The curtains were drawn, which is not unusual, as they have been drawn for the last two years. Ever since Jared died.
Karen flopped down in the recliner she used when rocking him to sleep, as if the pockets of her oversized terry cloth bathrobe were weighted down with rocks.
She poured herself a glass of wine and brought Tchaikovsky up in iTunes on her laptop. Karen sank into the recliner, sipped her wine and closed her eyes.
“Tonight,” she whispered.
She picked up Jared’s baby book and blanket that lay on the table beside her. “Yes. Tonight,” she hissed.
“No hesitation,” she thought. “Clean. Straight through,” she said as she reached for the knife under the mattress. She briefly remembered how her husband, Michael, taught her how to defend herself using the same knife she planned to use to take her life.
She reclined, finished the wine and let Tchaikovsky sink into her soul. She opened Jared’s baby book to his first picture — her holding him and Michael cutting the cord. She held his baby blanket up to her nose and inhaled deeply. The scent of Jared had left the blanket long ago, but for her it was still there.
Karen folded the blanket again and placed it back on the table. Closed the baby book and put it next to the blanket. She picked up the knife, rolled up her bathrobe sleeve, and held the knife tightly in her left hand. “Clean and straight through. Tonight is the night.” She draws an imaginary line from the base of her right thumb on her wrist up to the middle of her forearm.
She hesitates. “No hesitation,” she says to herself. She bears the knife down and winces in pain. Karen smiles in relief. She knows this time she’s successful. She hit the artery. “Won’t be long now, Jared.”
She sits back in the recliner holding the knife in her left hand. She closes her eyes and lets the blood flow freely and quickly from her wrist as she continues to listen to Tchaikovsky play in the background.
Karen smiles as she remembers each milestone in Jared’s short life. The day he was born. His first step. His first tooth. His first word, which was not mommy or daddy. It was “No.” A very loud and vehement “no.” His first haircut. His first Christmas. His first birthday. His death.
Tchaikovsky is fading in the background and she could feel herself getting weaker. She tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids felt heavy. She could feel the warmth of the blood sliding down her wrist and her hand and her fingertips. “Not long now.” She opened her eyes, but could only see darkness. “Yes. Not long now.”
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, kgwaite gave me this prompt: Have someone select one object at random from each of the rooms in your house. Now, write a story using each of those objects..
I gave Talia this prompt: In 100 words or less, describe (in as much detail as possible) the worst vacation you or your character has ever had.
This is the first day back to some semblance of normalcy for me since my emergency surgery that was supposed to keep me out of work and off my feet for about a week (a week and a half tops), but as we know nothing in life is guaranteed.
I felt great and was ready to get back to the A to Z Challenge, school work, and even work, which was my plan; but unfortunately my body had other plans for me. A few days after I was discharged complications set in and back to the doctor and hospital I went. A fever, 101, low enough; but never looks good after you’ve had any type of medical procedure and a bit or rather a lot of vomiting and some other stuff I dare not mention here.
By the time I got to the doctors office my fever had climbed to 102.4 and the decision was made shortly there after for me to head to the hospital for some tests. Go straight to the hospital do not pass go Read the rest of this entry
It’s been 10 years now since Drew saw his children. Alexander would be 22 now; Corrine, 18; and Mikael, 16.
He remembers it as if it were yesterday. Drew got off work early to surprise his wife, Stephanie, with five airplane tickets to her hometown, Valparaiso, Chile. When he got home Mikael did not do his usual running head start before jumping on Drew’s back. Corrine was not in the kitchen helping her mother prepare dinner as she liked to do. And Alexander was not a soccer practice. They were sitting on the sofa in the family room. Corrine was crying and Mikael was asleep. Stephanie was visibly upset. She looked more angry than afraid and Alexander didn’t show any emotion at all.
“What’s wrong?” Drew said stepping in the family room.
Drew turned around to see his father-in-law, brothers-in-law, and three other men he didn’t know in his family room with guns.
“Drew,” his father-in-law said. “It is time for Estefania to take her rightful place.”
“Rightful place? What are you talking about, Josef.”
“It does not concern you.”
“Stephanie, do you know what he is talking about?”
“Estefania,” he says with emphasis on her name. “Estefania is very well aware of what is going on. I have tried to reason with her for years, but she would hear nothing of it. She claimed that she loves you. Time has run out and she must be delivered to take her rightful place.”
Drew sets off toward Josef, but two of the henchmen stop him before he reaches Josef.
“Drew. Please don’t make this any harder than what it already is. Estefania and the children will be well taken care of. What you are about to do is going to be very hard for you, but it must be done.” Josef reaches into his briefcase, pulls out some paper and the men holding Drew force him to sit at the desk where Josef places the papers. He says, “These are divorce papers. You will sign them and in process you will also relinquish parental rights.”
“No. I won’t do it.”
“Oh, but I think you will,” Josef says nodding to the third. He pulls out a knife and places it to Corrine’s throat.
“Daddy!” she screams.
“Okay. Okay.” Drew signs the papers and Josef puts them back in his briefcase. He nods to Stephanie’s brothers and they usher Stephanie, Alexander, Corrine, and Mikael out of the house.
“This really never should have happened,” Josef says. “I tried to get her to come to her senses long ago.” He starts to leave, “The pain will go away.”
It’s been nearly ten years and the pain has not gone away. The wound is still open and deep and with each breath and every passing moment his heart breaks a little more. And as he has done for the last nine and half years, Drew goes to sleep with a bottle of scotch in one hand and his dad’s .357 in the other.
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This is my response to today’s WP Daily Prompt.
First of all, I don’t keep pen and paper by the bed. Secondly, I have a lot of thoughts running through my head when I wake up in the morning. One such thought is “Damnit. Is it really time for me to get up?” Another is pondering what I’m going to wear. And still another is the classic “5 more minutes mom, please”, even though my mother no longer wakes me and further more it would be a bit difficult for her to do so since we don’t live in the same house. Inevitably those 5 more minutes turn into 15, 20, or maybe even 30 minutes.
By the time I leave the house I’ve probably tossed around Read the rest of this entry
If you celebrate or even love Valentine’s Day then you probably want to bypass reading this post.
This notion of ‘Be Mine’, ‘Be My Valentine’, and a host of other sayings begins its indoctrination in elementary school, maybe sooner. I don’t remember the first time I was forced by my teacher to go out and get those packs of Valentine’s Day cards for my classmates.
We would tape a little bag on the edge of our desk and run around the classroom like the little gremlins we were chucking those cards into those little red, pink, or white bags. Admittedly that was the most fun. Then we’d sit down with glee and couldn’t wait to see who got what from whom. And if that wasn’t enough we had to do that ‘Secret Valentine’ thing. By golly if the majority of us kids didn’t come to school with those boxes of Life Savers to give to our ‘Secret Valentine.’ Honestly even then I hated it. Perhaps it’s because inevitably I always picked the name of the kid I couldn’t stand and he or she couldn’t stand me. Oh the Horror! The Horror! The angst I went through to get that box of Life Savers. So maybe, just maybe that’s when my psyche was ingrained, that I would be buying Valentine’s Day stuff for people I didn’t like.
Over the years, I have bought many a Valentine for people I care a great deal about — my mom, dad, sister, grandparents, boyfriends, best friends and each time it stirs up that same angst from so long ago. It actually angers me now that this is the one day — outside of birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas) that gives people a pass on professing their ‘unconditional’ love for someone who they supposedly love 364 other days of the year (365 on Leap Year). Or perhaps it’s the sheer capitalism in it.
It’s the one day in which it’s okay for a grown man to give a grown woman (perhaps the mother of his children) a stuffed bear with a big ole red heart in the center that says: “I Love You”, “Be Mine”, or some other trite saying. And of course the heart-shaped box of chocolates along with the heart-shaped balloon. Oh dear, I very nearly forgot the flowers. The flowers that wilt and die seven to ten days after you’ve gotten them, which typically coincides with you eating the last chocolate out of your heart-shaped chocolate box. It’s also the one day that your ‘Valentine’ is über nice to you. Again what happened to the other days of the year?
Flower shops and jewelery stores and lingerie stores and Godiva and Lindor chocolates love to see you coming. It’s definitely their most lucrative day of the year. I of course definitely appreciate you contributing to the economy on this oh so important and ‘special day’.
Some say that I’m a Valentine’s Day hater because I’m single. I can safely assure you that is not why I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Granted it is geared to couples, which of course irritates the living crap out of me. But that’s not the reason.
The Absurdity of Silence
She sat there in silence. Always in silence. Never a word. Never a sound. She sat by the window in her oversized chair that seemed to swallow her whole, and stared at the wall day in and day out, with few exceptions. Sometimes she would give a half-hearted grin or frown as if she and the wall were having a conversation. She was all of five foot three and probably not more than 80 pounds. Her muscles had degenerated so much that she had to wear a diaper and her three meals a day consisted of green Jell-O, a Delmonte fruit cup, half a slice of toast, and a cold can of Hanover green peas
It’s been almost three years to the day that she wandered on to the steps of our front porch in the pouring rain. My son, Mitchell, spotted her, “Mom, dad there’s a girl sitting on the front porch.” Read the rest of this entry