Wednesday's Words on a Friday

Last week's sentence prompt was "in darkest night, on silent wings of ice"

Let's try this....

"In darkest night, on silent wings of ice", death blew in, disguised as flakes of snow.
In the still of the night, while people slept in their warm homes, under warm blankets or thick quilts, the homeless of the town, shivered and huddled in corners, doorways, under the bridge. A few shared the limited warmth of a thin piece of old blanket, some pulled a threadbare coat closer around their shoulders and turned up the collar for a little extra warmth.

Simon curled up as tight as he could, with a pad of old newspapers to protect him from the icy cold ground, an angled tree branch helping to keep off the worst of the snow, he dreamed of Christmases past. His childhood, when there was a fire in the living room, his college years when he had become addicted to drugs, later years when he had beaten the addiction, but was unable to find a job.
Employers didn't want to hire someone with a "suspicious past".  He'd begun drinking to forget it all, eventually losing his home when he drank his social security money instead of paying rent.
He'd been living on the streets for many years now, at 68 he was so very tired of it all. He had no body fat to add a little warmth, had been ill recently, unable to keep down even the small amounts of food handed out by the soup van.

Simon was skin and bone. As the temperature dropped and the snow deepened, his broken heart could take no more. In darkest night, on silent wings of ice, his soul took flight, and Simon passed away. There was no family to mourn his passing, no one knew he was there under the big old tree, he was just one of many unknowns who would be missed only by the few, also homeless, mates that usually met him at the soup van every evening. They would think he had moved on and wouldn't bother looking for him.


  1. And probably death was a not unwelcome visitor. He can rest at last.
    This is tugging on my heart strings - thank you.

  2. That is heartbreaking and way way too close to the truth. Excellent job.

  3. Aw crap, River. You made my eyes spring a leak. Beautifully written.

  4. You have told a tale which is so often true; the forgotten human flotsam have become part of the background of modern life, ignored by many, regretted by few.

  5. Many a sad truth in your story. The plight of the homeless, the rough sleepers, should bring out the caring in all of us.


  6. Oh, so tender and sad. A good reminder that winter is brutal for those sleeping wild.

  7. That's VERY good ... a perfect story for Christmas which the homeless will not find quite so much fun as others will. There's not that much distance between being OK and being down on your luck - your main character could end up being any one of us.

  8. mm; thank you.

    fishducky; I hoped it would be.

    Elephant's Child; I think Simon was more than ready to go.

    Delores; thank you so much.

    Susan; I hope you had a box of tissues handy.

    Friko; there are too many forgotten ones out there.

    klahanie; should, but doesn't. Not often enough anyway. A meal at Christmas? surely they'd be better off with more frequent help.

    Susan Kane; more so in the northern hemisphere where winters are so harsh.

    Red Nomad OZ; that's very true. It could be you or me.....

  9. Such a moving, sad, touching story that unfortunately I'm sure happens more often than we know (and would like) to those that find themselves homeless. Such a sad situation here with all the homeless and I can imagine a similar situation here.


  10. betty; it's the same worldwide I fear, and the problem is growing.

  11. That is one of the most beautiful, albeit saddest, stories I've read for a while. There are so many homeless people that, when they go, leave barely a ripple. It's as though they didn't exist.
    In Sue Grafton's latest book (W) it is about homeless people and she wrote about it so well. Well worth a read.

  12. Mimsie; I hoped I'd touch a few people with this, maybe encourage a few more to help. I don't yet have Sue Grafton's latest, I think I have up to U. Just checked, I have U is for Undertow. I'll download the newer ones as soon as I've read the others.

  13. Rest in Peace, Simon.

    That was really poignant, River. I think I need a kleenex....

  14. Marie; here, I have a whole box. I wasn't sure I could do sad, but it seems I've managed to.


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