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" I can hear you! " Flash Fiction

Updated on April 16, 2016
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

Janie lay motionless in the critical care unit at the local hospital. Two weeks had passed since she'd tripped and fell down her basement stairs. Her husband, Artie found her lying on the concrete floor when he returned from work on that fateful, Friday evening.

Blood was oozing out of both ears. She was unconscious, unresponsive to touch or verbal stimuli.

Artie spent every waking moment by her bedside, touching and talking to her, praying she would respond and open her eye's.

The heart monitor signaled when she was having difficulty breathing, and it was evident that each day her breathing became more labored.

Dr. Johnson entered the room when he heard the monitor beeping. He looked at Arnie and said, " We must think about putting your wife on life-support. It is up to you. You can see she needs help breathing. " Artie agreed, but he thought, " Would Janie want this? "

Although she couldn't speak or open her eye's, she heard every word spoken.

Her mind was crying out, " Please let me go. I'm in excruciating pain. She prayed, " Please God take me home. I'm ready. "

The heart monitor started beeping louder. Instead of a flat line words appeared in bold letters, " I love you Artie. My spirit will always be near you until we meet again. I am no longer in pain! "

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    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Shauna, I'm happy you were surprised at the ending. That's what I was hoping for. Thanks for the beautiful story comment. I appreciate you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, the ending came as quite a surprise, but a very cool one. I can imagine Artie feeling a bit sad that he didn't have the chance to say goodbye, but joyful that his wife was able to communicate with him to put his mind and heart at peace.

      Beautiful story, Ruby.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna, I'm thrilled that you like my flash fiction. It's a new adventure for me. Frank and Cam were excellent teachers. I appreciate you taking the time to visit my hubs. I know how busy you are..Hugs.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh Ruby, this is beautiful! And very clever. :-) I think that you and Frank are experts with flash fiction.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Shyron,

      My pearl of a friend

      On you I can always depend

      You read whatever I write

      Even when I wander and want to fight

      Politics, poetry, stories galore

      You always comment, who could ask for more?

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      2 years ago from Texas

      Oh Ruby my gem of a friend

      When on monitor those words he read

      He knew that she had gone on ahead

      To meet our Maker

      No other words need be said

      *

      *

      This is amazing

      Blessings and hugs and happy Easter

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Clive, you continue to crack me up with your off-the-cuff comments. I'm not sure, but I think Frank is already taken. Hee...Thank you...

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill: I'm so pleased that you like my flash fiction. I love writing a twist ending. Thank you much...

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello hari: I have read so many articles on near death experiences. What they say is, death is a release of some sort and a feeling of utopia replaces the pain. The person you spoke about was a caring soul, thinking of donating his organs while alive and at a critical time. Thank you for adding to my story....

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello tsmog. I know removing anyone from life support is heartbreaking, having clear instructions as to what you want is so important. It takes the burden from the family. I have mine and carry it in my purse. Blessings to you and your friends who are having to make this most difficult decision. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello VenKatachari. I am so sorry you had to deal with this with your wife. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Thank you for being a faithful friend...

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      For a minute there i thought you and frank atanacio had married. Good Flash Fiction

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      HelloTammy: Thank you for liking my stories. You are a dear friend..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ruchira. I have seen what you described a few times and I know it was painful for you and your family. God bless. I'm glad you like the song. I love it too. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike: Twilight Zone is a perfect critique for this far-out piece. I just let my imagination run amuck. Thank you for the clever comment...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whoa! That was a totally cool ending, Ruby! You're good at this flash fiction stuff. :)

      Happy Easter!

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 

      2 years ago from Bangalore

      Love is what remain till the end. We normal people feel pain for people in such situations, but the one who is in that situation probably has none. A small incident and my analysis on excruciating pain.

      A guy in Bangalore whose hips were crushed and dismantled in an accident, could still speak to people on road and told that he wishes to donate his eyes while he layed on the road with pool of blood while ambulance came.

      I narrated this incident because I think pain after it reaches its peak becomes numbness. Body does not carry-on the pain to the brain after that. The boys brain must have been numbed. How could he even speak and not be unconscious.?

      The release of life is probably the way the body relaxes. I suppose science still has no answer on whether people are feeling it before their bodies gives up the fight.

      - hari

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      2 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Thank you for sharing this flash fiction story always exploring. It is kinda' magical and mystical for me to see it today. It has opened my heart to a friend who has been in that kind of predicament for five weeks now. This story has opened my heart to her and also to the person who is the patient. He tore his aorta. Surgery, complications, stroke, complications, and still goes on. She has power of durable attorney, he signed a DNR, but no specifics for it for life saving measures. Bottom line has been interpreting the DNR vs. what is life saving with his many complications.

      All I can say is being single in my sixties I have a lot of soul searching to do regard family with who to appoint DPO . . . while know sooner or later I should do it . . . and spell it out.

      BTW . . . all prayer are welcome for those two friends still enduring those circumstances today

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      This story reminds my wife's story. Very painful story with an abrupt ending.

    • profile image

      Tammy 

      2 years ago

      Just read, like all your story's it was great!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      2 years ago from United States

      Gosh! I was in tears reading this.

      My dad was at this junction, and we all said adios in our own ways.

      Wishing Arnie peace!

      Lovely piece, Ruby and this song etched the story in silver lining!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. That was such a clever, Twilight Zone, ending. Well done.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE, flash fiction is different but a lot of fun to write. Thank you for coming by to read this far-out piece..

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You shared an excellent hub! Flash fiction is different!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Yea!!!!!Lymphoma ain't got a chance, Be gone, scat!!!!!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Screw lymphoma. We shall overcome.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hallelujah! You are fighting that battle and winning. I'm so glad that God still heals and gives Doctors the knowledge to know what medicine is needed. That monitor is a good Dude. Hee...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hugs and kisses. I just got home from a procedure. Sure am glad all the monitors said "doing good". So this hit me at home.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Eric, your comment is amazing! Thank you. Eric you can write stories, anyone who can write about God and brotherly love can write a story, Just use an experience you've dealt with and write about it. I used a tad of my experience working in critical care and a lot of fiction for this piece. I'll be waiting for your story.....

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank, a little bit far-out, but with our modern technology anything is possible. Thank you for the awesome comment....

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am sitting here just saying to myself "I wish I could do that". This is truly excellent. So much in so little. Thank you for bringing your art into my world Ruby.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita, Bad to the bone! Hee. So glad you liked this story and the scifi ending. Happy Easter my friend...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      somehow she expressed her wishes.. what a wonderful piece of flash fiction Always... awesome

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Wow! Like a Scifi ending. Awesome, Ruby. I like it! 'Bad!' Is that what the kids used to say?. Ha ha. Perhaps they have moved on. A great story, nice Flash and excellent ending! Happy Easter!!

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