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146 As the Crow Dies

For Saturday, May 25, Day 146 of the Story-a-Day Challenge

By Gerard DiLeoPublished 28 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Reality is a dish best served cold.

Feed me crow. With a side helping of humble pie. Yes, bird and entrails are what I deserve, garnished with an eye-for-an-eye and gnashed teeth.

Just like cancer cures nicotine addiction, the wisdom of imminent death gives me a final perspective, too late to apply to my life--all done and lived. I can only imagine the joys from such perspective, had it been appreciated before now.

Such clarity would have allowed mid-course corrections, but I sail on autopilot now, with trouble ahead: my crash and burn are inevitable. I did what I did, finally spending all the watts that were allotted to me the day I was born. Now my tungsten flickers, in physiologically legislated mortality.

My life? How I lived?

Right? Wrong? Does it matter? It won't soon. Judgment wanes into irrelevance as I lie on my deathbed where all is finalized, settled once and for all, and then filed away.

So, no, it really doesn't matter. The writing's on the wall while the vigil's at my bedside. The jig is up. Time to take inventory, yes; but also time to realize it's just a review and can't be changed.

My obituary will read,

Died peacefully with loved ones by his side...

But no one dies peacefully. It's a jolt.

Everything's been settled, etched in a book — "My Life" — with the burning, hot, caustic calligraphy carved by my last breaths. Some pages clump together, alluding to times I carried on by rote, unappreciative of life's gifts. Some pages are heavily footnoted, now of historical interest only.

My book is about to be closed forever and put up on a shelf, way high out of reach, to collect the same dust other books do that are way high out of reach--compendia of those who needed mortality to teach them what living is.

That high shelf is a squandered reference section, because few seek its wisdom, until they prepare for their own books' publication. We think of ourselves and our lengths--in days and years--as our shelf-life, but we are naïve: it's the wrong shelf!

My new wisdom puts me at peace, sending me home, freeing me from this corporal jail, now that I've been rehabilitated.

Like the Phoenix



"Ubi dubius, e flagellate" — ancient proverb.

For Saturday, May 25, Day 146 of the Story-a-Day Challenge.

366 WORDS (without A/N)

Title picture was AI-generated-hot, but the plates are not!


There are currently three surviving Vocal writers still participating in the 2024 Story-a-Day Challenge:

• L.C. Schäfer, challenge originator

• Rachel Deeming

• Gerard DiLeo (some other guy)

Watch them as they squirm and panic as their ideas require more mental effort to keep this insane thing going.



About the Creator

Gerard DiLeo

Retired, not tired. In Life Phase II: Living and writing from a decommissioned church in Hull, MA. (Phase I was New Orleans and everything that entails. Hippocampus, behave!

[email protected]

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Comments (20)

  • Shirley Belk23 days ago

    So much truth in those lines!

  • KrogerFeedback25 days ago

    Cool work you have here.

  • Babs Iverson25 days ago

    Superbly penned!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Rachel Deeming26 days ago

    I'm with Randy - so many great lines but this one "Now my tungsten flickers, in physiologically legislated mortality." That's greatness there. And yes, squirming and panicking are the staples of my everyday.

  • Randy Baker26 days ago

    So many great lines and phrases, I won't even single them out. Well done and much deserving of the Top Story nod.

  • Well done love the beginning

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • a brilliant piece of work- deserving a top story

  • angela hepworth26 days ago

    Your creativity is unmatched! Congrats on TS!!

  • JBaz26 days ago

    Congratulations I like the view on this one, reality of finality

  • Roy26 days ago

    Excellent 👍

  • Anna 27 days ago

    Congrats on your Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Excellent work, and glad you see you are still on the Story a day trail

  • Margaret Brennan27 days ago

    first: congratulations on your TS. now: WOW, EXCELLENT. Makes one think about the life we're living and how we might change it for the better. GREAT writing. BRAVO.

  • Congrats on your top story.

  • D. J. Reddall27 days ago

    You compress lifetimes into lines with uncanny dexterity.

  • Cathy holmes27 days ago

    Excellent writing - the whole thing. The lines that stood out for me were the ones with calligraphy carved by last breaths and this one "those who needed mortality to teach them what living is." Really, really well done. Congrats on the TS.

  • "That high shelf is a squandered reference section, because few seek its wisdom, until they prepare for their own books' publication. We think of ourselves and our lengths--in days and years--as our shelf-life, but we are naïve: it's the wrong shelf!" That was so deep! Loved your story!

  • John Cox27 days ago

    I am amazed at your consistently perceptive writing and creativity while plotting these stories day after day. You truly possess multitudes, Gerard!

  • Well-wrought! Death is no end to life, I surmise, but each life a book in a series, a mad epic. ""Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red." -Clive Barker

Gerard DiLeoWritten by Gerard DiLeo

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