Flash Fiction #62 – Breathe In, Breathe Out
Sweat stood out against his almost waxy-looking skin as he sat slumped forward on the edge of his bed, elbows balanced shakily on his thighs. Every part of him shook, and his sheets were in a sour-smelling tangle behind him.
He looked up at me, eyes completely bloodshot around irises that were still the darkest blue I’d ever seen. “Go away.”
I know he’d meant to growl it, but it had come out weak and almost lifeless.
Lowering myself to the floor, I sat cross-legged in front of him. He was older. So much older. And frail. Like I could break bones without trying. An amber-colored glint under the bed caught my eye. I reached beneath the bed and grabbed the half-empty bottle of whiskey.
“That’s mine.” He reached out for me–or more likely, the bottle as I stood and walked to the sink. I didn’t bother looking at him as I poured it out. I didn’t want to see the expression of desperation mixed with hate that I knew would be on his face.
After I washed my hands, I returned to my spot on the floor.
There wasn’t as much heat behind it as he’d intended because he’d started shaking violently again. His hands clenched and unclenched, repeatedly curling into painful looking fists as his breathing turned jerky and panicky.
Reaching out, I grasped his clammy hands and held on. “Breathe with me, Dad. Breathe in. Breathe out. You can do this.”
That’s it for me this week. Be sure to check out the other stories, too!