The Survivor

Martin stood in the ruins of the abandoned hospital, his mind lost in the nightmares of 1860.  He could feel her here, his sweet Helena. Her imprint was strong, resistant to the fade of time. Her voice called to him on the breeze. He closed his eyes and she was healthy and beautiful. Before.

The ancient amulet hummed in his pocket. The talisman had been too late to save Helena. Martin wished he’d met the same fate.

The building where he stood was nothing but a shell now, the inside gutted out. Just like him.

Mere survival was not the same as living.

 

**note: I made an edit based on reader feedback… just moved the order of two sentences. I feel like it makes a big difference in the flow. For anyone interested, this is the original:

Martin stood in the ruins of the abandoned hospital, his mind lost in the nightmares of 1860.  The building was nothing but a shell now, the inside gutted out. Just like him.

He could feel her here, his sweet Helena. Her imprint was strong, resistant to the fade of time. Her voice called to him on the breeze. He closed his eyes and  could envision her healthy and beautiful. Before.

The ancient amulet hummed in his pocket. The talisman had been too late to save Helena. Martin wished he’d met the same fate.

Mere survival was not the same as living.

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other 100-word gems of flash fiction here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

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46 thoughts on “The Survivor

  1. This is a well described vignette. You tell us in several different ways how Martin’s life is empty now he has lost his great love Helena.
    I think it would make a better story (as opposed to a description) if there were some sort of movement or intensification from beginning to end. You might, for example, change the order of some of the sentences. Perhaps
    “Martin stood in the ruins of the abandoned hospital, his mind lost in the nightmares of 1860. He could feel her here, his sweet Helena. Her imprint was strong, resistant to the fade of time. Her voice called to him on the breeze. He closed his eyes and she was healthy and beautiful. Before.
    The ancient amulet hummed. The talisman had been too late to save Helena. Martin wished he’d met the same fate.
    The building where he stood was nothing but a shell now, the inside gutted. Just like him. Mere survival was not the same as living.”
    I hope you don’t mind me suggesting this!
    All the best
    Penny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Penny. You really only moved two sentences but it absolutely did make a difference. I agree, it has more movement this way. This is more of what I was going for when I was creating this. I edited to reflect your suggestion.

      And thank you so much for reading and caring enough to give constructive criticism. I appreciate it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is hard for me to understand as well. I think some people get stuck in depression and let grief consume them. Others seem to find a way to work through the grief and move on. One must find a way to make life worth living.

        Like

  2. Amie, I liked the original better. Each to his/her own I guess but I loved the progression of information in your original. Do you have a preference? Which version do YOU like best? The story is great no matter which version and I love the beautiful way you expressed it. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You have great instincts and I always love your work. :o) I’m glad you like them both. I think it’s hard to change your story from the concept you start with without a losing a little of your confidence. I loved both as well. :o)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a great story, and I actually like both versions very much. The sadness is palpable, and the original has its focus on the building as a symbol for the general devastation with the loss of his love being the culmination of the sadness while the edited version moves to the lost love right away and everything else is more of an aside.

    Liked by 1 person

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