The Good die Young

The Good die Young

A Story by Sarusai Hiryu

“Day is forever gone; the sun sets to rise no more,” he sighed, gazing wearily at the darkening sky. “Night, eternal night; starlit and yet starless; … blank…empty…” He bowed his head again over the grey-white marble.

Stone. Cold implacable stone that would not yield the sight his tear-drenched eyes thirsted for - that hid the lifeless form of his Lisbet.  The freshly-carved inscription gleamed in the fading twilight, but he had no need to read it; it was branded on every fibre of his heart… for the thousandth time he muttered it:

“Elizabeth Kathleen O’Ryan nee O’Connell
b. 1980    d. 2005
‘The good die young’

“The good die young " the good die young,” He repeated the futile, age-old platitude again and again, staring at the stone as though he would wear it through with the very intensity of his anguish " he fell to his knees, tears cascading down his cheeks - he knelt there and wept, wept with utter, hopeless abandon.

Nathan could not accept it. He had heard often enough of people being struck down in the very prime of life, but surely, - not his Lisbet! His princess, his queen, his little darling… No. Not Lisbet. Sparkling with health and beauty and joy, glowing and vital …

He could see her vividly... Radiant, beautiful, her fecund dark eyes alight with laughter as she laughed uproariously at his clowning. One second she had stood in the doorway, waving him goodbye " In a thunderbolt she had fallen insensible into his arms... Even as he shouted wildly for help, the serene pallor of her face told him it was all useless; that nothing on earth could avail her now …

“Heart attack.” Doctor Armstrong had declared. “Entirely unexplained. I’m sorry, Nathan. There was nothing I could do-” his voice stuck in his throat and he was compelled to turn his face partly aside. As the family doctor of both the O’Connells and their neighbors the O’Ryans he had known Lisbet all her life. He had been genuinely fond of her, and the tragedy affected him profoundly.

But Nathan was blind and deaf to any grief but his own. Stunned disbelief had given way to desperate, panicked, hysterical denial. He broke free of his anxious relatives with animal ferocity; he refused all consolation. He would haunt the graveyard day and night, longing, praying, and waiting … waiting.

It was incredible, impossible that he would never to see Lisbet again, that such ardent life, such flashing vivacity had become mere stone. There just had to be some way of reaching her, of seeing her again, even if was just once; was only for last look, one burning embrace..

The bewildered children had been whisked off by his sister as soon as the funeral was over. They had clung to their father, but Nathan’s only feeling at seeing them go had been relief. The frightened, puzzled faces of his daughters, the incessant wailing of his little son for his ‘mommy’ had cut him to the heart. How could he console them, who was himself desolate; how could he explain that which he could not fathom?

As he stood lost in his memories, in all the moments of tenderness they had shared in sweet content, he remembered also the tales of love and death they had read together, and at long last he felt he knew the answer. The only answer, the answer all true lovers through the ages had found …   Kneeling before her grave he held the dagger to his throat, and smiled as he closed his eyes.

Pearl-white laced with simmering wild-rose pink her gown fluttered in the breeze, her auburn curls rippling over her slender shoulders…With a wordless cry he bounded to his feet, arms outstretched; but she stood motionless, a world of gentle reproach in her  eyes.

“And my children, Nathan?”  The echo-like voice wrung from him an anguished sob. “What of my children?”

The knife fell with a loud clatter on the impassive marble. Even as great, tearing sobs racked his emaciated frame he finally understood and accepted the full measure of his burden. Not for him was such blissful escape from the lifelong misery; he must learn to live without her, to laugh without her, for the sake of her- their- children. Only then could he find peace in death.

He prayed for strength, for courage such as hers had been, fervently if rather incoherently. When he rose and wended his way home, the gentle spring breeze blew on him whence she had stood, soothing him as a healing balm, tranquilizing his shaking body and steadying his wavering steps. His heart swelled with determination and a sense of purpose.

Many decades later, an old, spent, but contented man, he died. His deathbed was surrounded by loving children and grandchildren, but his thoughts dwelt only one shining face, one sweet smile that was bright as ever...

 “I’m coming, Lisbet,” He whispered. A peaceful smile lit his face as his spirit flew to join his beloved in death.

© 2015 Sarusai Hiryu

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first of all.thanks for the font size....i really liked the was really touching.but what i mostly lked about it.are the perfect choice of the really have a very nice vocabulary!!...i was actually thinking that he might commit suicide when this line was been said:"The only answer, the answer all true lovers through the ages had found …".and i immediately that it's an immature thouhgt.he's having his children........and i'm glad that you didn't let that's a story of how someone becomes the precious part of your life and when they are gone's seems that are life has come to an end too....
simply awesome.nice work!!!

Posted 6 Years Ago

Sarusai Hiryu

6 Years Ago

Thanks, glad you liked it!
ok! this is just nonsense

Posted 7 Years Ago

Sarusai Hiryu

6 Years Ago

Aregato gosaimasu, niisan
wow, that was beautiful. i really enjoyed your descriptions of certain moments, they were very well written. you write with a kind of old fashioned voice of wisdom that can be found in fairy tales, which is awesome.
my favorite line was:

"how could he explain that which he could not fathom?"

great writing! :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

The fable form is lovely; the moral, valuable.
Very fine work, young writer.

Posted 8 Years Ago

I'm so glad I picked this story to read! Remarkable story!

Posted 8 Years Ago

Sweet. It's the realization that everyone who has someone to love must realize, of the living must go on and leave behind the dead but forever remembering them in memories of good and bad. But sometimes we find people who instead choose to wallow in their despair letting all their life's work come crashing down instead of doing what needs to be done whether mentally or physically. Those people are sometimes far gone in their worlds, similar to a castle with a moat and all the classics, hard to get in but sometimes not, yet easy to get out. I like the way it makes me think!

Posted 8 Years Ago

" Pearl-white laced with simmering wild-rose pink her gown fluttered in the breeze" a punctuation mark needed here somewhere...
great job. great, great job. I love this story, it was beautifully written. Keep it up!

Posted 8 Years Ago

I had some trouble following the first part of the story like is this story Nathans flashback or is it present time, the story itself is a great idea loved the last line good read!!

Posted 8 Years Ago

So beautiful...I don't have many words to express how I feel about'll have to forgive me. Thank you!

Posted 8 Years Ago

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20 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on March 12, 2011
Last Updated on May 14, 2015


Sarusai Hiryu
Sarusai Hiryu

Caledorne-on-the-Eyrlyndyne, Estayn, Nakushita, Pakistan

I dream with my eyes open; I weave songs in prose and essays in poetry; I speak Shakespeare and write "half-yo"... In short, I am. "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not m.. more..


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