Tears in Rain

15 Mar

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, a mixed bag of writers who each week produce flash fiction based on a photo prompt. This week’s picture was graciously provided by Lora Mitchell. (Get well, my friend. We miss you.) All the stories are here. Check them out. Usually some diamonds in the rough.

I don’t offer this story lightly. Someone near to me is on her 11th day of fasting, waiting to move on. The time comes for all of us. I hope I can go with such grace when my clock winds down.

Aloha, D.


Tears in Rain


Ten days ago I stopped eating. This rest home’s food wasn’t bad; just comes a time when you no longer need it.

Woke this morning to lilies in front of the TV at the foot of the bed. On the screen a cityscape at night, the word SET prominent on the image.

Egyptian god of chaos’ name inadvertently displayed on our civilization’s graven idol, offset by a popular symbol of resurrection.

People mean well, but they’re so often blind.

I smile and remember Roy Batty’s soliloquy. “I’ve seen things….”

Gratitude fills me, for so have I.


Time to die.




(Well, you’ll either know who Roy Batty was or you won’t. For those who are curious here are two links to steer you in the right direction. Don’t click on these if you’re rushed. They’re not vital. Just trying to save you some searching.)



51 Responses to “Tears in Rain”

  1. deanabo March 15, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    So very sad. At least she at peace with passing.

    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Dear Deanabo,

      Sad for those who remain behind, but for one prepared and ready, it is a new beginning and often, in quietly passing, a blessing.



      • rgayer55 March 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

        Amen to that, Doug.

  2. readinpleasure March 15, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Moving and yet told in a matter of fact way. A graceful end, I dare say. well done 🙂

    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

      Dear Celestine,

      Thank you for reading and commenting.



  3. rochellewisoff March 15, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Dear Doug,
    As always, my brain has a new wrinkle or two after reading your story.;)
    I see hundreds of layers within your one hundred words. A feast for the mind.
    What a loving tribute you’ve written to your friend.
    Thank you for showing us all what it means to think outside the box.

    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Your kind comment has left me speechless.

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement and support.



  4. unspywriter March 15, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    When I read the title I got the spark of hope, and when I read the last line, I knew. This is absolutely perfect, and, I also suspect, these are Deckard’s last thoughts. Wonderful. Wonderful! Phillip K. would be proud. 😉

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/september-morning-forever/

    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Dear Maggie,

      I’m glad this piece resonated with you. Yours surely did with me. Well done this week.



      • unspywriter March 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

        Mahalo. Blade Runner is one of my all-time favorite movies.

  5. The Writers Village March 15, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    It is a good day to die…

    Can’t remember the movie… a western probably as I recall an Indian saying this line. Always stuck with me.. Good piece.


    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Dear Randy,

      They’re all good, whether living or dying. Once we see that, life takes on a richer hue. Thank you for stopping iin to read and comment.



    • sustainabilitea March 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Low Dog in the Battle of Little Big Horn…and probably also Bruce Willis as John McClane and any of his movies or the latest, “A Good Day to Die Hard.” 🙂

  6. JKBradley March 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm #


    Life and love are our renewable energies. Fair well and know peace.

    • dmmacilroy March 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Dear JK,

      Thanks for your thoughts and caring. I feel exactly the same and, in part because of friends like you, I am at peace. I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment.



  7. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) March 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Quite moving and bravo for the brave woman. But, boy, I’m not on the save wave length! Maybe one day but for sure not now.

  8. N Filbert March 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    fine work monsieur.

  9. elmowrites March 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    You’ve seen things too, Doug – this picture from a completely different angle. I love how you show the dying person’s view of seemingly innocuous things. She (in my head it’s a woman) is at peace with it all, but not because her mind is any less sharp than ever.

  10. Tom Poet March 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    To face death in such a deliberate slow manner shows an inner peace. She has become the eye in the middle of the storm while life rages on around her. To choose your own path as the end becomes apparent takes courage. Your friend seems to have moved through life with grace, a sense of purpose, and a knowledge of life’s beauty. With faith and hope she moves onto the next unknown chapter content with the novel she left behind. Blessings my friend for both you and your friend.


  11. rgayer55 March 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Beautifully written, Doug. I think there will come a time for most of us when we welcome death and look forward to the other side.

  12. tedstrutz March 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    ‘SET’… how do you think of these things? I did have to look up Roy, sounded familiar, as did the “I’ve seen things…” You have a lot going in this piece… A nice homage to your friend.

  13. kz March 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    i love how it’s emotional in a totally non-cheesy way. the narrator seems ready. a very strong voice. a great story 🙂

  14. yarnspinnerr March 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    As Rochelle has said this is truly has many layers. 🙂

  15. petrujviljoen March 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    I understand this I think, watching my dad go now three & a half years ago.

  16. sustainabilitea March 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    First of all, Doug, thanks for the link. As for the story, as always there are so many things, layers as Rochelle said. I felt the peace in your friend’s heart, her desire to control the time of her dying rather than be kept artificially alive, her dignity, all of which I hope, pray and am quite sure you’ll have when that day comes in the distant future.

    I love that you worked Set in and the TV as graven image (sad but oh, so true), although the gods of various game platforms as well as computers have been added to the panoply of deities! You also referenced “Blade Runner”, a movie I haven’t seen in ages but your character is played by one of my favorite actors, Rutger Hauer, who was excellent in one of our all-time favorite movies, “Ladyhawk.”

    Your friend sounds like a lovely woman and if she can still listen, please give her my love.


  17. elappleby March 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Hi Doug
    An incredibly sad story this week – especially as we know there is some truth in it. I hope your friend finds some peace.

  18. elappleby March 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    By the way – thanks for the link to my story – but are you calling me ‘rough’? 😀

  19. Lora Mitchell March 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Dear Doug ~ You captured the essence of my “Lilies in the Window” in a beautiful way and brought back the still-vivid memory as I sat at mom’s bedside; watched and prayed as she took her last breath. I marvel at your writing and deep, sensitive heart… and often wonder what part of heaven you fell from. Thank you for sending me “well wishes”…it means so much to me. ps: I’m making headway every day with wonderful doctors and hope to rejoin my fellow FFers as soon as possible. I miss you all. Hugs, Lora

  20. singleworkingmomswm March 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi, Doug. Haven’t been reading my blogs as much with lots going on personally, but this was lovely. I think this is how we all hope to be able to leave the earth and move on. XOXO-SWM

  21. Joe Owens March 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    I could her the resignation in his voice.

  22. John Hardy Bell March 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I’ve been away from the fictioneers for quite a while, and some things have changed. Thankfully some things have not…

    Brilliantly thoughtful story my friend! It may just be my own sensibilities at work, but I definitely see a lot more beneath the surface of this person’s life. And I want to know all about it! 🙂

  23. silentlyheardonce March 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Seems as if the rest home was trying to move her on. The voice of your protagonist sounds like a person who has accepted her final fate. Well told story.

  24. wmqcolby March 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    Yes, I thought that name sounded familiar. It’s been YEARS … and I never saw the movie, just read a lot about it. To die like a Replicant … big downer.

    All in all, a fine product, Doug. It didn’t sound mawkish or sentimental. Nice and crisp!

    Nice work, Friend Doug.

  25. Lindaura Glamoura March 15, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I am so grateful for your reminding me of that speech in Blade Runner. That was one of the most touching scenes in cinema. I am so impressed that Rutger Hauer rewrote it and delivered it himself. I am a very big fan of PKDick and model my R7 series robot’s thinking after a dozen characters I’ve met in his short stories and novels.
    Oh, and yours was a good story, too!

  26. JackieP March 16, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    sometimes a person just knows when it’s time. great story

  27. valeriedavies March 16, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Doug, this was so profound, and so beautifully told
    .It wasn’t sad to me – to choose the time of one’s passing, to see things so clearly and to die so consciously can only mean a life filled with wisdom and self knowledge.
    I loved the way you used the symbolism of Set and of lilies… Yes, both you and she ‘have seen things.’..and gratitude is the magic word… a little masterpiece, Doug

  28. lingeringvisions March 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Beautiful post made more so by your personal experience.

  29. David Stewart March 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    What a unique way of using the word “SET”. You’re the first one I’ve read that has used the word specifically. Great story, as always, although sad.

  30. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    What a comforting way to leave this way. I do not think it’s sad at all… Just hope I can go silenflty like that when it’s my turn.

  31. jwdwrites March 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Doug the background intro you gave to your story really gave a depth and gravity to your brilliant story. What a great eye you have to see so much and wit to match to say so much in so little space. Thank you and best wishes. James

  32. billgncs March 17, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    Hi Doug — I liked this piece, and the blade runner reference, one of my favorite quotes.
    I’ve seen things…. might be part of the proof of a well lived life.


  33. Sarah Ann March 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Dear Doug,
    Knowing this is based in real events makes it so much more poignant.
    The way your thoughts are so vast and weave so elegantly into your stories always amazes and pleases me, to wit ‘Egyptian god of chaos’ name inadvertently displayed on our civilization’s graven idol, offset by a popular symbol of resurrection.’
    I hope your friend finds peace. At 98 and in hospital, my grandmother stopped eating. It comforts me to think this was her re-taking control of her life in the only way she could.

  34. Pete March 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Very powerful piece of work. Well done.

  35. Atiya W Townes (@AtiyaWTownes) March 19, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    I like you character. He/she is aware and intelligent and sees the world differently. We should all wish to have that kind of outlook in the end.

  36. Shreyank March 19, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    a touching piece ! well narrated.. 🙂

  37. anelephantcant March 19, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Clever tale, beautifully told.
    AnElephant applauds.

  38. 40again March 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Dear Doug
    A lovely, sad and beautifully crafted story. I loved the way you brough in SET and the tv.
    So sad to read about the true story, Rochelle and Janet put my thoughts into better words than I could ever have done.
    Thank you for sharing this

  39. rheath40 March 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I don’t ever want to be left behind like that. For I know that if I am, I will do exactly what she did.

  40. vbholmes March 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    A beautiful, sensitive tribute to your friend, Doug–we should all have such courage when the time comes.

  41. julespaige March 20, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Thank you for your visits. I’ll have to come back to those links. Kind of apropos…seeing as we are dealing with a 90 year old elder. I just pieced together a 100 word haibun.


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