An Anniversary Gift (Flash Fiction Story) by Terveen Gill



It’s hard to have happy thoughts when you know that you’re dying. Also, I still haven’t gotten over my wife’s death. She fell off a cliff four days ago, plunging to her death. She couldn’t have survived. I would’ve fell with her, but my leg got stuck in a tree branch. The tree isn’t too big. More of a lone freak growing from the side of a rocky mountain.

I’m upside down. The world looks better this way. I’m dehydrated, so probably also delusional. My head and shoulders feel heavy. Gravity is working against me. I can’t feel anything waist down. But that was my wife’s complaint for years. It’s not biological, it’s psychological. How could I feel anything for a woman who gave me no love or respect?

This trip wasn’t my idea. It was an anniversary gift from our son. He’s a hotshot lawyer, already earning more than I could ever make. That was another of my wife’s complaints. She married a teacher but wanted to live like a queen. It’s unfortunate that she died like a stray dog.

I’m laughing. No. I’m crying.

The sun is burning my skin. I need some water, maybe a bottle of gin. I’m crying again. I’ve tried to end it. But the tree just won’t let go. No matter how much I shake myself, I continue to hang like a bat. I’m even a failure at dying. My wife would’ve laughed and reminded me what else I had failed at.

Miserly husband.

Heartless father.

Dumb teacher.

Silly man.

She ridiculed me every hour of the day. And that’s exactly what she was doing when I pushed her off the cliff. But she was quick. Held on to me. And we both fell.

She’s dead. I’m still suffering.

Who really did win?


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10 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. I don’t think there was a winner here, Terveen:) You have written this so eloquently, well done.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      No winner, Shobana. It’s just a tit for tat gone wrong situation. Thanks so much. 🙂

      Me gusta

  2. Jeff Flesch dice:

    Wow, Terveen, you are the only one I know of that would create a story with a central character hanging upside down from a tree. Brilliant. I also love the way you play with pairs of opposites, and conclude with an excellent question. Bravo, my friend. 😊👏👏

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, Jeff. It was an upside down situation. And getting the reader to feel some sort of warped compassion for the protagonist required some cajoling. I’m so glad you liked it. 🙂

      Le gusta a 2 personas

      1. Jeff Flesch dice:

        You’re welcome, Terveen. Always my pleasure. Indeed, the reading experience was, well, an upside-down situation as it were. How fun. 😊😊

        Le gusta a 2 personas

  3. johnlmalone dice:

    a tortuous relationship —

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  4. BBYCGN dice:

    Unsettling because it’s so well-written.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  5. Diti Sen dice:

    A very well executed story, kept me ‘hanging’, though not upside down, till the end!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

  6. Oh my! We are sisters of the soul!

    Me gusta

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