He was the one driven member of our group of “slackers” in college, but he never left us behind after graduation. Over the years, he was the one person we could count on for support, helping a few of us financially and always offering a shoulder to cry on.
Lately, he seemed to be the one suffering from depression. As it turned out, his empathy was the cause.
We never met as a group anymore, so it was a surprise when he asked all of us to meet at the park, a hangout from our college days. Just after dusk, he stood before a scrap wood effigy of an angel. The scent of gasoline was in the air. When everyone had arrived, he spoke.
“I’ve brought you here to tell you I’m done. All of you have been my friends, and I don’t regret any of the time we’ve spent together or any of the help I’ve given you, but you’re draining my spirit. This has to end.”
With that, he turned and held a lighter up to the wood and said, “I will not be a martyr!”
As we gaped at the burning angel, he turned and walked away.
This my response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #2: Burning Angel, offering a photo for inspiration, with a limit of 200 words (200, here). I passed on the suggested word, retribution. Of course, Jane’s critiques are welcome.
Image source: Wikipedia © Jimmy Fell