Into the Light of Things

By on Jan 14, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction

Michael’s shiny Volvo slid across the ice and crashed into the grove…

When he woke, Michael clambered from the wreckage, then floundered in the drifts — punching through with every step — 

… ‘til he reached the barren lane.  Under the yellow of the stars, his breath plumed like an egret, and his boots crunched and squeaked. 

Blood spilled from his crown, hit the wintry air, and stiffened like black jelly.

And Michael staggered on…

He thought of his naughty Beagle pissing on the couch, and smirked.   

“Almost home, boy.”   

But the road stretched for miles; and the gash seeped like yolk.

And Michael staggered on…

… slumped to the ground, leaned against a fir.  Beheld his lover, dancing in his awkward arms —   

With shallow breath, Michael tried to sing, “… we’ll take a right… good willie waught…” but faded.  Snippets of his baby sister — tattling — prattling — battling — flickered in his brain like a pinwheel — 

“for the days… of auld… lang…”  

A coyote’s yip snapped him to —

And Michael staggered on…

… but dizzied, fell again… then crawled, shuddering and aimless.  

The bitter wind whipped just so, and a single light peeked between the naked trees — “Pa’s ol’ Chevy.  With one taillight” — he retched hard onto his chest — “so dim from my window… how could ya’ Dad?”  

Michael lurched… then lay face down —

“Momma — can I show you somethin’?”  

She swathed the frosting into a cool, chocolate wave. “Not now.  Think your brother’ll like it?”  

“It’s a nice cake, Ma.” Michael winced and crumpled his drawing in his fist.  

His wound reopened; the blood was rich atop the snow, like cotton and wine.

A mile into the thicket, hunters found Michael in the April thaw, perished at the foot of an unmarked grave.

Gravestone with the words "Come forth into the light of things"


After a southern Michigan childhood, Chad V. Broughman worked in the banking industry throughout the state of Georgia before pursuing his dream of teaching. He is a poet and prose writer living in Harbor Springs, a scenic resort community on the northern shores of Lake Michigan. He teaches English at the secondary level and composition and creative writing at the post-secondary level. In his spare time, he fine-tunes his craft, hoping to inspire, console and haunt his readers. As of late, he is experimenting with short-short fiction; “Into the Light of Things” is his first published flash-fiction piece. Chad is most stirred by his young sons, Gray and Hudson, and his forbearing wife, Erin.


  1. wonderful.. thought provoking and yes Haunting!!!

  2. Awesome!

  3. Captures life’s review as one heads towards the light. Well done, Chad! Keep that pen flowing . . .

  4. Wow…very nice indeed!

    “one must have a mind of winter…”

  5. Love reading your works, Chad. Who knew such talent was in our family :)

  6. Poignant . . . Well done!