The Last Breath

One final breath.

Muscles tighten, then release; an earthly presence gone.

Another’s breath taken and released: tiny and new.

Strong.

Alive.

____________________

One final breath.

Muscle tightens, then releases; a mother gone.

Another’s breath taken and released: tiny and new.

Strong.

Alive.

Alone.
____________________

This post was written in response to a prompt by Write On Edge.

This week’s assignment will require the fewest number of words ever: we want you to write a story – your choice of topic – as a tweet.

That’s right. One hundred and forty characters. Not words. Characters.

I edited this to make it read more the way I saw it, hence the second “tweet” instead of just one. 😉

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About Caitlin's Concepts

Mom to 4 boys and drowning in a sea of testosterone!
This entry was posted in My Babies, Red Writing Hood, Write on Edge and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

95 Responses to The Last Breath

  1. Wow girl, you really packed a lot into a single tweet! Love it!

  2. jessicaanne12 says:

    Loved it! Really a complete story in so few words. Great job!

  3. Elaine says:

    Amazing. I simply love it. 🙂

  4. Frelle says:

    great job with so few words! i saw it happening simultaneously in same hospital on different floors.

  5. Galit Breen says:

    *Sigh*

    Chilling.

    Perfect.

    Love.

  6. jenny says:

    wow. this is so…complete. Love it!

  7. May says:

    Love how you went from her breath to the baby’s. Terrific.

  8. Love it! Just like that song from Live several years ago!

  9. Erin says:

    LOVE this! Brought my own memories flooding!

  10. Love this, and not just because I witnessed a birth this afternoon! Lovely.

  11. Monika says:

    Isn’t this the truth about life – really almost in an instant you could envision one soul leaving one life & another finding it’s purpose. Very nice.

  12. Nancy C says:

    This is poetry. You’ve condensed the act to its core. Wonderfully done.

  13. Amy says:

    Love it! Reincarnation in a tweet! Though I found myself singing “Lightning Crashes” by Live in my head now. At least you didn’t say “placenta.”

  14. TheKirCorner says:

    It was so powerful, wow. Reminds me of the LIVE song “lightening crashes” with one life ending and another beginning, it’s a great start (or end) for a story. Great job!

  15. angela says:

    Lovely, especially in so few words. A little glimpse into the give and take of life.

  16. Melanie says:

    Beautiful. Love the contrast between breaths taken. I was clutching my chest, this piece affected me that much. Amazing writing.

  17. mryjhnsn says:

    Wow. What a story in so few words. Nice job!

  18. CDG says:

    Amazing, the power of a few words.

  19. Tomekha says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wrote about the VERY SAME THING!!!!!! This is ….*I’m speechless* We literally have the same story – just different words and contexts but this is…

    I love your interpretation btw, lovely. 🙂 *still speechless*

  20. Random Girl says:

    One family’s joy, another family’s sadness. There is a lot going on in so few words.

    • I was actually going for it as the mother giving birth being the one that passed… methinks I need to either edit or just leave it open to whatever interpretation people come up with! 😉

      Thank you for the comment!!

  21. Renee says:

    Sadness and celebration. Haunting.
    I’ll go cry now.

    Well done.

  22. Carrie says:

    Wow, the first was powerful but the second, so much more

  23. Andrea says:

    I got confused reading both, so I skimmed your comments and then read again. Very intense and real feeling. So sad.

  24. Evonne says:

    It’s amazing how powerful 140 characters can be. This is sad, but beautifully written.

  25. Wow. So sad yet so happy to know at least one life survived. I think I like the second one more because it gives an image of who we’re losing. Well written. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you! I think a lot of people were confused because I didn’t really specify. Which, either interpretation is ok, but I wanted MY interpretation to be more clear, so that’s why I did the second one. =)

      Thank you for stopping by!!

  26. Roxanne says:

    So much in so few characters. Bravo. These were so poetic.

  27. Oh, so sad. The edited version was clearer. Now, who will care for this li’l one?? Well done! :>

  28. Rai says:

    holy crap. 140 words made me cry.

  29. So interesting for me. Since I came after you added the second tweet, I read both initially feeling as though they were two different situations! The first is powerful in its own way, but the second truly struck me. The final word, “Alone” was just so hauntingly powerful. The gift of life was so wonderful, but the understanding that the child is alone weighs it down with the harshness of this child’s new reality.

  30. Elaine says:

    If that is what you were going for then, yes, you “cleared it up” in the second one. I was thinking of someone separate dying in a hospital while a baby was born. But the word “mother” changes the whole game! And the word “alone” as well. I like them both though….

  31. Mrs. Jen B says:

    Whew. You really packed some heartbreak into a very short story. Beautifully concocted and so sad.

  32. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    You completed the circle of life in just a few words. Well done!

  33. Man o Man how this tugs at the heart strings. Everyone knows this feeling and you put in words so well.

  34. MamaTrack says:

    Haunting and heartbreaking and hopeful. As it should be.

  35. I took this as a circle-of-life type thing. Unless I’m completely wrong. Which happens quite often!

    • I suppose that would depend on how complicated you were trying to make the circle..? If my “tweet” would have consisted of “A young mother died delivering her baby” I don’t think it would have had the same ring to it.

      This was a fun prompt, even though some sad/dark things came of it all across the board. I wonder how a tweet would pan out for memoir! 😉

  36. You used a little to say an awful lot.

  37. I don’t think you needed the second tweet.

    You phrased the first one perfectly, and I completely got it was the mother and the baby was alone.

    I don’t know the Live song though… 🙂

    • I’m so glad you got it!! I felt sort of muddled or something when it wasn’t coming across the way I wanted.

      Look up the song on YouTube.. it’s awesome. Totally NOT my inspiration, by the way! 😉

  38. Jen says:

    Oh! I felt my heart clench as I read this. It struck me as so sad. But you really moved me (and others I can see from responses) and that is what writing is all about. Applause lady!

  39. So sad and bittersweet. I feel like my heart was ripped out for this little child.

  40. sarahlipoff says:

    LOVE IT! Beautiful, strong, and empowering.

  41. DM says:

    Awww. This was sad, but well (tweeted) written. I love the dual tweets, one saying more than the other, both saying the same thing. I took it as two different things too.

  42. Tina says:

    So very brief, yet so very sad. Great job with the prompt!

  43. Terry says:

    Well done, sadly well done. But to pull emotion from so few words is the sign of an amazing writer!

  44. tsonoda148 says:

    Tugged at my heart. Beautifully written. I’m in awe. I didn’t attempt the twitter fiction. I was intimidated. Your story was just awesome!

    • Thank you! Honestly, I was intimidated at first, too.. then I started thinking about all the things I actually can fit into a tweet every. single. day.

      It was pretty fun, actually. =) Not my choice of topic, obviously, but the process behind the prompt!

  45. logyexpress says:

    So sad. So well done.

  46. Leighann says:

    Caitlin this gave me chills!
    CHILLS!!
    wow.

  47. Holy moley, that packed a lot of punch. Really, a great job.

  48. pauline says:

    I wrote mine IN the twitter box just to make it easier for myself. Very nice prompt response!

  49. what a sad story in so few characters

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