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Life - Brilliant, Brief
by L.B. Garman (Eric)

The cold snow fell softly that dark early morning of the birth of Eric‘s first son. It was a detail he was both aware and unaware of, but one that would stick with him for the rest of his life. His first child, a gift, a miracle, so new and fresh and untainted, so like the virgin snow falling that preternaturally silent night. Eric remembered first holding his tiny body wrapped in fresh-smelling blankets after the doctors finally cut him from Melanie's once tight belly, his son's head misshapen from hours of futile pushing, so much so that he'd asked several times if he might be deformed, fearing that all his nightmares had actually come true. He'd looked like one of those kids from that movie Cone Heads and Eric’s mother had spent hours rubbing his still malleable head back into shape.

It was a magical time. Magical and, yet, somehow a dreadful feeling lingered just at the edge of sight with its leering, shadowed face. Like all gifts, this tiny child, this miracle he had always been sure would never happen, was something to lose. Eric knew the way of the universe: it gave nothing it didn't later take back.

After their friends and family had left, he turned fitfully through a restless snow filled night, getting up several times to look down upon his sleeping wife. Her face was still bloated from all the water weight she'd put on during the past 9 months, her hair disheveled from the day’s long ordeal, and even resting she appeared tired well beyond her twenty years. He took her unconscious hand, squeezed it, and thought: you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. I’ll love you forever.

But even as he released her hand he knew that all gifts were ultimately temporary.

Especially the best ones.

I live in Colorado, recently divorced, with two wonderful children, now teens.  I've published a handful of short stories and have won a few contests.  I'm currently working on my first novel and kicking myself for the years of procrastination.  Contact L.B.