It’s too short by Annette Rohde

He knew his was short but his passions were strong.

He tried to prepare those he loved subtly. He knew theirs would be longer so he aimed to make a big impact, to make his mark, to make a difference.

‘We should all strive to make an impact!’ he’d say as we prepared for the next show. ‘It shouldn’t make a difference if it’s a long or short one!’ he’d joke as we helped him into his costume. He didn’t like to discriminate.

I remember his large, warm, strong hands holding mine while he read my palm, his fingers softly caressing each line. ‘This line is quite long,’ he said, ‘you will have plenty of time to make your mark.’

His lifeline was too short.

Hundreds of people turned up to his funeral. They were from all walks of life, people who would never have connected with each other without the commonality of that one person. All telling a similar story of their experiences with him, how he had changed their lives in some way.

‘There was a plant obstructing his access to the wheelchair ramp, so I moved it,’ one person said. ‘He insisted on buying me coffee and gave me tickets to his next show. That’s when I decided to run for Council. We’ve met for coffee every week since.’

He knew. Life is too short to waste a second of it.


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9 responses to “It’s too short by Annette Rohde

  1. When I was brainstorming ‘lines’ for this, palm lines did not occur to me. Nice take on the theme (having a short life line as motivation), capped with a great story.

  2. I really liked the palm reading thing too. Nicely done. very economical.

  3. Annette

    Thanks Al and Ron. I was initially thinking of animal breeding, from the point of view of the animal. Then I remembered that my friend was reading everyone’s palms, including mine, in the weeks before his unexpected and sudden death (he was only in his 30s). I would like to have done better on this one as I feel it could do with a little more fine tuning.

    • Sorry to hear it’s about your friend. A worthy tribute, though. Plus, you can always go back and fine tune it, expand it perhaps. It’s a great idea.

      • Annette

        It’s not really a tribute as, even though there were many at his funeral and he was a fabulous man, the character in this story is not him, just the palm reading/psychic influence. Now I have this idea I would like to build on it so thanks for your feedback.

  4. I thought the first few lines of the story were an attempt at some bawdy humor. Not sure if that was intentional or if it just means I’ve been reading too much… Lol. What a nice tribute though that he touched so many lives. The moral at the end was perfect.

  5. Annette

    Yes, I was initially trying for that, the attempt at bawdy humor that is. It’s amazing how you can spend so much time on a story that is under 250 words and still want to spend hours on it to get it right.

  6. Pingback: Week #23 – long lines « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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