My Job – Six Sentence Story

Artwork by Phil Burns

This challenge is produced by GirlieOnTheEdge with the following simple rules:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word – ENERGY

Click here to hear the author read his words:

My Job

The children, cheeks glowing and noses running from the biting cold, tumble into their home, little more than a hovel, and as Father tugs their thin wet coats off their scrawny bodies I do nothing, because it’s not my job.

He shepherds them away from where Mother lies pallid in a corner cot, tries to dry their home-cut hair with a threadbare towel, all the while trying to raise their spirits with his chatter, and I do nothing, because it’s not my job.

Bidding them stay calm, not overly excite Mother, he leads them to her bedside and, although her pain is obvious as she tries to find the strength and the energy to lift her head to smile at her clutch of little darlings, I do nothing, because it’s not my job.

Father goes to the ancient stove, heats a pot containing a thin gruel, and pours it into five small plates along with a chunk of hard bread, while the children whisper sweetly to Mother and I do nothing, because it’s not my job.

When the children have consumed their meagre fare they sit on the floor and sing sweet Carols to Mother while Father bemoans the lack of medicine which I could provide, but don’t, because it’s not my job.

When Mother sighs softly and breathes no more, I step to her, close her eyes, and remove her soul, or spirit, or life force, or whatever you call it in your particular belief system, because that is my job.

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29 Responses to My Job – Six Sentence Story

  1. I normally attempt to add a little witticism when commenting on your tales but on this occasion, I feel it inappropriate as this, sir, is a masterclass in storytelling.


  2. Cassa Bassa says:

    A very unique story. A great read and listen.


  3. Superb and brutal and so well told, ceayr.


  4. He certainly does his job well.

    On my blog, you asked about Ms. B. She was in her 80’s and went to sleep one morning in her favorite chair while watching her favorite news show, and woke up in the arms of her Savior,


  5. The Grim Reaper, as grim as ever, and knowing his place. Excellent storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reena Saxena says:

    I was wondering if it’s the priest or cemetery guard or Death. I’d label it as God who lets people suffer without intervention…. The guiltiest one who holds power, but does not exercise it when needed.


  7. UP says:

    super six


  8. The artfulness of your prose is always a pleasure to experience. The tragic ending proved that many folks don’t actually grasp their ‘job description’. Loved it!


  9. Frank Hubeny says:

    The phrase “home-cut hair” made me realize that I’ve only been to a barber only once in my life when my father wanted to watch how someone who knew what he was doing cut another person’s hair. I am glad to hear she has a spirit to take.


  10. clark says:

    Elegant visit to ‘the other side’*.

    Surely a story that would look at home in a book of stories (in which the first letter is slightly illuminated and there are to a certain, but tasteful degree, illustrations on the border.**

    *re-reading previous stories which had (to my reading) as protagonist, the direct agency of the ultimate truth in life.
    ** more of a Victorian feel than, say, a Medieval time/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Spira says:

    Excellent storytelling.
    And Phil Burns always delivers.


  12. Chilling to the bone and brings to mind H L Mencken’s observation that ‘Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.’


  13. Exquisitely written and narrated. For me to say more would only be a waste of words when “perfection” would suffice. 🌟


  14. jenne49 says:

    Bitter and brilliant.
    Such descriptions of relentless poverty!
    And the Voice’s detachment is cold, but the phrase ‘…which I could provide, but don’t…’ takes it to a new level of icy sadism.
    I was angry by the end of it – great story.


    • ceayr says:

      I always reckon a story’s a success if it provokes any sort of emotion, so ‘angry’ is cool for me.
      I also like ‘Bitter and brilliant’ and ‘icy sadism’, which makes me a pretty happy bunny!

      Liked by 1 person

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