Medicinal Heart

Ca-thump, Ca-thump, came from the hall. Faint echoes through the main bedroom’s walls. The ca-thumps clearer when I opened the door. A steady rhythm of ca, half a second, thump, full second. No one was in the room, but I switched on the light anyway. Half of the bed was tidy; some of Dad’s clothes were in the closet and most Mom’s. I dreaded going through them. The quality faded when I went towards the bathroom, so I turned back towards the bed. I checked under it to find boxes of old photographs. When I sat on the king-size mattress to rifle through them, the ca-thumps got louder. Beneath Mom’s pillow, a tape recorder; the tape labeled, “My Love’s Heartbeat.” A few years ago, she told me that she’d rest her head on his chest most nights during their marriage. His heartbeat soothed her, silenced her anxieties, her insomnia’s antidote. She forgot to stop it before she headed to the doctor this morning.

Image: Pixaby

I’m thinking about expanding it into a flash fiction piece or short story. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Medicinal Heart

  1. Hi Amber – I really enjoyed your micro, especially the ending which I thought was lovely! Definitely think you could expand this to a longer story.
    Three suggestions from my side for the longer story: (i) that you make clearer from the beginning that there is actual sound coming from the bedroom (I first thought the sounds were from a memory and that both parents were dead); (ii) establish that the mom is alive earlier in the story, e.g. make clear that the MC is checking up on the place after taking mom to the hospital earlier that day; (iii) add color to the parents’ relationship over the years, as well as the MC’s pov on it (i.e. no matter how much we know our parents, there are always things about them that surprise us).
    Hope this is helpful and keep writing!
    Best, Julian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and the thoughtful feedback.
      In my mind, the mom drove herself to the doctor, and the daughter is at the house after her Mom passed away.
      I will work on the three valuable points you made. A longer story will enable me to expand on the details of her parent’s relationship.


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