Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Way Down (a 100-word freaky flash fiction story) by Oren Shafir

He remembers things he should have no recollection of.  Things he never saw. Things he didn't notice at the time. Things which, in reality, he always knew too well. All in vivid detail.

His father's sense of desperation and torment just before he left them. His mother's anguish when he himself left home as a young man, and she asked him if he would stay in touch, and he said he would.  It's as if he's inside her now feeling her pain. She knows he is lying. Then, later, he feels the hurt his young son felt when he abandoned his own family.

What's more, everything is made even more excruciating by the clear realization that it all could have been different. But it is too late now.

The physical present returns. 73 feet per second. The force of acceleration ripping at his body. Impending self-destruction. Somehow he is aware of the extreme nature of his landing  - the screams, the shock, the violence - yet at the same time, as strangers shudder at the sight of his mangled body, he is at peace.

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