I Cannot Be


I lean, breathless, into another’s arms.

I am not comforted.

Knowing I should feel loved as I’m wrapped in waiting arms carves desperation more deeply into me.

My life ebbs away, sailing from the shifting shore of my body like a piece of driftwood floating out to sea.

I’m supposed to be grateful, appreciating time, when each moment my body weakens. Each second strips me of a healthy joint, robs me of another heartbeat.

I cannot be any of the things they want me to be. I cling to self-pity when all I want to do is let go.



July 15 Prompt: Life (In 99 words – no more, no less – write a story about a breathless moment. Write about life.)

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

15 thoughts on “I Cannot Be

  1. Oh man. This is so heartbreaking and beautiful. “My life ebbs away…”, that paragraph is perfect. I loved this.
    Great 99 words, though I’m trusting you… Because I’m not counting! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Potent piece of flash. You can go so deep, yet write with such lyricism that pain and pity becomes something beautiful. This flash also captures that longing to be whole when really we never are. Deep stuff!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Breathless « Carrot Ranch Communications

  4. A very poignant and tragic piece of flash, Sarah. I think it must be very difficult for one with a terminal illness to not give into self pity every now and again. To remain always uplifted, and an inspiration to others, must be a huge burden. I think you have captured that well. And wanting release from the pain, as well as the additional burden of others’ needs is totally understandable. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ‘I cannot be any of the things they want me to be’. This is powerful writing Sarah to say the least. I had to take a deep breath after reading your excellently written flash, left me reeling in its raw truth. Wow…

    Liked by 1 person

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