Visual Dare: Engraved

Sometimes when your heart is hurting, all you can do is write. The prompt is from Angela Goff’s Visual Dare.


Even after fifty years of adventures, of hand-holding and dish-breaking, of her winding his watch and him ironing her newspaper, Solomon had thought she’d live forever.

“Set me as a seal upon your heart,” she used to sing, “as a seal upon your arm. For love is strong as death.”

She’d tease him about his name and those Bible verses. “They’re the naughty ones, y’know,” with a mock-demure look through eyelashes.

Now she lay inert, a madonna enwreathed with wires and an irritable chorus of machines.

“…something for the pain,” he said, again.

“Not long now.” The nurse removed the untouched lunch tray.

He held her transparent hand, traced deep blue deltas winding sluggishly to the pulse, that metronome keeping her here.

Solemnly, ceremonially, he detached each plug, then wound his arms around her. He laid his deep-furrowed cheek on her still breast and set his seal upon her heart.


  1. Missy Ames
    Jul 3, 2013

    Powerful and heartbreaking, in so few words. Very well done.

  2. Angela
    Jul 3, 2013

    Perfect. It needs no embellishments, no coda, not one extra syllable. Written from a full and hurting heart. [[[hugs]]]

  3. Miranda Kate
    Jul 3, 2013

    Heartwrenching, and perfect.

  4. drmagoo
    Jul 3, 2013

    Beautiful, Anna. Give yourself a hug, and then give your mom one, too.

  5. Lisa Shambrook
    Jul 3, 2013

    There is no bettering this…silently heartbreaking…

  6. Holly
    Jul 3, 2013

    Your fiction has made me cry on many occasions, Anna, but none so much as this one.

  7. Laura
    Jul 3, 2013

    Oh god, so much pain and love in such few words. Heartbreakingly brilliant. Hugs xxx

  8. Kit Grindstaff
    Jul 3, 2013

    Fabulous, Anna. Succinct, moving, and perfect.

  9. Stacy
    Jul 3, 2013

    Tears, longing and memories of my own mom. Wrenchingly lovely, Anna. You have my love and prayers.

  10. Lizzie Koch
    Jul 3, 2013

    Such a moving, emotional piece of writing chicken. xx

  11. Miriam E.
    Jul 7, 2013

    “Now she lay inert, a madonna enwreathed with wires and an irritable chorus of machines.”
    wow, what a line.
    this piece is a treat to read – tightly packed with sweet sadness. your writing is so delicate, yet it possesses this vast undercurrent of strength. i couldn’t be happier to have found your blog… thank you for sharing your beautiful gift.

  12. Sarah Lowry
    Mar 29, 2014

    What a beautiful piece. Full of sadness and love in just the right amounts.

  13. random9q
    Mar 29, 2014


    I believe this is one of those stories that does not hit me all at once. It’s like a series of sounds, mostly notes but some crashes, reverberating on an echo delay, and I can tell I’m going to have to trim the feedback at some point, it keeps getting louder as I listen to the lovely, bittersweet mouring sounds it has made.

    Very well done, indeed…

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