Monday, July 16, 2007

We Almost Did

This is my entry to the WOW! Women on Writing Spring Flash Fiction Contest. It made it past the first round but didn't get even an honorable mention. The winners are fabulous stories. I think my favorite is the third place. Give them a read. (They are lower on the page.)

We Almost Did

Using the back door as she had since she was ten, Holly entered her mother's house. The cherry red high heels clicked on the tile floor. Not hearing any noise, Holly hailed her mother. The faint response traveled through the dimly lit kitchen. Holly followed the voice to the living room.

Her mother held a dust cloth. She turned when Holly entered the room. "So, how was it?"

Holly plopped on the couch. She heard the soft sound of a rip from the side of the empire waisted dress. "Fine. I should have read the invitation closer, though."

"Why? Was it a casual wedding? I could have sworn Jennifer's mother told me it was formal. I just spoke to her two days ago. She wanted me to attend the widows group."

Holly studied her mother, still un-showered at 7 in the evening. "It was Nicky. You remember Nicky."

"Your boyfriend from high school? The groom?"

"Yep. He married Jennifer."

"So soon?" Her mom frowned. "He only moved back to town a few months ago."

Shaking her head in exasperation, Holly countered without thinking, "It was nine months ago, Mom. He moved back here in March last year. Right around when . . ." She sucked in her breath as she realized the timing. "Sorry, Mom. I had forgotten when I saw him last."

"Nicky took you out to dinner then, didn't he?" Her mom dabbed at her eyes as she stared at the light. It was a habit Holly had as well to keep from crying.

"He did. Weird time to reconnect. I don't even think I ate that night."

"Your sister was so angry that you went out."

"Like she didn't go to that stupid beach burger restaurant with her friends the day of the funeral." Holly kicked off her shoes. "Anyway, Jennifer looked good, but a little pregnant."

"Too bad you don't live here any more. That could have been you getting married today."

"Uh, Mom? You must be getting batty." Holly reached under her left arm to unzip her dress. "You wouldn't want me to get married because I was pregnant. Jennifer told me how nervous she was about the whole thing. Marriage, a baby, all so close together."

"I might not mind now," she mused while gazing at her husband's photo that sat on the mantle. "You and your sister both single. He never got to play with grandchildren. I'd like to play with grandchildren. It might bring me some joy."

Holly closed her eyes and wished her flight left tomorrow instead of Monday. While she couldn't help her mother much living far away, she could forget how emotionally unstable her mother had become since her father's death.

As her mom left the room, she said, "You and Nicky would have had such lovely babies."

In barely a whisper, Holly reminded herself, "We almost did."

Can you see why mine didn't win anything? I can. The story isn't light, heartwarming, or funny, which all of the winners are. It just wasn't in me to write one. I had another option for a story, but it was taking too long to tell. I'll file that one for later.

4 comments:

Kell said...

What are you going to do? The writer's job is to keep writing! So be encouraged! Literary journals are chocked full of those "slice of life" stories - and they aren't always happy and light.

I liked it, if it's any consolation! AND - at least you entered. That takes guts.

Sarabeth said...

Thanks, Kell.

jmb said...

I liked it too. It's quite poignant. And it's a start. Next time will be easier and maybe more successful. The question is were you satisfied with it?

Sarabeth said...

JMB, I am satisfied with it. In fact, I think I can expand upon it for a longer story, possibly a novel. The plot is already swirling around in my head clouding what I am currently writing.