Fiction: Death

By Petar Penda

Having felt a sharp and strong pain in the chest, she stood up from the bed to take a glass of water. The pain was indomitable, her heart racing like crazy. On her way to the kitchen, another surge of an excruciating sting hit her in the chest and she fell to the floor with a very sound thump. She heard the squeak of the bed, fast pacing, and saw a familiar face leaning over her.

The worried voice called her name several times.

She gasped for air, reached for the sleeve of the silhouette above her. She could feel an astounding fear in a crying voice calling her name. Both of them knew this was the end of years’ long hate and love, incessant quarrels with rare moments of peace. The end of harrying, pulling out her hair, pinning her to the floor and slapping her hard on the face. The end of one long-lasting and horrible badgering.

Now she was sure she was loved after all and that she would be missed.  

She felt a pang after a pang in the heart until she could not breathe. She strived for one last breath of air and everything became blurred. Now she could hardly see a shadow arching over her. Losing consciousness, there was almost no pain. Just before her heart stopped, she felt peace and was filled with love and forgiveness. She let go of the silhouette’s sleeve and while her hand was falling to the floor, she gently fondled her daughter’s forearm with the tips of her fingers. Her very last thought was that they both would be free now.

Petar Penda is a professor of English and American literature and a translator. His translations are published in renowned journals in the USA and the UK. His poetry was published by A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Fevers of the Mind, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and Trouvaille Review.


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