Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 3: Harold

The prompt this week was to choose a starter sentence for our story, and the genre was open.  I chose starter sentence #1.  Please enjoy.


“I always knew there was something not quite right about Harold.”

Leave it to the Grand Dame of the family to speak harshly of the dead.  She never knew the truth about him while he was alive – I made certain of that; but now in death, I am unable to protect him from her wrath any longer.

“Don’t do this, Aunt Clarisse.  Don’t smear his good name.  Please.”  Shutting her up was like trying to stop a runaway train, but I still made the effort.

“His good name?  What good name?  The boy was always peculiar, and tried to set himself apart from the family.  And you?  You betrayed us all by keeping his secret.  You go ahead and do whatever else needs to be done here.  We are finished with you both.  Besides, Uncle Ronald and I are late for a dinner engagement.  Come, Ronald.”

As they made their way from the grave to their limo, the only family my deceased brother and I had ever known, began to laugh loudly and joke about their dinner plans.  It was going to be an elegant affair and there were surprises galore in store for their new friends.  Heaven forbid the death of their only nephew and his burial should create a snag in their good time.

My name is Janelle, and Harold is…well, was…my brother.  Truth be told, he did keep pretty much to himself growing up, but that was simply his way.  I’ve always believed it was because he was such a sensitive soul.  Father died when I was 7 and Harold was 5, and that hurt him very deeply.  Mother ran off shortly after and left us in the care of Aunt Clarisse and Uncle Ronald.  They were already up in years and set in their ways at the time, and having to raise two young children hadn’t exactly been the future they had dreamt of.  I adapted immediately; but then, I’m not the emotional type.  Poor Harold though, he was never able to handle the lifestyle change.  Living with our parents could be chaotic at times – theirs was a mixed marriage of sorts, but growing up with Ronald and Clarisse left normalcy in the dust.

Ronald and Clarisse would entertain friends in the evenings, and I loved to peek and eavesdrop, while Harold locked himself in his room and read.  I partook of leftovers as they were available, and there always were, and tried to share, but Harold would have none of it.  I made excuses for him on every such occasion and Aunt's and Uncle's suspicions great stronger, but I always attributed his desire for solitude to prolonged grief.  As long as they accepted it, I pitched it, but it still broke my heart to see him pull away from us all.  I had to respect him for it though.  Life is, after all, a matter of choice, and Harold had made his.

When Harold’s medical condition was diagnosed as terminal, I wanted so desperately to help him, but he wouldn’t have it.  He told me it was his time and begged me not to interfere.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I sat with him and held his hand until the end just as he had asked.  Now I sit at the side of his grave, alone, and I wonder.  I will always wonder.  I had offered him life, but he wouldn't take it.  Why…

Mother had accepted the dark gift, yet Father had chosen to remain mortal.  This resulted in their union never being accepted, or recognized, by either the vamps or the humans.  Harold took after Father in many ways, especially in that most important one.  He always said the prospect of living forever sounded oh so tedious.  I, on the other hand, anticipated going from century to century – learning and experiencing.

Aunt and Uncle are both creatures of the night, and since I am now an adult, in terms of human years, and their obligation to Harold is paid in full, they, like Mother, will abandon me too now.  No more late night gatherings where the half-drained innocents were presented to me.  I am on my own now.  I must hunt to survive.

I sought life everlasting and accepted it gladly, but my dear brother believed we should make the most of the time we were given – originally.  Did I make the correct choice, or did Harold have an inside track to what was right all along?  Who can say…

I shall miss you terribly, Harold, as I wander through time.  I can’t help but question whether the day may come in the not too distant future when I tire.  If, and when, that day should come, I shall return to your final resting place, dear brother mine, and sit with you yet again.  Sit with you until the sunrise…


  1. Got to admit, I rather identified with Harold, in a strictly mortal way. I'm the black sheep of my family and have very little to do with the collection of "Honorable Southerners" that make up my kinfolk. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks much, Beach. Glad you enjoyed this. I'm with you on kind of staying on the outer circle of the family. One side of my family had a dairy farm. As a kid, I used to hate visiting them. I've always been a city gal, and never cared for getting up before the sun, and having a chicken served to me as dinner that I had fed in the yard that morning. Live off the land? Not this chick!

  2. Being the odd one out is always difficult. Harold made a brave choice and saw it through. Interesting story - thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Rose. It is true that taking the 'outer' view is tough and sometimes the pressure to join in can overwhelm. Harold made his choice and stood his ground to the end. I believe out of all of them, he will be the only one to truly find peace.

  3. I like the way the plot developed in this, revealing just what it was that made Harold different. Not an easy choice, but the role of a good friend is to accept our choices in life, and support them. I hope Aunt and Uncle have miserable lives.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I'm glad you liked this. When all close to you go one way and you choose to follow a different path, that's the toughest choice of all. Hopefully, some day, his sister will find the courage to rest in peace. and Aunt Clarisse and Uncle Ronald will spend eternity hiding from the light and fighting to survive. That would be true justice for all.