Worn hollow by emphysema, my aunt would travel no more. She had been the odd one, the adventurous one, the cultured one. She was the one who let her work carry her around the globe, too much in a rush to ever marry, to have any family other than nieces and nephews and pen-pals in Vietnam or Hong Kong or Australia.
Too independent, as well, she had been, not letting any help her until she could help herself no more. Always thin, now her skin hung on her frail form, only her proud aquiline nose still jutting from a sunken face. “Am I dying?” she whispered to me, as I kept vigil by her bed. How could I answer?
It didn’t matter. She slipped once more into sleep, closing her pale eyes. They were the same color as my mom’s, the color of sky after summer rain. She did not open them again.
Stephen Brooke ©2016
More a vignette than a story and not intended to stand alone anyway, this is the sort of thing I am inclined to jot down and have ready to plug into a longer story or novel.