One Last Move


Photo. Thomas Zimmerman.

“Kansas ? Really ?”

He was five years from retirement.

“It’s the last move, Ellen, we really have no choice.”

Mark was right. There were bills to pay, he loved his work, Florida could wait.

Stress, depression, illness did not wait. The pain returned, worse than ever. Another round of chemo, life-threatening surgery; she wouldn’t discuss it.

Not with anyone.

He called home to warn her, it looked bad. She had already heard the sirens.

Just another storm in Kansas.

She secured the dogs in the cellar, and moved out into it.

One last move.

This entry was posted in Family, Flash Fiction, Health Issues, Work and Career, Writing Prompt and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to One Last Move

  1. George says:

    Lots of possibilities

  2. Given how spare and concise this piece is, it really packs an emotional wallop. Excellent writing.

  3. Nurse Kelly says:

    Love the analogy. Really well-done, Van. I agree with Laura on how much you created with so few words. xoxo

    • We have moved a lot, never to Kansas, but there were many tornadoes in Michigan. The photo motivated me. Thanks, Kelly.☺

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do, in my opinion. Don’t know if I could live in “Tornado Alley,” though. We get our share in Ohio as well, but nothing like what happens there! Loved this piece 🙂

      • We have lived near earthquakes, drought, flood zones, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. It’s been an adventure, Kelly, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. ☺

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        That’s nice that you feel that way. I can easily move around as well, but it’s the act of moving that I hate. I agree, that life should be an adventure!

  4. Hugh Roberts says:

    I love this, Van. So much power in so few words. Flash fiction at its very best 🙂 I’ve seen the photo on a few blogs beacuse of the challenge and it always reminds me of Dorothy and her trip to Oz.

    • Same here on the Oz memory, Hugh, thanks so much. I have special memories of the pre-video days, when it was featured at the movie theater during Christmas season..born in December, I considered it a birthday gift !

      • Hugh Roberts says:

        You can almost guarantee that the movie will feature on the TV sometime over Christmas, here in the UK. I’ve also seen the musical “Wicked” five times (the first being on Broadway). I was hooked straight away.

      • I wanted to like Wicked, Hugh…Idina Menzel’s shrill voice is like nails on a blackboard to me. (She also sang “Let It Go” from Frozen.) Yikes. I had to keep my radio off for a while there. She is talented, it just doesn’t sit will in my ear for some reason.

  5. Oooh. Intense one, Van. Interesting that you capture a sense of power versus resignation. In a way she’s as mighty as the storm. Well done.

  6. gh0stpupp3t says:

    Call me Sam. 🙂 No problem

  7. Aww….yes, you packed a lot in there, V. Matter-of-factness, sorrow. Wonderful use of irony at the end there, though sad.

  8. Amy says:


  9. C.E.Robinson says:

    Wow…Van! That last image was powerful! Moved out into it, and not down with the dogs! Courage to face the raging “storms.” Well done! Christine

  10. Silver Threading says:

    Van, this was excellent! I have goose-bumps. I lived in Kansas with my Grandparents for the summers when I was a child. Yes, we had a storm cellar. I made a few trips there believe me.

  11. Awesome. Powerful. Chills up my arm.

  12. markbialczak says:

    Strong and powerful story, Van. Quite.

  13. AmyRose says:

    O-O-O-O-O Is this the start of a story, Van? This is really good!!! You’ve got me hooked already. I would love to see you continue with this. Good job, my friend …. keep going!!!!! ❤

  14. F.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. Emotional wallop? Yup. Front and center. Love this. 😀

  15. a lot of raw power in very few words – loved it!

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