X is for X-PIRANDO

Welcome to Day 24 of the Third Annual A to Z Challenge!

My theme my 26 fiction posts will revolve around something musical – it could be anything, as long as it's musically-related… maybe a song title, an artist/band, musical terminology, musical instruments, words relating to sound/rhythm/movement/dance etc.

MUSICAL ASSOCIATION/CONNECTION. ESPIRANDO – (Italian) breathing out, expiring, dying away…

My X-post is in keeping with the theme of freedom, in celebration of Freedom Day which we celebrate today 27 April.



Prisoner X lay motionless on the hard, cold surface.

The whip bore down viciously, delivering a series of blows to the torn, bloody frame.

His lips, swollen and bloodied, twitched as he muttered incoherently, over and over, like a mantra… they can break my body but not my mind… not my mind…

As his broken body jerked involuntarily in the throes of death, his spirit lifted and began to rise. He could feel himself floating, weightless, fading, dissolving into nothingness…

The blessed state of oblivion loomed, closing in on him. His last exhilirating thought before he embraced it was ~ freedom at last!

                                   *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *



  1. Debbie on April 28, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Wow, That is amazing. You just said so much there, in so few words.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Debbie!

  2. Elise Fallson on April 28, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I didn't know it was Freedom Day. This was a powerful post Michelle.
    Very powerful. These are difficult subjects to write about but we must.
    Never forget.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Yes, we must speak out, no matter how difficult it is… it aids the healing process…

  3. k~ on April 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Another new word for me, found on your blog. I like the way this one sounds as I say it aloud.
    Happy Freedom day!

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      X-pirando rolls off the tongue quite smoothly… yes, I see what you mean… and has an aural appeal too…

  4. Robyn Campbell on April 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Oh my goodness! This was compelling! Haunting! I am captivated by your writing. And I love knowing there is a Freedom Day. Will never forget it! *waving*

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      I'm thrilled that you are captivated by my writing! It inspires me… 🙂 *waves back*

      Yes, my country celebrates a Freedom Day . It started in 1994 when we held our very first democratic election… we are still a teenage democracy and you know how teenagers are?

  5. Stephanie on April 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Dark and haunting and beautifully-written.  Which I think it your OTHER theme during this challenge.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the piece. It does seem like a thread of darkness runs through some of my A to Z posts…

  6. Perle Champion on April 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hauntng imagery . An entire story in so few words.  Is this part of a wip?  Had to look up Freedom Day, always something new to learn about the history of our world.  Thanks
     and Thanks for all the comments on my haiku.  I'm never sure if 'reply' actually gets back to a commenter. So. The sunset was shot on way home from work one night -love sunrises and sunsets. The Xerispheric pepper was shot with iphone on zoom – its last year's pepper that is determined to live in spite of my inattention and felt it an appropriate star for this piece.

    • Julie on April 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      This is beautifully written. Powerful images packed a whallop; all wrapped up in an X. 

      • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

        Thanks for the kind and positive comment, Julie…  short posts can be quite powerful…  as they say "less is more"…

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      No, it's not part of a wip. It's just a piece of flash fiction… gotta love the pepper's fiery spirit (no pun intended) LOL!

  7. Jocelyn Rish on April 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Short, but so very powerful.  And not only did you work in your musical term, but a nod to Freedom Day.  Great work!

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Brevity can relay volumes…  and the X-post has been the most difficult one, because of the shortage of x-words to choose from… so I decided to keep it short and to the point!

  8. mary aalgaard on April 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Powerful post in a few words.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Short and slamming!

  9. Leslie Rose on April 29, 2012 at 12:36 am

    What a moment! I got chills and teared up at the transition from pain to bliss.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Wow, I never knew that my writing can have that effect on a reader… 🙂 you have made my day!

  10. Damyanti on April 29, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Poignant and powerful. I'm glad you decided to do this challenge 🙂

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      As a writer-in-the-making, I've learnt a lot and discovered new things about myself through the A to Z challenge. I'm glad that I decided to take a chance on the themed fiction posts… even though it was nerve-wracking at times… 🙂

  11. Anjali on April 29, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I thought of using this word too but couldn't think of relating it to anything. Your post was amazing. Conveyed a strong message. 🙂

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Yes, the message is powerful and forces us to think about what freedom means. Is it based on the physical? Mental? Emotional? Psychological? A combination?

  12. Catherine Noble on April 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Excellent post. I can practically hear the low chanting in my head as I read it. The involuntary jerking of the body sent chills down my spine. Very powerful post!

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I'm glad you "stepped into " my characters mind… that made it possible for you to react to the "jerking body" and made your reading experience more powerful… thank you!

  13. Mina B. on April 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Nicely done.  You always do a great job with your FF pieces.  🙂

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Mina! It means a great deal to me!

  14. J.L. Campbell on April 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Though-provoking and poignant story. New word learned too. 🙂

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      I'm glad to entertain and educate my readers… 🙂

  15. Rekha on April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    You made me cry, a poltical prisoner I gather from your words….freedomfrom pain and the best freedom from repression and oppression.

    • michelle on April 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      You always respond to my posts with accuracy and a special sensitivity… thank you, dear Rek:)

  16. Sherry Ellis on April 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Wow!  That was powerful!

    • michelle on May 1, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Thank you, Sherry!

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