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Kissed by a Ghost on the Bed

Updated on April 17, 2015

When he laughed and coughed her eyes got teary and her mind was lost. The forced air from the floor vents would flutter the edges of the blanket thrown over his brittle wasted body.

Life for him as she learned from these last few days sunk to rock bottom. It was very difficult for her, but she tried to rationalize, talk herself into letting go, but instead she agonized.


She slumped into a chair by the bed arms folded across her chest, forgetting for a moment about the cancer that circled the room like a bird of prey.


On March 18th the cancer cells massacred the good cells. That put an end to the daily fighting. Life was nearly over, and sadly there was going to be peace. No happiness, only calm.


The past few months leading up to the 18th she dedicated herself to taking care of her husband. She made him his favorite breakfast in the morning, helped him in and out of bed. She made sure he took his medications, washed his badly soiled clothes and read some stories to him in the afternoon. When he became totally bedridden, she turned him on his side every hour so he wouldn't get bed sores.


It was tiring and she was exhausted. That night of the 18th was haunting as she drifted off to sleep. In her sleep she saw a dead body by the door. Then she saw a young man in dark clothes dangling from the end of a rope tied to a branch outside the bedroom window. His face was puffy and blue. Then she saw people walk by like mourners, but hardly anyone seem to notice the hung man. Then a ghost rode silently through the room and just vanished through the walls. Everywhere she looked, a haze of spirits covered the ceiling.


Cancer was still standing as the lone victor. The cure had the doors padlocked, the windows shattered, but oddly the glass remained intact. She sat in the bedroom by his side, but she felt like a stranger. She thought about all the things that mattered when they first met, they had seemed so important then, but not at all now. She shifted violently in her chair, and she woke up.


Just before midnight, he dragged his head off the pillow. He asked her to lean in and he gave her a kiss on each cheek. Then he closed his eyes for the final time. The sounds of crickets swelled in the gardens as she pushed back a loose curl of her hair and realized she was just kissed by a ghost on the bed...

© 2015 Frank Atanacio

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      Dana, sorry for your loss, and thank you for reading my Kimber projects :)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 23 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      This may sound repetitive but- been there done that- I love your story- telling Frank . It leaves the reader wondering long after its been read. I especially love the - Laura Kimbler - stories.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you anemix for reading my shorts...:)

    • anemixflarie profile image

      Anemix 2 years ago

      one that has been kissed by a ghost on the bed and that has helped loved ones battled this victor, I can say it really moved me, and as you have written down no better way to explain it.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much The Stages of Me

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      The Stages Of ME 2 years ago

      Frank ~

      This was beautiful and so hauntingly true of how cancer quietly extinguishes its plague of doom. However, the beauty of love depicted in the couple rings louder and truer for me, and thus cancer never wins. No disease can battle true love. Love is what we came from and where we return in forever peace. Thank you for sharing and have a blessed day.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you ahorseback

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Nice one Frank , it seemed so real for me ! Awesome reality in this write .++++

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Missy for your visits bless you

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

      Goodness, cancer can be so dark and evil. It's very tough on the one with cancer, rarely we do not give a whole lot of thought to the one who is the care giver of their loved one. I mean, we know they have this hard job to do, but we never consider how hard mentally it is for them. Physically, they are exhausted; we see that; however, no one ever knows the thoughts that plague them, the nightmares. This was really sad and deep.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks for reading Besarien.. sorry about digging out some baggage.. I hope it's smooth sailing now..

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      This one dug deep into some baggage, pockets of old hurt. I think there was a little loose change in there too.

      I wasn't missing the smells. Memory supplied those anyway. Voted up.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Pstraubie and tobusiness, bless you both Frank

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Frank, this was written with such insight! What can I say, Exceptional work. My best always

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Cancer ...be gone...do wish that is all that it took...just to say those words.

      It comes in and steals the nights and days and will strangle us if we let it...but we won't!!!

      Spot on, Frank. How many of us have been kissed by such ghosts?

      Awesome

      Voted up pinned to Awesome HubPages and Shared

      Know that once again Angels are on the way to you ps

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Audrey :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      You are just a master at this Frank!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks again Lee Cloak

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      An amazing piece, really strong stuff, well done great work, thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so munch annart for checking out my short

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Totally haunting and so well written. I've done the bed vigil too and it is that exhausting and makes your head ache and throb. Sadness, the past, relief, pain and tears.....

      Well done, Frank.

      Ann

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Peggy and Pegcole bless you both

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I loved your venture into this vastly different and deeply moving area of story telling. I've experienced this first hand, too, and the relief was mixed with sadness and grief. You've captured the emotions and the atmosphere completely. Well done, Frank.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I know first hand the exhaustion that occurs when caring for terminal loved ones. You wrote this beautifully. That wife will never regret what she did for her dying husband in his time of need. Sweet ending...the kiss. Up votes and sharing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      ok... :)

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 2 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Awesome ghost.....your flash fiction is beautiful as ever .

      Shared and voted up.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much MsDora for reading my ghosts.. and welcome mckbirdbks and thanks for reading my hub bless you guys :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Kevin for reading and thank you so much Genna East for sharing your comment with me bless you guys

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much smilealot.. good seeing you .. and also thank you for that wonderful comment christine

    • mckbirdbks profile image

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

      Macabre tale of the final moment. Nice piece of writing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Even when cancer kills the victim, it doesn't kill love in heart of the survivor. There was so much love in that death room. Thanks for sharing this view. Voted Up!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Death-bed vigils such as these are torture; and you are quite right about cancer “that circles the room like a bird of prey.” It is a lone victor. But the love these two shared went beyond that victory. Chilling and superbly written, Frank.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Awesome Frank. I kept thinking a ghost was going to appear while she was watching over him. It did not turn out that way and I got the shivers when she was kssed by a ghost. Eeew. I voted it up, shared, and Tweeted it.

      Kevint

    • profile image

      Smilealot 2 years ago

      Well written Frank, it's a story most of us sadly can relate to:-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Clive for stopping by.. and Ruchira good to see you again.. and welcome headshrinker bless you guys..

    • headshrinker profile image

      headshrinker 2 years ago from Western Massachusetts

      Frank you capture it all, the weight of waiting for the end when one can do nothing but wait.....helplessly for the inevitable.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

      Frank, visiting you after a long time, and you still give me those goosebumps via your deep yet fathomless words that actually revolve around mankind and if pondered upon, can create quite a stir.

      xoxo

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 years ago from Nibiru

      Sad, really sad to loose a loved one to an illness. I can always transport myself into one of your stories. It is very imaginative frank

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks Eric, and Always, thank you for reading my stories, also Ariel-Cal sorry about the tears.. bless you God bless you all :)

    • Ariel-Cal profile image

      Evelia Veronica Rivera 2 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

      Sad but fabulous Hub...Having family that passed away of cancer and knowing one that is battling as we speak you brought tears to my eyes thinking of that end moment. Sad that they are gone, but were they really living or a ghost at the end....

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Frank, this is so visual. You brought me into the room. I love the idea of being kissed by a ghost if it's a loved one. I love your stories!

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Awesome.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      flourish thank you so much

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Simply marvelous. You capture the setting and emotions perfectly, Frank.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      cam sorry and still bless you.. thanks for reading my ghost

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      April 1, 2008. Your description is eerily close, Frank. Minus the man hanging outside the window of course, and it was a woman lying there. But the kiss is spot on.....A ghost on the bed.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Jodah bless you bro

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Also been there done that Frank, unfortunately. Your story ha captured all the emotions and feelings involved.....very well written as always. Voted up.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Sara thank you so much for commenting on my Ghost.. bless you for the work that you do too...:)

    • Sara Sarwar Riaz profile image

      Sara Sarwar Riaz 2 years ago from Michigan, USA

      You captured the helplessness and solemn acceptance while watching a loved one suffer at the hands of a terminal ailment, really well.

      As a cancer specialist, I deal with these situations more often than I want to. I have become acquainted with a myriad of coping mechanisms of the loved ones over the years. You precisely shed light on a salient one.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Billy and jackie for commenting.. and as always thank you Faith for always having that real Faith in my writing bless you guys...:)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Frank, you are a master of flash fiction. This one here is off the charts and into the stratosphere good! This may be my new favorite of yours.

      Your creativity really shines in this one and you so expertly craft the scene with your perfectly chosen words. Cool title that draws one in.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Brilliant piece written by a brilliant man.

      Bless you

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I'm at a lose for words Frank; you are a real pro is all I can think! Up and shared!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Been there, done that, and you captured it perfectly. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much til.. sorry for the discomfort...bless you.. and thank you Uzoch for stopping by :)

    • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

      Uzochukw Mike 2 years ago from Oba

      Nice and great. Keep on the good work.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I had to vote all Frank. This is such an accurate depiction of the death-bed watch. Unfortunately I'm very familiar with it from my parents and in-laws. You've captured the sadness, weariness and fear that attend the end of a loved one's life. The helplessness as you watch a once vibrant life slipping away.

      Also shared.