The Pilot


With hands tightly folded, I listen to the doctor’s words – words that will forever change my life.

“I’m sorry… a stroke… it’s very bad,” he says, speaking slowly as if to a child, concerned that grief is drowning out his meaning.

Even so, I’m unprepared for the sight of your flat eyes and lifeless limbs, and pain slices through me like a knife.

Once you were a pilot, soaring high above the clouds, delighting in the sun’s brightness even when there was stormy weather below.

Seeing you this way, earthbound forever, my stricken heart wonders: will your soul take flight?

Author’s Note: This flash fiction was written in response to a challenge on Lillie McFerrin Writes (found here), ‘the home of five sentence fiction.’ Ms McFerrin’s challenge was to write a story in five sentences based on the word ‘flight.’

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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27 Responses to The Pilot

  1. This was a very quick and to the point read. Nice!

  2. Having worked with clients who have had strokes, I can tell you that this hit pretty close to home. There is something so tragic about looking into the eyes of someone who is all but paralysed and seeing that sense of utter fear in their eyes, knowing that their soul is still as vital as the youthful body it once inhabited.

    Stellar work, Kate! ❤

  3. An incredibly emotional piece. Well done 🙂

  4. wildbilbo says:

    This is excellent – very emotive, and asking a genuine question – is the person you knew still in there, or have they moved on?
    Well done.

  5. willow1945 says:

    Very powerful, Kate–well done. I felt drawn right into the character’s emotions, along for the ride. Very touching.

  6. That’s my Kate. Able to pull on our emotions in five sentences. What a talent!

  7. Lucy says:

    That was beautiful. Lucy

  8. So many emotions captured this quickly. Neither alive nor dead.
    These last words clinch it, “…will your soul take flight?” Once vibrant and then not.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I think people wonder when someone they love takes ill and seems unresponsive if their soul is in there, longing to escape. The same is true when a loved one dies; we wonder if his soul has moved on. That thing that makes each of us unique, does it go on, transcend the earthly realm? A question for theologians and philosophers, and for those who walk in faith.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Tess. ❤

  9. markbialczak says:

    Grounded. Every sense. Superb, Kate.

  10. W. K. Tucker says:

    Heartbreaking. It’s amazing that you can create such an emotional response in so few words.

  11. You never fail to deliver the best from a single word, Kate

  12. Kate, I enjoy how you take a one word prompt and turn it into a poignant scene. Well done again 🙂

  13. mihrank says:

    such beautiful blog!

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