An Indomitable Spirit by Cindy Pereira

He would glare at me.

Old, cantankerous, nasty, mean…dying; my father. Severely diabetic, he had an indomitable spirit, right down to starvation, for there were times when he refused to eat the bland food prescribed.

“You have no idea,” he’d say, his voice like a whip. “It’s dog gloop you serve up!”

Then after his protestations he’d have his ‘sweet.’ This was an apology for chocolate; meant solely for diabetics. He’d make a face at it, pop it between his teeth and spit at me in contempt.

“Dad, it’s what your friends bring you,” I’d argue. “Don’t eat it if you don’t like it.”

“Ever tasted them?” he snapped one time.


“You should,” came the challenge, and he pitched the chocolates at me. “Go on, try one.”

“No Dad,” I declined meekly, shuddering at the thought of the taste; in his mouth, he noisily sucked at one, his eyes glinting in some strange satisfaction.

My dad passed away in the summer, fighting to the very end.

Numb, cold, empty and strangely relieved, I slowly put away his things, sampling each memory as they came by. Stubborn, sneering, nasty, mean. Would I ever find something joyous?

What a fighter, I thought. Right up to the damned end he never shed that indomitable spirit.

A pack of chocolates on his table caught my attention. Inside its wrapper, it had softened in the summer heat. Upon an impulse, I popped one into my mouth, recalling his challenge.

The sweetness exploded upon my tongue, flooding like silk upon my palate. I snatched up the box and stared at the contents.

Normal chocolates!

I remembered how he noisily sucked on them and the strange satisfaction in his eyes.

Stunned! But suddenly I was laughing.

And somewhere up there, I knew he was laughing too!

Selected: Weekly Write Week 12

Published in Booklet #28

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