First Step

My new story was just posted on CafeLit. The link below takes you right to it. I also posted the story below it. I hope you enjoy it!

First Step

A black hole, that’s what it felt like. Depression sucking the life right out of him. He hated it, tried to fight it, but lost the battle that morning and ended up lying in bed unable to move, feeling sorry for himself and missing them both.

An hour or so later the phone rang and he forced himself to pick up. It was his son.

“Dad, it’s been a while. I miss not talking to you. Can I take you for coffee?”

Yes or no? Decision time. Leave the comfort of his bed, or be a father to his boy? Drown in his own sorrow, or set a good example for his son. In the end it was Jake’s voice that did it, just the jolt he needed. “Please?”

“Yes, I’d like that,” he said, clearing his throat and forcing himself to sit up. “I’ll see you…when?”

“I’ll pick you up in an hour. I’ll drive.”

“That’ll be good, Jake. See you then.”

He hung up and took a long moment to collect himself before thinking, I’ve got to get dressed. He looked at the door leading from his bedroom. It seemed like a long way, a long dark tunnel.

He swung his feet from the bed to the floor and got ready to stand. One step at a time, he told himself, one step at a time to climb out of the depression he’d been mired in for the last six weeks, ever since his wife and daughter had been killed in that car accident.

He struggled to his feet, stood shakily and steadied himself. He might be depressed, but at least he could walk. He lifted his foot, put it down and stepped tentatively forward. Then he did it again. He wanted to take a shower and get into some clean clothes and be ready for when his son arrived. It felt good to have something to look forward to. He took another step. He had a long way to go, but at least it was a start.

Published by jim bates

I live in Long Lake, Minnesota. I enjoy walking, gardening, bird watching, reading, writing, bicycle riding and playing with my fantastic grand kids. I have two wonderful boys who I see as often as I can. I'm retired after working many years as a sales and technical development and training instructor. I have also worked in a family owned garden center and most recently was part owner of a small gift shop near to where I live. I collect old marbles, vintage dinky toy race cars, YA books from the 1900's and vintage radios from the 30's and 40's. I am a passionate yo-yo player. I am a fortunate man - life is very good. My stories and poems have appeared in over two-hundred online and print publications including online in CafeLit, The Writers' Cafe Magazine, Cabinet of Heed, Paragraph Planet, Nailpolish Stories, Ariel Chart, Potato Soup Journal, Literary Yard, Spillwords (Dec, 2019, Author of the Month), The Drabble, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, World of Myth Magazine, The Horror Tree, The Terror House, Fox Hollow Stories and Bindweed Press. In print publications: A Million Ways, Mused Literary Journal, Gleam Flash Fiction Anthology #2, the Portal Anthology and the Glamour Anthology by Clarendon House Publishing, The Best of CafeLit 8 by Chapeltown Publishing, the Nativity Anthology by Bridge House Publishing, Forgotten One's Drabble Anthology by Eerie River Publishing, Gold Dust Magazine, Down In the Dirt Magazine and the Oceans Anthology and the 20/20 Anthology by Black Hare Press. I was nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize by The Zodiac Review for my 'flash fiction story, “Aliens.”

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