Breath of Life. Short Story.

So Christmas was yesterday, for those who celebrate it, I hope the day was everything you hoped and more, and for those who don’t, or who celebrate other holidays, I hope you’re day was spectacular.

I’m just after finishing dinner and as I write this I had a dog half lying on my laptop and my hand. Yes, it is making typing very difficult. My day was quite pleasant, very relaxed. We got up late enough, I made pancakes for breafast, they were delicious and dinner was easy as everything was prepared in advance, it was also delicious. I’m pretty tired at the moment, so this shall be fairly short! I visited family and the like, beyond that not much else happened.

I hope you enjoy Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day/Wednesday/Any other name you have for it)


Breath of Life.

The entire world held its breath, something happened, something changed. After a moment the wind started to blow, a slow sigh through the trees. It didn’t know what was different, but it would soon.

As the wind blew a bird faltered in its flight, dropping a few feet before regaining its rhythm and flying on, below it a squirrel scampered up a tree, narrowly avoiding being caught by a fox, the fox moved on, looking for a meal, but it would find none. Not today.

Jeff was walking slowly, he felt better, better than he had in a long while. He had thought about doing it, not just idle thoughts. This time was different, this time he knew he was going to do it. He had decided on pills. They would be fastest. Sleeping pills first, then as many as possible before he passed out. As he raised his hand to his mouth he stopped and let them fall. It wasn’t the answer. He couldn’t do it. He hadn’t cleaned them up yet. He was too busy enjoying this feeling, this strange, new feeling, the knowledge that everything was going to be ok.

Hanna never liked driving, she always felt so damn nervous. She had been in a car crash when she was sixteen, she had been fine, but her friend wasn’t. He was still in a wheelchair. She always felt sick while driving but it needed to be done. The public transport system was nearly non-existent. She knew that in time the feeling would end, but the question was when. She had been to therapy for it, but that didn’t really help. Her mother had said she just went to a shitty therapist, but she didn’t want to find another. It would go away. She had only been driving for two years. She was proud of herself, she had managed to actually learn and get her license, something she had never thought she would be able to do. She reached over and switched on the radio, hoping the music would distract her slightly. She found it helped, it didn’t matter what was playing, just as long as there was music. She hired it up slightly, then smiled. It was going to be a good day, she could feel it. She slowed, then stopped as the light turned red. She had to pick up a cake for later on too, she couldn’t forget that. The one thing she was in charge of. The party tonight would be good, Barbara’s parties were always great. The light turned green, she pulled forward. She froze. A car, careening towards her, nothing she could do to stop it. Oh god oh- sparks, screeching, loud, eternal. Silence. The car had stopped, she sat, clutching the steering wheel, shaking. The car had slid along hers and continued onwards, stopping a hundred feet behind. People, at her window, asking her if she was ok. She couldn’t answer them. She was breathing heavily. She was fine, she was ok, she was completely fine.

Good god this box was heavy. He was struggling with it, not too much further at least, he could barely see where he was going. He hated moving, this was the third move in as many years. Damn job, always relocating him. The pay was good and the work was enjoyable, but he could never set down any roots, make any real friends, he always knew he would be going soon, what was the point of trying to make friends? He was close to the office, that was something. The last manager had quit without notice, just up and left one day. No one knew where he went, there was some panic that he had embezzled some money, but nothing was found missing. He’d get sorted tomorrow, get to know everyone. He-His feet slid from under him, the box flying in the air, he hit the ground hard, his breath being driven from his lungs, he couldn’t move, couldn’t breath. The box crashed beside him, the contents shattering. He coughed, then gingerly stood, Christ, he’d be sore tomorrow. Still, lucky that damn box hadn’t landed on him, it woulda caused some damage. The box had been full of plates, had being the operative words. Damn, he’d have to get new ones now. He sighed, then looked around for a bin.

The world continued on, not knowing that for one day, one single day, death had stopped. One day in every ten thousand years death ceased its endless job and for that one day, everyone was safe, everyone was spared and no one could die.


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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