Writing Prompt #205 “Stories By 5” – Quest and Qestral

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A life-changing relationship  

Qestral stood at the end of her father, Quest’s bed, and looked at her failing father.

He had always been an unhappy man and as death approached his mood was as dark as ever.

He was ever restless nowadays, the candle that had been his life was slowing burning down with no hope of relighting.

She reflected on his life and her life with him. There was never anything peachy about him or his way of seeing things. He longed to regale her about his harsh childhood, living in a shoebox on the side of the road he’d say.

His family, all seven of them squeezed into a space three would have found a tight fit. He’d look around at the suburban sprawl and say: “Luxury, all these houses, driveways, hot and cold running water, back yards, sheer luxury compared to what we had. We lived shoulder to shoulder in a cardboard box on the side of the road and if we were lucky we didn’t end up being blown onto the highway run over by a cattle truck. I woke up one morning and saw that one leg was south of where I’d left it the night before, and the other one was north. I crawled along the road grabbing both legs, reattached them before my father would wake and thrash me within an inch of my life if I hadn’t fetched the water from the freezing river so he could have a cold shave.

But we didn’t complain, we knew life was tough, we knew we had it better than the Dobson’s who were forced to live in the middle of a round-about all seasons of the year with only an old umbrella to save them from the elements.

You, young people, don’t know how good you have it.”

Qestral listened to this so often during last years of his life. It was true he’d had a hard upbringing, with a stepfather who cared little for him and a mother who was an alcoholic but he liked to embellish his recall of those times.

As death approached, Quest knew his time was up. He grew more and more restless, he insisted the candle beside him was kept alight, as long as he could see the flame he knew there was still life.

The next morning, she came as she had done every morning for the past two weeks, to find that Quest’s quest in life had come to an end. She drew the sheet up over his head and sat and cried for a father who despite his failings, had been her dad, a man who struggled with reality but who had learned to value the love of his child.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/writing-prompt-205-stories-by-5/

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15 Responses to Writing Prompt #205 “Stories By 5” – Quest and Qestral

  1. MC Clark says:

    Thought-provoking story, Michael. My parents have been gone for many years, and though they were imperfect as parents and people (aren’t we all?), they loved me dearly, and raised me and my siblings the best they knew how. They valued my love, and valued me.

    • Michael says:

      I agree Cathy, our parents did the best they could and I have no regrets, I am glad I was able to live with my dad at the end of his life and act as his carer…I think the mark of our successful we are with our own kids is that they want to talk to us despite our failing and all mine do which i treasure about them…

      • MC Clark says:

        My siblings and I also took care of my mom and dad at the end of their lives…bittersweet memories there. And I have a good relationship with my only child, a son. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, and I am so grateful. One sees so many dysfunctional ones anymore.

      • Michael says:

        Well it’s a great gift isn’t to have been able to care for our parents. My mum died suddenly aged 57, so no goodbyes or anything. My dad lived to be 90.
        My own marriage was dysfunctional but somehow my kids and I survived it all.

      • MC Clark says:

        Aren’t they all dysfunctional…marriages, that is. 🙂

      • Michael says:

        Well mine was….though my brother and his wife have been married a lot of years and get well….two very opposite people they are…

      • MC Clark says:

        That’s good…

  2. Very moving story Michael,the ending really tugs at the heart strings. Beautifully done

  3. Lyn says:

    I feel for Qestral. My Dad died when I was 14 and my Mum died 32 years ago. I wish I could have known them better.

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