Monday, November 14, 2005

Flash Fiction - 8

Smile

I have no idea why the phrase “die with a smile on your lips” is popping into my head now. Here I am, driving back home from work, when the phrase appears out of the blue. Maybe it was mentioned in the latest book I’ve been reading? Oh well, it doesn’t matter where the phrase came from. The fact is I’ve really never understood it. Death and smile are not two things that go together, are they? I mean, how could anyone smile when dying? Who would prefer death to life so much that death makes them happy? In any case, it’s a morbid thought that I don’t really want to be thinking about now. I try to push it out of my mind by raising the volume on the radio.

As I move my eyes back to the road, I notice this kid free himself from his mother’s hand and run right onto the middle of the road. I step hard on the brakes and feel the car going into a slide. I frantically pump the brakes and turn the steering wheel in circles as I see the concrete wall looming near. Things seem to move in slow motion as the car crashes into the wall and I am sprayed with a million glass pieces from the broken windshield. The impact knocks me out of the car, the seatbelt torn from the buckles, and I hit the ground with a thud. As I lie on the ground, blood streaming down my face, I look around to find the kid. He's being scolded by his mother and he’s crying. But he's unhurt. As my eyes close, I finally understand. And I smile.

13 Comments:

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous ram said...

a very noble thought indeed...nice language, as usual...but the piece as such was a little predictable...

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Vanathi said...

Wow...Good post...

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, thanx. wasn't really going for surprise. just wanted to try out a different style - first person narrative and present tense.

vanathi, thanx :)

 
At 11:54 PM, Anonymous ram said...

in that, you were successful...the style was different and the first person, present tense narrative was very effective in giving his "final moment" a certain poignancy...dont think it would've been half as effective had it not been a first person narrative...

but i also dont think this is your best work...i think u strived a little too much for "effect." the first para had some rough edges, i thought.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan said...

oru second ungalukku edho accident achchonnu bayandhutten.. then realized it was a narrative.

:)

good one.

 
At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Maverick said...

Good one.

//I mean, how could anyone smile when dying?//

Thamizh cinema la sila villains saagum boadhu sirichitte sethu irukaanga :-)

 
At 3:43 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

different from your usual style. good one.

 
At 4:54 AM, Blogger Rishi said...

Nice one sir!!!!

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger Vidya said...

I just happened to read your blog and liked it very much.. A good thought put forth ...a well written piece...

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, pretty perceptive there... the 1st para(with the rough edges) was just a couple of lines in the 1st draft. It was at the point where i lie on the road. expanded it after moving it to a separate para :)

sundar, thanx :)

mav, maybe that's where it popped into my head from :)

munimma/rishi, thanx :)

vidya, thanx for dropping by. and thanx :)

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger visithra said...

nice twist ;)

my dad died with a smile - so probably means you left happy without unfinished business?

 
At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice balaji.

Or as Nagesh (in Ayirathil oruvan) says holding up a skull - 'ada!! evanO sirichittae sethirukkaan pOla irukku'

SS

 
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