I watched him as his hardened eyes focused on the screen; men in camo covered in dust, a mike shoved under their unwilling mouths, replying to questions in a rehearsed monotone.  Colour abandoned his face, shriveled out of him like water from a sponge forgotten in the sun.  A hundred condolences rushed to my tongue, none adequate.  I stepped forward instead, and placed my hand on his shoulder. But his eyes, now red, never left the TV, his mind wondering only of the son he’d lost; the one standing next to him a mere presence trespassing on his grief.

This is in response to Trifecta’s challenge:

Color: complexion tint:

  a : the tint characteristic of good health

  b : blush

I changed it to the British version, but the word is still there, up for your critique.  Thanks for reading.

30 comments on “Statistics

  1. Brian Benoit says:

    Wow. The first things that jump out to me are “…like water from a sponge forgotten in the sun” and the painful realization the character has in that last sentence, a sort of double tragedy. Well done

  2. jannatwrites says:

    This was beautifully written and full of emotion. I really like the last part, “a mere presence trespassing on his grief.”

  3. Maggie says:

    All said in previous two comments. Amazing writing and my heart sunk with the last line feeling the unseen child’s “invisibility”.

  4. Maggie says:

    That last phrase is great. So sad.

  5. Megan Eccles says:

    I mean wow. This is one of the best things I’ve ever written. It’s haunting and chilling and sad and true. I loved every part.

  6. Tracie says:

    This is so strong. Especially the, “Colour abandoned his face, shriveled out of him like water from a sponge forgotten in the sun.”

  7. Draug419 says:

    His pain is so vivid and real in your words. This is a very strong piece.

  8. Tara R. says:

    So poignant and tragic, the emotions in this piece raw and heartbreaking.

  9. Paula J says:

    Colour abandoned his face, shriveled out of him like water from a sponge forgotten in the sun. What a great line. The last line is also amazing. Well done.

  10. This has quite the emotional punch. It hits close to home for so many families. Great job with the prompt.

    Thanks for linking up.

  11. lumdog says:

    This is powerful and moving. You really convey your character’s inner trumoil. Great writing.

  12. I agree the last line carries so much weight when you realize that a father lost a child but two children lost a father. This literally raised goosebumps on my arms. Lovely and tragic.

  13. powerfully sad – sometimes surviving children are left to feel awkward and guilty for it. In this case, the tragedy is obviously magnified among the visible horror of being able to revisit evidence of the incident as you’ve described it here.

  14. Triple whammy of the abandonment of color, sibling and parental notice! Excellent.

  15. Such a sad moment. You describe the look of heart shattering loss perfectly. And the sudden feeling of insignificance experienced by the other son.

  16. atrm61 says:

    Oh how sad!We humans have a tendency to forget the living in the wake of the dead,irrespective of how we treated the dead when they were alive!A heart rending tale of double tragedy on two sides-well done Sandra:-)

  17. Bianca says:

    So terribly sad and spare.

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