I stood and observed the paint-chipped, ruby red door, confined by the cottage’s fatigued stone brickwork. The sun’s rays bore down furiously, augmenting the shine of the gilded lion’s head, which exhibited its teeth in a permanent display as if to ward off any potential wanderer that chose to disturb the cottage’s content bubble of isolation. Ivy that blanketed the door’s frame threatened to creep onwards but had been denied access by homeowner’s occasional escapades. I fiddled with the yellow file I had been carrying, its curling corners exposing the papers beneath. From afar, this cottage appeared neglected, but I could now observe the healthy bed of flowers skirting the house; someone had to have been tending to them. I had a decision to make.

A sharp inhale of crisp autumn air raced through my airways, flooding my lungs before solidifying like concrete – grounding me to the spot. I let the breath stew within me, mingling with all the turbulent emotions and hate and longing I bore through my formative years – the notion I’d been abandoned; the discovery of a letter on my 18th birthday; the immediate elation and subsequent hollowness those words spawned within me. I could stretch them across the expanse of my being, or squash them into the darkest pit of my mind, but I will never be free of their power over me.

I felt as though I’d diluted that breath with years of my being – in reality, it had only been half a minute. I let it go, as one releases a hawk to soar unburdened – those emotions releasing with it; hoping they will not return so quickly as that loyal hawk to ground me once again. Once the breath left my body, I felt light and free, as if I myself had been sent soaring through the clouds. I clutched that manilla folder as if it were the only tether I had to this house and its residents – as if it might suddenly disappear and with it, my claim to any sort of familial tie. With new-found courage, I chose to close the gap.

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


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6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


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6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


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5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


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4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


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4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


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4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


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4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


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3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


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3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


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