.

      Liked by 1 person

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