Death is Lonely

Death is Lonely

A Story by Paul

Short story about a boy who must write a short story.

Death is lonely.

Those were the only words scratched onto Alan’s page. He was stuck in a creative writing class. The room smelled like incense and the teacher played some instrumental post-modern rock band “for motivation”.

Two weeks earlier Mr. Sandoval stood in front of the class and said, “everyone write down one sentence, the first complete sentence that comes to your mind, write it down.” It didn’t take long for Alan to write his sentence down. “Okay, now that you have that sentence you have two weeks to write a story with that as your first sentence.”

Two weeks later a nearly blank page stared back at Alan, all it said was Death is lonely. With 24 hours to write a story he knew he was in trouble.

His dad was in the Army. He wore a badge that said Chaplain. “God will be with you son” he would say. Two weeks later he would stand in front of a family, “God will be with him” he would say. That was his job.

Apparently a lot of people around the country needed those words because the family would live in one city for about three years then move somewhere else. New York, Washington D.C., California, Idaho, Arkansas and now Arizona, every city the same words, “God will be with you”.

“Alan it’s been five days and you only have three words.” Mr. Sandoval pointed out. “Listen closely Alan, thoughts are a funny thing. No one has an original thought. What I mean is every thought is formed from something you’ve seen, heard or experienced. Thoughts are your subconscious expressing your past. So to help move you along I want you to write a brief analyses of where that sentence came from and what it means.”

Death is lonely. Why is death lonely? Because everyone dies alone. Love, friendship, family all end with death. I guess I wrote this because I fear death and its loneliness. Who doesn’t?

They just moved to Arizona in early September. Alan got assigned to creative writing not by choice but by convenience. The school placed him there last minute, it was the only open elective with less than 40 students. That is what happens to transient families, they get used to the idea of convenience over choice.

With one day left to write Alan sat alone in the lunchroom staring at those words. He cared about his grade even though he didn’t care much for the subject, so he spent his lunch thinking over and over death is lonely, death is lonely.

“Okay Alan you have two days left, maybe write another analyses but make it different. Where else could this idea have come from?” Mr. Sandoval was a good teacher, but Alan found little motivation in his words.

Death is lonely. Why is death lonely? Because death he never has a chance to to be with anyone. He comes and goes, always alone, always feared. Death is lonely because death never knew love, family or friendship.

He was packing. It was Alan’s last days in Idaho and he was done hurting. At twelve years old Alan had spent his life making good friends just in time to pack up and move away. This move was different. The tears didn’t come, he knew what was coming. When they moved to Idaho he knew that anything that he cared for would be left behind in a few short years. That is why he spent his time in Idaho alone. Alan excelled in school but made no friends. He couldn’t take the goodbyes anymore. His father spent so much time with those closest to the dead but all Alan could remember him saying is “pack up son.” Sure he was a good father but with no real home he never found a real connection, even with his family.
He was home now. About 16 hours until his assignment was due. Alan decided it may be best if he put his words on the computer. Death is lonely and a blinking cursor. His mother was in the kitchen listening to his dad.
“He was one of the first ones I sent out when we first got here.” He paused. he hasn’t been able to remove himself from the pain of his job. Alan was used to hearing his dad’s nightly talks so he knew what was next. “I don’t know how many more of these I can take.”
Everyone had gone to bed and the computer screen was the only light on in the house. No progress had been made. It may have been the exhaustion or maybe it was an epiphany, whatever it was Alan was sure that the idea was perfect so he began typing.

“I expect great things. I have seen unique voices and great emotion from all of your stories.” The moment was here. Mr. Sandoval stood in front of the students. “Pass your stories forward.” Confident of his finished product Alan turned in his assignment. Only one page Alan had the shortest paper in the class it read,

Death is lonely. God will be with him.

© 2012 Paul

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Added on October 24, 2012
Last Updated on October 24, 2012
Tags: Short Story, Army, Writing



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