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The Harsh Cold Winter. (Flash Fiction), by Manatita. A Dedication to Frank Atanacio


Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.


This was a very harsh winter and It was cold, bitterly cold. The Caucasian, grown pale from a lack of nutritious food, sleepless nights and grime from a run-down alley, pulled the heavy blankets over his head and tried to sleep.

It was a rough one, this bitingly unyielding January and the old man feared the worst. He had made use of all his leggings, his undergarments, jumpers and pullovers to no avail. Sheynani had survived many chilly winters, yet somehow, he knew that this one wasn’t going to be easy, far, far, far from a bed of roses for sure. How did it come to this?

Sheynani was kind, decent; a gentle soul, if ever there was one to talk about. Loved by his parents, he did well at school and got a great job at the University, where he obtained his masters degree. It was while studying there that he met his bride Ramona, a buxom beauty and one unfortunately, of the domineering kind.

She had an insatiable need for outer affluence and the company of the rich and famous. Yet she was as clever as she was alluring and Shaynani fell easily for her charms. They were married for five years, until Shaynani came home suddenly one evening and found that the house was vacated, with the wife and two children gone. They were never seen again and Shaynani never knew why.

From then onwards, he followed the downward spiral of many men. Hitting the bottle with urgency, stomach and liver both pumping day and night, he became a wondering nomad, finally settling in the alleyway, in which our story finds him. Begging for his daily needs and alcohol, he barely survived and was a sad sight indeed!


Shaynani suddenly felt a strange sensation as he awoke. Everything seemed surreal, ethereal. His was that of a naked silhouette, but he no longer felt the cold. Around him was an effulgence of Light, as he soared into a tunnel with some mighty strange beings surrounding and welcoming him. Down below, he saw a few concerned faces and two men in uniform, carrying his body on a stretcher to a nearby ambulance.

As he got through the portals of what seemed to be another realm, he saw a tall bearded smiling Jew approaching him, with outstretched hands. “Let us go home,” said the Nazarene. “Let us go home.”

This took all of a few seconds, until Shaynani suddenly realized, that he did not make it through the night.

Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. 16th September, 2018.


Harsh Winters

© 2018 manatita44


manatita44 (author) from london on January 01, 2019:

Thank you, Bro.

I had forgotten this one. Now I will read it again. Much Love.

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on January 01, 2019:

Love the story, manatita. I felt his soul being touched by the Jewish carpenter.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 19, 2018:

Indeed, my Brother. me too. Thank you so much!!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 19, 2018:

I surely do like this one. I love flash fiction that drives home a good message.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 18, 2018:

Thank you Dee. Try a short story. You should do well. Much Love.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 18, 2018:

Another demonstration of your versatility as a writer. So many potent images in your ending, from the naked silhouette to the smiling Nazarene. Well done!

manatita44 (author) from london on September 18, 2018:

Yes. There is no greater joy than service. This is what the Masters do. It springs from Love. Gratitude.

Rinita. Good question. Life happens. I will write to him soon. Gratitude.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on September 18, 2018:

My dear Brother, this is one of my beloved themes, as you already know as you have read my "Is There Life Before Death?". You have crafted it in a brilliant way which I believe is reminding Frank! Excellent!

Please accept my quote as a sample of my admiration:

"Whatever we do for ourselves, dies with us. Everything we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."


Rinita Sen on September 17, 2018:

Even though this was flash fiction and not poetry, you managed to leave your brilliant signature touch. Time and again I have seen that a poet can write anything, though not necessarily the other way round. Enjoyed reading this.

By the way, does anyone know what Frank is up to? Haven't seen him around in a long time!

manatita44 (author) from london on September 17, 2018:

Thank you Alicia. So happy you saw what I was trying to do. Kudos to you. Have a great Tuesday!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 17, 2018:

This story has such a happy ending. Despite the sadness in the story, it contains hope. Thanks for sharing it.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 17, 2018:

Ha ha. The Joys of Flash endings. Anything more would have spoilt the impact at the end. There is a certain way to 'hold' or 'hang' the story. You understood and the others did. He died on earth. (his body), but the Spirit made it to the Nazarene, via the tunnel of Light. Cool, eh?

Thank you so much Miz. Do not worry about the fundamentalist. They come, but I do not feed their fire, so they go away. We all try to Love here; give positive vibes. Good night.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 17, 2018:

Wonderful story, Manatita, one that someday we will all make it through, but hopefully in better surroundings. I interpreted "did not make it" as being his body did not make it through the night, but his soul did. Therefore he still IS and is speaking in present tense. But it would take a non-fundamentalist to interpret it that way. I love flash fiction, keep them coming, my friend.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 17, 2018:


That was the message. Thank you so much!!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 17, 2018:

A sad tale with a sweet ending of promise. The Nazarene is our best friend and guide to our true home.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 17, 2018:

Yes. That is the error. Read it right, but missed the correction due to initial change. Corrected. Thank you.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 17, 2018:

In that case, 'did not maKe', if you see what I mean! Enjoyed the story and I'm glad you cheered it up with taking him to heaven.


manatita44 (author) from london on September 17, 2018:

Thanks Ann.

I put 'had.' Seems more spontaneous for me. But then I changed it to 'did.' Grey area. Sad, yes, but some of my Flash contains death. So more recently I have avoided this by ending in heaven. Ha ha. Cool place. Lol.

Thanks Bill. Appreciated. My secondary nature.


You understood the importance of Light there, even though I did not dwell on it. Once I began to say that he was kind and loving, I knew that I was heading in this direction.

Yes, I see the humour. I'm actually a creative writer and we talk in terms of embellishments. Again, Like Shakespeare and Dickinson, I believe in the 'spirit' of words; not language. Thank you so much!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 17, 2018:

Good story. Good imagery. Awful what others' actions can do to a person.

BTW, 'did not make' or 'had not made' in the last sentence? Hope you don't mind me picking up on that.

I enjoyed this story, though it was sad. Happy ending though!


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 17, 2018:

A man of many talents. You took the challenge of flash fiction and ran for a goal with that challenge. Well done my talented friend.

Li-Jen Hew on September 17, 2018:

Hey Manatita. I like how you are still yourself in writing the flash fiction, a calmer vibe. I can see that you hinted at the importance of Light and the death was not bloody and abrupt. Found it amusing when it read "leggings, his undergarments, jumpers and pullovers". Kind tribute to Frank. :) Thanks for sharing.

manatita44 (author) from london on September 16, 2018:

Good morning Dana.

Good to hear from you. Thank you so much!

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on September 16, 2018:

This was good. You know Frank happens to be one of my favorite story-tellers, I know he will love this tribute. Thanks for sharing.

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