Photograph by my friend: @carina_4 (IG)

The Short Walk

2 min readJan 6, 2024

Karl walked out to buy some cigarettes from the all-night convenience store. He had been told that his father would likely pass that night. He had listened. He had heard. He had headed out into the snow.

It takes a lot out of you, watching someone die.

The palliative nurses, Maria, and Erik worked alternative shifts. They had been in the apartment a week. Maria read most of the time when she wasn’t carrying out her duties. Erik was more of a communicator and liked to tell stories of his time in the Swiss army.

“My son,” Karl’s father had said, pointing at him with his ashen bony finger, “could have been in the army. But he liked the drink too much.”

Erik, who was busy fixing the bedding reddened slightly. He glanced towards Karl and gave the slightest of shrugs, as if to say ‘don’t worry, this is normal. Fathers — parents, can sometimes be jerks, even when they are dying.’

But the truth was, Karl had indeed missed out on many things because of his addiction to alcohol and various drugs throughout his life. Walking to the convenience store in the driving snow, he hated himself for this. The straining streetlights, whose lambent blush matched the snow-covered street, corralled him down a path. His father had also tried to navigate Karl’s path through life; but he had failed. ‘Am I my fathers failed legacy?’ Thought…




Local poet/writer. ‘There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.’ E. Hemingway. All ©️DMM