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Carelessness: Flash Fiction - a Humble Offering to Frank Atanacio

Updated on September 27, 2019
Sean Dragon profile image

Sean is a teacher who is writing about his spiritual adventures to help other people find balance and self-respect.

Source

George was looking at his cigarette, but his mind wasn't there. The heat from the hot cherry, licking at his fingers, brought him back to the dark reality. He took the ashtray from the bedside table. It was full of butts because he had been chain-smoking for the last two hours. George drew in one last breath of smoke, and he ground out the stub. A few seconds later, he breathed out the smoke which his lungs had been unable to keep. The sad truth was that they could not hold much of it anymore. The smoke travelled for a little while in the air and stopped! It was unable to diffuse into a room full of smog. The atmosphere was really suffocating as if there was no air, just smoke. But George didn't even care to breathe.

He grabbed the bottle of vodka. He had drunk a lot, too. Vodka had been opened half an hour before, after the inglorious end of the empty Johnny Walker on the opposing wall. Now the alcohol was fooling with him from the middle of the bottle. George downed a big sip. Big enough to make him cough and curse. He rested the open bottle on the bed, by his feet, and lit his last cigarette still cursing.

He turned and caressed the pillow next to him and continued touching the sheet. He felt the traces of her body and shivered. George remembered her, naked, lying next to him, just a few hours ago. Then he saw her face again, malformed by the anger, screaming to him. She shouted that she did not want him to exist in her life any more, not even as a memory.

He loved her, loved her immensely. He wanted her in his life more than anything else in the world! But he had failed to change, he had broken his promises once more, leading her to the exit. And this time it was the last, George knew it, he had seen it in her eyes. She had formerly been angry with his mistakes, she had walked out in the past, banging the door with anger. Anna had sworn many times before that she would not come back, but this time George knew she meant it.

George, it was also disgusted with himself, with his stupid behaviour, his unacceptable selfishness which had hurt Anna again, so terribly. It was the first time he understood that Anna was so right and he was so awfully wrong. He had seen it in the pain of her tearful eyes, in the anger of her face and body. George knew that this door had banged behind her for the last time.

A bomb of several megatons exploded in his head as he remembered the bang of the door.

"That was it, it's over..." he whispered "... and I'm done too. I will have the end I deserve. The end of every Judas who betrays those who love him. I've betrayed everything, I've sold everything. What's left for me? Nothing but a damaged soul. If it had any value, I would sell it to Devil just to get her back. Do you hear me, Devil? Can you hear me? I give you my soul in return to make her come back for one last time!" He shouted with all his remaining strength.

A man who had never cried again since he was a little boy wiped some tears with his sleeve. He leaned his head against the back of the bed, half-closed his eyes and drew in another puff. George blew the grey poison away, and his eyes followed its path to the edge of the bed. In the limited light that the lamp shed, he noticed something strange. At that point in the room, the smoke made some strange swirls.

Source

He sat up and focused on that point -not the easiest thing for his addled mind- trying to clear up what was happening. It seemed as the smoke was forming a pattern. As seconds were passing, it was becoming increasingly clear that it was a large or rather a monstrous figure reaching up to the ceiling. George rubbed his eyes with both hands because he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Something like horns on what appeared to be the figure's head. And a tail that was shaking like a snake, behind the body of the monster. Yes, indeed it was a monster which it had now acquired more distinct features.

A breath of agony passed through his vocal cords and stimulated them, without being instructed by his brain, forming the words: "Who are you?"

It was evident that his brain could not have asked for these words, because at that time, it was wrapped up in its own problem. His brain's problem was that the eyes of the monster were made of unspeakable darkness. So deep and black, like two black holes which were absorbing all its sanity!

"What do you mean, who am I?" the thing answered with a voice that could horrify you only with its sound. "I'm the one you have called. I came to give what was asked of me and take what belongs to me."

The gruesome laughter that followed the beast's words made George's eardrums break. If they didn't break by his own scream!

Source

#

Anna had been walking for over an hour, all the way from George's house. It was quite a distance, but she didn't want to take a taxi because she couldn't stop crying. So she had chosen to walk. The darkness of the night and a hood would be the best cover for her tears and pain. She had arrived for some time now, but she hadn't got into her apartment. Something was stopping her. She was still walking, without a destination in mind, on the streets around her house. Anna was wandering because she didn't know what else to do while her tears were continuing to become one with the city night's humidity.

Although she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about him. Anna has still loved George so much, and now she was not sure that has given him the opportunities he needed. Maybe it was her own selfishness that didn't let her show George the ways that would really help him to change.

Source

Her mind was split and cluttered. On the one hand, she wanted to turn her head and see him coming, while on the other, knew that it was time to forget about him and go on with her life. A life without him anymore. And yet there was something, something weird and compelling, that was forcing her to go back, to give him another chance. It was like a voice in her head, ordering: "Turn back to him, he needs you now!"

Anna stopped, indecisive, lost, almost ready to collapse. And then she felt a frightening shiver. It was as if the cold night had run through her spine and concentrated on her head. She stood motionless and breathless, with her eyes wide open, as if watching the most nightmarish scene. A distant howl, mixed with an awful laugh, arrived at her ears.

Anna jumped on the road and stopped the first taxi.

Source

#

Taxi driver hit the brakes, startled by her scream as soon as they turned onto Eternity Street. Anna almost emptied out the contents of her bag onto the front seat, while at the same time was trying to break through the door with her body rather than open it. When she finally managed to get out of the car, she started running like hell towards the end of the street shouting George's name. Toward the firefighters who were trying to put out the last flames coming out of the charred remains of a house.

Two hands grabbed her, and she heard a voice saying, "Stop, you can't go there!"

She was trying to break loose while she was muttering:

"George! ... George? Where is he; Tell him I came back ... I came ... I am here..."

The firefighter held her tight and while he was looking at her red and emptied eyes said:

"I don't know how to tell you, apparently he was close to you. Probably an accident. I'm sorry for carrying the bad news. When we arrived, it was too late. It looks like the poor man has fallen asleep with a lit cigarette. We found an empty bottle of vodka beside his body. I am sorry ... Carelessness, fatal carelessness!"

About Frank Atanacio

Frank's spirit is something that you can't ignore. I have loved it from the first words I read. He has a luminous Heart, trying to cover it with a dark and mysterious veil. This makes his writings irresistible to read! You can also find this spirit and humour in his comments to fellow writers, where he is always ready and willing to support and encourage. I hope my story to be worthy as a tribute to his great talent.

Frank, my brother, I am blessed to know you through your writings. Thank you for your friendship. God bless your talent and your life!

© 2019 Ioannis Arvanitis

Comments

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    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 weeks ago from london

      Your last statement is cool, thought-provoking. Oxygen is another name for the projection of Consciousness called Creation, which originates from the Absolute, as Gratitude does. Oxygen acts as a vehicle to express Gratitude, the very life-breath of God.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear Brother, Manatita, thank you so much once again! I can't find the words to express my gratitude for what you have done for me so far and for your words here! Though I know that my name doesn't fit in the same sentence with the word "masterpiece", yet, I do agree that the Divine always compensates. My Father takes my Love for my work and balances it with my deficiencies. One more reason for me to be grateful!

      I also can't thank you enough for your offer, but I know that your time is valuable too, as you are relentlessly working for the High Goal! You are a great help for so many people, and I don't want to abuse your will to offer! I would only dare to request one thing. Anytime that -while you are reading one of my texts- you find an error, and if you have time, send me a mail with your corrections. I also would like to plead anyone of my kind friends and readers to feel free send me their corrections anytime they see an error! It would be a great help for me to learn! Thank you all!

      Gratitude is more valuable than oxygen!

      Sean

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      Yes. There are tiny errors. But good writing is greater than these flaws and shows your work as a masterpiece! There's an Indian girl I don't see now, who writes amazing poetry. Her English is reasonable, but the beauty of her work shines through. The Divine always compensates.

      Frank would be very, very proud of you, as I am. Finally, you are humourous too. So essential for the growth of the soul.

      Feel free to send me your work and I will help with the English. This is an amazing piece!

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Ha! Ha! Thank you, my dear brother, Manatita, for your beautiful and encouraging words, but I am Valtteri Bottas and Frank is Lewis Hamilton and that's perfectly right for me! After all, as you have taught me well, I don't try to become better than anyone else but yesterday's me! So your comment is a great honour to me! To be honest, my greatest concern is the English language! I am trying hard to improve my skills, to show the respect which, this beautiful language and my readers, deserve. Thank you all for being so tolerant of me! Gratitude!

      Love always brings the best out of us!

      Sean

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      Well Bro.

      If I was Frank I would be looking hard over my shoulder. You are in a Mercedes which is moving fast, man! What a powerful piece! Told so well. Awesome bro. Keep it going!

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Oh! Thank you so much, my dear Marlene! Your words are such a great honour for me! What more a writer can ask than this? God bless your kind Heart.

      A story is part of every reader!

      Sean

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      You are an extremely talented storyteller. I enjoyed this story to the end and beyond, meaning, this story left a great impression on my mind about life and the things we say, do, and wish for.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear Genna! Your kind words are significant to a humble writer like me! Gratitude!

      Blessings!

      Sean

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Your wonderful story brings Frank to mind in such a great way. What an excellent tribute to someone we all miss. Thank you, Ioannis.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      4 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you so much, Ruby! Your comment is the best proof for me that I have accomplished my goal with this story! I indeed hope that Frank will read it soon!

      Blessings from Greece!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      4 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear sister, Chitrangada, thank you so much for your kind words! My wish is always to help others to see their beauty and to motivate people to praise others. I like to see the Light to expand through human hearts. You are always a significant ally to this with your luminous Heart!

      Let us Love to bless our days!

      Sean

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      This is an excellent story for Frank and anyone who reads it. I was spellbound throughout. I wonder where Frank is? I admired his stories so much. He always found a way to surprise with a twist ending. Frank, if you're listening, please write.....

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      A wonderful tribute and an engaging story. This is a nice gesture from you for a fellow writer. Salute you for contributing to other’s happiness. Frank would be so pleased to read this.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      5 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Yes, my dear, Li-Jen, making others feel nice is my hobby! I can find so many reasons to praise others, so I can't find a reason not to do it. It is a source of happiness for me too! Thank you for reading and for your kind words!

      Live your talents!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      5 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Knowing you is a blessing, my dear sister, Dora! Your luminous Heart is a great help for many people. Thank you for your love and support!

      I wish you thousands of smiles!

      Sean

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi Sean, thanks for making a tribute to Frank. It feels good to make someone feel special. Hope he reads this soon! I thought that Anna was gone and didn't expect her to return afterwards. Looks like there are mixture of emotions. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Sean, an engaging story in tribute to Frank. I love him too. Some stories I have read from his pen, I would not read from any other. Two good souls to know - Sean and Frank.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Yes, my dear sister, Dana! Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so we have to fill today with Love! Thank you for your beautiful comment and your words of encouragement!

      Blessings for days full of Light!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Ha! Ha! No, my brother, Miebakagh, Frank is only one! Unique!

      Gratitude!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      My dear Peggy, your words are great honour for me! Thank you so much! Life, sometimes, gives us a sad ending because is the only way for us to learn.

      I wish you Light, every day!

      Sean

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      7 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

      I remember getting excited when Frank published. His writings are remarkable and, always left me panting for more. A wonderful tribute to him. The story is a great reminder of why not to leave business unfinished, Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

      Excellent!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      7 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I think we are having a second Frank here!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Your story was as riveting as many of Frank's stories. I was hooked from the very beginning of this story to its sad ending.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      7 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I am noting any comment.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Ha! Ha! You are so kind, my brother, Tim! Stephen King, watch out, I'm coming! Yes, brother let us give love while we can, don't miss a moment. Thank you for your beautiful comment and your encouragement!

      The only dark moments are those we don't give love!

      Sean

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      7 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      Ah! Steven King would love this one, Sean. Perfect tale for Halloween. It's a beautiful reminder to treat the ones you love with care because tomorrow is never promised. frank is certainly deserving of your wonderful honor. Excellent, brother.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you so much, my dear Mary! I am so glad to know you liked it and you think that's worthy of Frank's talent.

      God bless your days!

      Sean

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a tribute this truly is. Frank is a great writer. I was also taken by your flash fiction.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      7 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Sean, you are welcomed.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my brother, Miebakagh! I am glad to see you here. I tried to be worthy of Frank's great talent.

      Blessings!

      Sean

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      7 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, thanks for sharing your insight into the writings of frank Atanacio. Great indeed.

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear sister, Nikki. Your comment means a lot to me! I am happy to know you liked it.

      Give a big hug from me to your kids!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear sister, Linda. Your words are the first prize for me!

      Let us be luminous even in our darkest hour!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my dear Pamela. Though it's hard for me to write a story without a positive ending, I had to do it with this one. You see, life will give us many chances to change attitude, but sometimes we continue to choose the lousy end! Thank you for reading and for your kind words!

      Let us choose Love!

      Sean

    • Sean Dragon profile imageAUTHOR

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Thank you, my brother, Eric. That was my point. To create images. Ego is the Beast, it can burn our life out. Thank you for being by my side.

      Love and prayers for your lovely family!

      Sean

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      7 weeks ago from London

      Good one Sean brother, you can write any genre, this flash fiction is a proof.

      Devil took his soul and got his wife back, very interesting, much enjoyed this idea.

      Many Blessings brother!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      7 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow, you have really captured Frank's style. Excellent writing my dear brother.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      While there is no happy ending, I have to say I was glued to the page wondering what would happen next. This is certainly a well-written fictional story. I enjoyed it immensely.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well done, good work for a good man.

      There was some really edgy imagery here.

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