I watched him run. I smiled for the first time in years.

It was a rarity, to see him. He didn’t often show up, and when he did it wasn’t for very long. This was the first time he’d ran. Soon, he’d be gone again.

So I enjoyed what little time we had.

He ran around the small room, touching everything as he passed. It was like a game, and when he missed the bed he stopped and made sure to hit it harder.

His eyes were bright when he looked at me. I think he noticed my smile. His lips curled into one as well. Coming closer, he patted my hand.

The nurse pulled away, knowing she had my attention.

I sighed.

She counted out several pills from a bottle, keeping up with a daily checklist.

“He was running this time,” I said, my stringy voice trailing.

The nurse looked up from her cupped palm and raised an eyebrow. “Was he?” She put down an extra pill.

“You let me know if he comes back, alright?” she asked. I wouldn’t.

The medicine was placed to my right with a glass of water.

I only took two of the vile things.

by Jay Powell


  1. Heartbreaking, lyrical, great economy, simple words. Well done.

  2. A lot achieved with a very few words. Well done!


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