Finally he came upon a path.

He had no idea how long he had been wandering lost in the forest. At first he had stumbled blindly, with no sense of direction.

Then slowly, gradually, he had begun to figure out a way to get through the tangled web of roots and foliage and trees.

Now there was a light through the canopy above and a definite path to follow. He just had to make contact, to let them know he was still there and was on his way back to them.


She wiped her eyes with her sleeve, placing the new Alpine-scented air freshener above his head. He had loved the outdoors.

The doctor placed a consoling hand on her arm. ‘It’s been four months since the accident. There’s been no improvement in his brain activity. It’s our recommendation that we turn off life support, but the final decision lies with you.’

She looked at the form in front of her. She just had to sign it and it would be over. The constant beeping and the mechanical breathing would cease. She picked up the pen, hovering over the space for her signature.

Unseen by anyone, the little finger on his left hand twitched slightly.

Copyright Mike Vore

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visitΒ HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visitΒ HERE.

65 responses to “PATHFINDER”

  1. A really good story, Iain. The switch from forest to hospital took me by surprise, and I enjoyed the “aah” moment that it gave me. The last sentence is really sinister. I was left thinking “twitch again, go on!”.

    I was reminded of a real incident in our area that shows signs of life can be missed by the medics. Link here if you’re interested : .

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So chilling, don’t we all dread being locked in that situation. Is it open ended? Unseen his finger moved, but her pen was hovering…. Glad I didn’t read this at bedtime!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There was an episode of the television show “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” very much like this. A man was in a coma as the result of an auto accident but his vital signs were so faint, he was thought to be dead. He regained consciousness but was paralyzed. As he was laid on a medical table and the coroner prepared to perform an autopsy, the man shed a single tear letting the doctor know he was still alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always a tough call and decision – and the subtlest of signs may be missed. Well written and done, with a bit of a cliff-hanger ending – just how I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

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