Trifecta: Exhaust

He sat regally atop the immaculate sheets, a man of great power and even greater pride, his façade an impenetrable fortress. I couldn’t help but wonder in amazement how, even in the humbling hospital gown, he still managed to be surrounded with that air of invincibility. Truly, the man’s immortal. Or at least I thought he was.

Weary and emaciated… the ghosts of his past wrongdoings had finally caught up with him. The man whose word was the law, now an easy prey to doctors, herbalists, priests, faith healers and practically any peddler who claimed they hold the cure. At one point, it was a sort of twisted amusement for me to witness the fall of a god. The man who drank beer like water, now gulped down glassfuls of carrot juice. Cancer of the liver stage four, with metastasis to the brain. A massive fortune was spent to exhaust all therapeutic options on a desperate attempt to prolong his existence.

I stood to help him, he waved me away. He won’t even let me see him suffer. I waited for the apology that I was so sure was to arrive… his mournful remorse for his treatment of us. It never came. And all I could think of was ‘Great.’ Now how was he supposed to know that I cared for him. That in spite of my sensible faculties , I willed for him to live. How was he to know of the late nights I’d spent researching about his illness… scoured the earth – well, by studying – for that elusive, possibly non-existent elixir. I said nothing. I was too proud. I’m his daughter after all.

While it was true that I couldn’t wait to rid myself of him and his tyranny, somehow, I felt like it was too early… too unjust, even for him.

I’m tethered to him. Even three years after and six feet under, here he is, the subject of my story. I guess the damned bastard’s immortal after all.

333 words


60 thoughts on “Trifecta: Exhaust

  1. Amazing – from the rich character description, the development in your narrator, to the crisp last line, this is easily one of the best I’ve read so far this week. Really nicely done!

  2. Funny..I usually agree with comments or give a wry grin…this time I find the comments unusual…for me this was a curse, not necessarily on anyone in particular, just is. But so powerfully written I was just stunned. I knew it was a true story by the 3rd line, or somewhere around there. I have 3 daughters,so the terrified feeling I felt was genuine.
    Literature is conflict. The tension your created in your closing paragraphs was razor edge.
    PS – seems like a popular one.

    • wow looks good to me! ^^ i like photo prompts ^^ but as usual, worried about time(spending too much time on blogging as it is,lol) but i might…

      • I agree about all this time blogging…just can’t resist the challenges. I am trying ways to cut down though – I disabled all comments on my haiku blog..sounds weird, but its only a haiku, and saves time not replying. I like reading/commenting more than replying. Couldn’t do same for main blog though, that would be terrible.

        • yeah and that’s the thing.. more challenges for me means allotting more time to read more of other writers’ entries coz quite frankly, i couldn’t resist reading others people’s work, it’s part of the whole thing ^^ was wise of you to make a separate blog for haiku but mine’s all here photo prompts, writing prompts, haiku, i even stopped contributing to daily post’s daily prompt lol maybe i can do all of it if i don’t join regularly on all of the writing challenges. only when i’m feeling the prompt. like that last photo, i wasn’t feeling that much inspired.

          • Keep going – your writing’s sharp, consistently very good, and varied, and must still get better. I would say don’t do a challenge if the prompt is poor, but do it if the prompt is good, even if you don’t feel up to it/inspired – do it anyway. Don’t let a writer’s primadonna side win!

  3. I feel so bad for the daughter — she loved him despite his abuses and wanted him to be well. And yet he still haunts her life even after dying. Very haunting. Well done!

  4. KZ this is just wonderful. It’s so immediate and yet not asking for any sympathy. It’s total acceptance, you’re calling it like it is! The wonderful humorous ending was perfection!!. I just loved this. Even given the subject matter, it’s bubbly and effervescent! 😀 Just superb!

  5. This is one of my favorites so far. I love the push and pull of emotions, and the fact that even though you’d be justified in wanting a tyrant to die, you wanted him to live. And that last line about him being immortal after all offered an expected moment of lightness that made me chuckle. Great work on this one!

  6. This is incredibly well written. It is so real and I know, as I am going through a similar “decline” with my father, who was always this dominant figure in my, and everyone else’s lives. This is just beautiful.

  7. Fathers and daughters. Such a powerful and conflicted relationship. This is so beautifully written, so raw and poignant. I’m sorry for your loss, but I love how you’ve used it to write such a great piece. That last paragraph is perfect.

  8. Well described. I suspected it was nonfiction and see by the comments it is true. Hit home with me. I had a similar tyrant father I wasn’t quite ready to see go. He’ll always be there hovering.. Nice writing!

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