Episode 6 of a flash fiction series. Find previous episodes at Claire’s Story – Flash Fiction Series.
Claire’s closed eyes twitched, though she didn’t notice. She drifted in darkness. But something stirred her. What was it? A sound. She focused on a voice. “Claire, I’m here.” Something warm slid around her right hand, holding it gently. “Wake up, honey.”
Slits of light appeared in the darkness. She slowly lifted her eyelids against a weight.
“There you are,” said Bart. A warm smile spread across his face, but his eyebrows drew together. Dark circles hung under his eyes.
Claire inhaled, recognizing her husband. The scent of antiseptic mingled with air freshener tickled her nose. She managed a weak smile.
“I love you.” He squeezed her hand as a tear streaked his cheek.
She slowly licked her lips and sighed out her reply. “I love you too.” Her eyes fell shut. A comforting warmth spread through her heart as she listened to Bart talking to someone. Memories of her wedding dress danced through his words.
Her eyes opened. A man leaned over the hospital bed rail next to Bart. Shawn? Oh, yes, Bart’s friend. He stood at their wedding a few months ago as best man. She licked her lips. “Hi.”
“We’re all praying for you.” Shawn said.
The light faded and she drifted back into darkness. She barely heard Bart discussing her cancer. Memories of chemotherapy treatments, bouts of nausea and her doctor’s face wafted through her mind with the image of her bride’s bouquet. She lost sense of time.
“We’re here, baby.”
Someone took her left hand. Mom? She held her eyes open a moment. Mom and dad hovered above her on the left, Bart and Shawn on the right. Words drifted through the darkness. Prayers for her. She relaxed. A peace like a placid lake carried her. The words faded away.
The final episode will be released in the fall newsletter. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.
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