Photo Prompt by Sandy Morrison
excessive desire for food; over-indulgence to the point of waste*
Tom slowly made his way down the snow-packed street, crunching past his coworkers’ cars and trying to remember how far down he’d parked. Moonlight glistened through the branches across the street, shimmering like glitter on the fresh layer of snow.
He’d arrived at the boss’ party early and gone straight for the sausage and cheese platters. Somewhere between the honey-glazed ham and the sliced turkey with extra gravy, he’d started having pains in his jaw and down his back. Nausea rolled through his stomach; sweat broke out on his forehead. He hated to be the first to leave, but he told his boss, “Got Stacey and the little one waiting at home.” Jerry talked him into one more cup of eggnog, but the cream spoiled in his mouth with the first swallow. He’d said his good-byes soon after, but not before loading up a plate of desserts “for the wife.”
He spotted his car; just two more to go. The tightness in his chest doubled, forcing him to stop. A few unsteady breaths and he switched the desserts to his other hand. He forced himself forward; each step heavier than the last. His head swam and vision blurred as pain stabbed through his chest and down one arm. The sweets tumbled to the street spilling out from beneath the red cellophane. He clutched his chest, desperate to ease the weight crushing his heart.
The wind whipped past, blowing fresh snow across his skin. It stung against the sweat pouring from his temple. He dropped to his knees, gasping, scrambling for his cell phone. He jerked it from his coat pocket, but his tingling fingers fumbled it, and the phone slid beneath the car in front of him.
Stacey’s face flashed through his mind. “Please,” she begged. “For the baby.” Katie’s tiny features floated before him.
He should have listened to his wife, to his brother, to his doctor.
“Next year,” he’d say.
The weight bore down on him, pressing his face to the icy street. He prayed someone would find him, but the music and laughter echoed down the street, and he knew they wouldn’t come in time.
Katie’s blue eyes danced across his vision.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart.”
She smiled and faded to black.
* * *
An hour later they found him sprawled out in the cold street; a tear frozen on his cheek.