Five Sentence Fiction: Empty

Photo by Lisa Shambrook Instagram (please do not use without permission)

It was the imprint in the sofa, the flattened cushion and the worn patch in the carpet.
It was the ridge in the centre of the bed; she’d tried sleeping on his side, letting her body mould into the contours of the mattress, but she could never get comfortable, could never sleep that way.
It was the lack of matching knives, forks and spoons at the dining table, no need for the half-full jar of Marmite, and too much milk in the fridge.
It was the shaving gel and razor still sitting lonesome on the bathroom shelf, and the memory of aftershave.
It was those sad puppy eyes his beloved old Labrador gave her when they sat together in the quiet sitting room, with too much to think about, surrounded by ghosts and empty hearts.

30 thoughts on “Five Sentence Fiction: Empty

  1. Sarah

    Oh Lisa – that's really (I want to say gut wrenching but that sounds too harsh). I don't know if someone has died or just left, I think probably died. Such a sad story beautifully told.

  2. Robin Leigh Morgan

    Quite moving. Reading this I saw a woman who has lost someone very dear to her, like her husband/lover, through some unfortunate event, like a divorce or even worse death. A definite void has been created which she's trying to fill but to no avail. She even tries to get the sense of his presence by trying to sleep in the depression his body has made but it doesn't feel right, she needs him there. Although the use of Marmite makes this endeavor quite British, its slogan of "Love it or leave it" fits the mood I feel you're trying to make.

  3. Rossandra White

    Sad indeed, made even more profound by the last two words, "empty hearts." And a little intriguing, too, perhaps a little bitter sweet? Probably because I think of grief creating a "heavy" heart. And I must ask, why was there "no need for the half-full jar of Marmite?"

  4. Lisa Shambrook

    Thanks for your comments Rossandra. The Marmite thing is very British, you either love it or hate it, with her husband gone (he loved it) it's not something she eats, so now left to go to waste. Sort of goes along with the other little reminders of what's missing now he's gone!

  5. Jo-Anne Teal

    Beautifully realized, dear Lisa. When someone disappears from our life, they don't, do they? Your story understands and reflects the grief process so well. These are the moments no one understands until he/she has gone through it.

  6. injaynesworld

    Lisa, this is amazing. You've encompassed that horrible empty feeling where one's heart used to be prior to the death of a loved one. Excellent use of the prompt and excellent writing. A beautiful piece. Loved it.

  7. Josie Two Shoes

    Very, very well done! You've managed to make the feelings of trying to cope with loss very tangible in your use of detail. Adding the sad doggie eyes was very clever. I want this woman and the dog to go on to find happier times. Sad, but not morbid, such a good read!

  8. lizzie loodles

    Love how each sentence starts the same, magnifying the emptiness of someone passing away. Beautifully written as always Lisa with extreme sensitivity of the subject. x


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