Sunday Scribblings, "Hunger"

The prompt at Sunday Scribblings “hungry.”
"Interpret it how you will" was the instructions. And here you go:

Gray skin, mottled like rotting meat, stretches taut over brittle bones.
Gnarled hands, blue veins pulsating, tap, tap, tap upon an old oak armchair.
A stained comforter covers his legs. Skeleton appendages with dead and black toes, there’s no walk left in them.
He’s hungry, and the ravenous gnawing grows by the second.
There’s no clatter of pots or plates in the kitchen. The only sounds in the dingy studio come from the clock on the mantle, the rattle of his struggled breath through decrepit lungs.
He’s starving, slow and deliberate.
No smells waft from the kitchen, no tang of tomato sauce or even the clean graininess from a simple pot of rice. The only smells are the sickly-sweet scent of potpourri broiling from every electric socket and every scented plug-in – as well as the underlying, unmistakable stench of death.
She had died quietly in the bed they’d shared across the years. The grief weighed on him, like sacks of cement laid upon on his withered chest. That grief, that unbearable weight, was paralyzing.
And yet he hungered.
Not for a meal, but for his own death, which was so closing in that he thought he could hear distinct footfalls. It was a comfort, this yearning to break free.
And join her, wherever that was.


floreta said...

i love it! love the double meaning of hunger in this piece. very dark, as usual.. visceral pain.. great stuff.

Donna said...

This hurt to read, which leads me to a few thoughts ...

If I think it hurt to read, try being the one who wrote it.

Cathartic, I hope.

God, can you write. You grab me from word one, take me to places even if I'm not comfortable going, and you hold me long past the last word. If there's a better definition for successful writer, I don't know it.


rebecca said...

wow... you've left me speechless. wow!

(i'm giving you a standing ovation)...

missalister said...

Deep, black, my favorite. The words that came to you rock. I can smell the dying wish being granted.

Good to see you back here, Thom.

Dee Martin said...

ditto everything above - especially glad you are back. Grief truly is like cement sacks only they aren't there all the time - just re-appear when you least expect it.

Dee Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
b said...

I saw this in my mothers eyes. She said she just wanted to be hugged. So sad.


quin browne said...


i see this daily, as you know.

you've put it there perfectly.

Jane Doe said...

Full of deep longing and voracious hunger. So vivid, the words jump off the page and bore into your mind. A fantastic piece!

George S Batty said...

back you are and with a vengeance. Nice writing

gautami tripathy said...

Like this hunger..