Fiction Friday #18: Good Enough

debiehive.blogspot.com

debiehive.blogspot.com

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week,Tammy Soong at World’s Worst Moms provided the prompt. This is episode eighteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first seventeen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
__________

“Perfect”

Sometimes is never quite enough

If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love

Don’t forget to win first place

Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face

Be a good boy

Try a little harder

You’ve got to measure up

And make me prouder

How long before you screw it up

How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up

With everything I do for you

The least you can do is keep quiet

Be a good girl

You’ve gotta try a little harder

That simply wasn’t good enough

To make us proud

I’ll live through you

I’ll make you what I never was

If you’re the best, then maybe so am I

Compared to him compared to her

I’m doing this for your own damn good

You’ll make up for what I blew

What’s the problem…why are you crying

Be a good boy

Push a little farther now

That wasn’t fast enough

To make us happy

We’ll love you just the way you are

If you’re perfect

Alanis morissette

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_1BQRAkcyc

Alanis sang the lyrics that took Amanda back to her childhood and the constant pressure to be better, to be perfect in her parents’ eyes. Despite being divorced and living in separate states, both her parents were disappointed with her for various reasons. First, she was born the wrong sex so that put her at a disadvantage in her father’s estimation from the beginning. First born sons get the respect in Korean culture. Second born children, especially girls are not as valuable to aging parents. Then she didn’t accept the right religion (her mom’s fundamentalist Christianity) or get accepted to the right college (where her father worked) because she didn’t get “good enough” grades. Instead, she rebelled against their advice and set out to create a family of her own that accepted her for who she was.

Looking in the mirror, she saw the same eyes of that young girl and mentally hugged her, saying her mantra to herself. You’re perfect the way you are. Written on a neon green sticky note with a black sharpie, it was hard to avoid seeing it as she went through her daily beauty rituals. Her eyes were the same, but everything else grew up over the years. Her worries, joys, and experiences all carved into wrinkles on her tan skin. Instead of looking for her flaws, she observed with her mind and kept her focus on her golden brown eyes. Another sticky note written by Richard told her, “You are beautiful.”

sticky note

She dabbed concealer under her eyes and on her other imperfections then brightened up her eyes and face with fresh color and black mascara on curled lashes. Careful not to overdo it, she preferred a natural healthy look, plus at this point it was difficult to find the energy to go through her routine. Her counselor suggested it as part of an overall self-care program, starting with basics like hygiene and appearance. So, she woke up early just to take a shower and do her hair and makeup before starting her day. She liked the effects of enhancing her natural beauty with feminine touches, but as with everything in life there is a law of diminishing returns. Too much concealing and too much color makes a woman look fake and desperate for attention. It calls more attention to the flaws instead.

If only it were so easy to conceal imperfections in our lives.

So many things weighed on her mind…Richard, Ella, Anderson, Richard’s affair, life as a single mom, her boys, her granddaughter, her mom in the hospital. Taking care of herself was literally the last thing on Amanda’s mental list, so it really did take effort. Mother’s Day was just a few days away, and she hadn’t had any contact with her mom since her suicide attempt.

Amanda was learning to let go of guilt, and she felt especially guilty that her mom was alone and suffering. Knowing the perfect daughter would fly into town and visit in the hospital with flowers, Amanda gave herself permission to be less than perfect, to be good to herself even if it meant staying away from her mom. Even though it was sad her mom did that, it was even sadder she blamed it on Amanda instead of accepting her problems as her own and attempting to work on those problems with professionals. She certainly wasn’t being and hadn’t been a perfect parent.

I will send her some flowers and a card. That’s something. Better than nothing.

She loved her mom but knew that engaging with her would be toxic, so she stayed away. It was not a utopian mother-daughter relationship. No sense falling prey to a nirvana fallacy. The more Amanda let her mom into her world, the worse she felt and the more stressed and upset she was. Being a mom to her own children took all her energy.

She was thankful for her life and her family and needed to try to stay in a positive place. It was her daily practice to let go of the negative and appreciate the positive. She knew life can change at any moment, and she learned the hard way to love fully while there is the opportunity. Her life was still full of love, and although it felt like the end of the road in many ways, she knew there was beauty in the world. Dwelling on the positive was the best way she knew to keep herself from sinking into deep depression and activating a stress response in her body.

GratitudeYellow

Richard and the boys always made Amanda queen for the day on Mother’s Day. This would be the first time she would celebrate it alone. This year, she would have to see the positive in celebrating it with her boys and her granddaughter. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be good enough. Keeping everything in perspective, at least she had three handsome sons and a gorgeous little granddaughter to celebrate.

People in the world are suffering way worse than I am. I am fortunate to have Cassidy and the boys. I am a proud mother and grandmother.

Because of her tense relationship with her mother, Amanda vowed to be a different kind of mother to her own children. And having Cassidy as her granddaughter felt like another opportunity to raise a little girl, one she missed out on when Ella’s life ended unexpectedly. She made it her priority to attend regular therapy and took medication for depression, unlike her mother. She told her boys all the things she loved about them and complimented them for qualities unique to their personalities. She encouraged them to follow their dreams and to believe in themselves. She and Richard tried not to fight in front of the children, and they showed affection in front of them. As far as the kids knew, everything was fine in their marriage except the grief. She tried to shield the kids from her troubles. And she never blamed them for anything going wrong in her life.

I am not perfect, but I’m perfect the way I am.

Feeling Good

____________

Here is the prompt:

Let your characters work through the old saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Visit my Friday Fiction Friends to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.susannenelson.wordpress.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@DeBieHive
@neargenius
@MollyFieldGrassOil

Follow us on Facebook:

DeBie Hive
World’s Worst Moms
Susanne’s World
Bulamamani
Clearly Kristal

Near Genius
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!
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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: My daughter’s fiction entry won an award!

English: Twinkle Twinkle little star (English)...

English: Twinkle Twinkle little star (English) Lullaby from the Lullabies of Europe education project (see http://www.lullabies-of-europe.org/) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so proud of my daughter (12). She won Honorable Mention in the Coppell Gifted Association fiction writing contest. Below are two pictures of her work. I’m so impressed with her writing skills overall and the vocabulary choices and sensitive personal references in her story. Enjoy!

20130412-162042.jpg

20130412-162049.jpg

Looking back I realize I lived a good life. Sure, there have been a few bumps in the road, but that’s normal, right?  I’ve made some mistakes but overall it was a good run.

I remember being a child; being so innocent and oblivious to all the bad things in the world. I remember my mother singing to me; my mother, how beautiful she was.  She had flaws like anyone else, but she tried her best to be perfect.  My father; always a strong man, yet he had a soft side for family.  My gorgeous sister; she was the funny one, the light of our family.  My baby brother shone brighter than the sun with his eyes full of wonder and curiosity.  Then there was my big brother; strongest of all fought for our country, and is my hero even through he doesn’t wear a cape.  This was my family, the best of the best.

As time went on, age took its toll…and my parents.  My siblings remain, but age is gripping the eldest the tightest and I know they’re on their way out.  As for me and my little brother, we’re doing alright for now.

I remember being a child; running around the yard playing tag with the little one.  I used to go to the nail salon with my big sister.  Sometimes I would travel to go see my big brother.  I remember being a teenager; and not quite being able to drive, and being mortified that my mom had to take me everywhere.  i remember my first kiss and my first date with a boy.  I remember growing up and realizing that my parents had been right about everything.  I remember my wedding day, and then my first child being born.  I remember both my parents’ funerals, and how tightly the despair gripped me, how emotionally damaged I was.  I remember my little girl turning 5, and all the tea parties we had together.  Then I remember the symptoms, terrible eczema rashes.  I remember going to the doctor and being diagnosed with cancer;  the doctor said it was spreading and I had 1 year to live.  All these memories are laid over me like a blanket.  That doctor appointment was 1 year ago.

Lights out, days end.  Close my eyes, dare to dream.  I remember my mother’s melodious voice singing, “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”  Suddenly I am being lifted out of my body.  “How I wonder what you are.”  My mother kept singing.  I saw the light come closer.  “Up above the world so high.”  I’m now looking down over my very own body.  “Like a diamond in the sky.”  Something isn’t right.  “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”  My eyes begin to open.  “How I wonder what you are.”  My eyes open, and I”m in the arms of my mother.  I’m a little girl again.  My eyes fill with tears.  I’m not dead; I’m surely alive.

 

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Friday Fiction #15: Wings to Fly

created by Kelly DeBiewww.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
www.debiehive.blogspot.com

It’s Fiction Friday and a new month with a new theme: cliches. Starting this month, we are going to rotate giving prompts by the week. This week’s prompt is from Clearly Kristal. My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode fifteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first fourteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
___________
The next day, they started packing up Anderson’s and Ella’s bedrooms. Once they finished those two rooms, they could start working on the rest of the house. The house was already nicely decorated and usually kept tidy since Amanda was a stay-home mom. It had been four years since anyone touched the two empty kids’ rooms. Bravely, Amanda got to work with all three of her sons, starting in Ella’s room with Brad, while Steven and Robert started in Anderson’s room. Deciding to pack everything away temporarily and not throw or give anything away, it was just a matter of putting things into boxes.
Little Cassidy played on the X-box downstairs in the living room while everybody worked upstairs. She made noises as she swiped left and right to chop fruit on Fruit Ninja. Jumping and laughing, she was totally oblivious to the serious tone of her family upstairs. “Woo hoo, high score daddy! Look!”
“Cass daddy’s busy upstairs now. Good job, I’m super proud of your high score. Try to beat it again!”
Picking up Ella’s bedazzled dance bag by the strap, Amanda zipped it and packed it away as it was. They took the pictures off the walls and carefully bubble wrapped them. Her jewelry went into Ziploc bags, and her posters were carefully rolled up. One by one, they cleaned out her drawers and emptied her closet. Next to her bed sat a small framed picture of baby Ella, taken on her first day of life in the hospital. She wore the generic pink and blue stretchy baby hat that all newborns receive as a welcome gift. Her little face was pink and puffy, but Amanda could see her big girl in that baby’s face, and it was all too much for her. She reached her limit. She sat down on her bed holding the picture frame, hung her head, and started crying. Steven hugged her then took the picture frame from her hands and put it back down on the bedside table.
Charlotte's Newborn Session

Charlotte’s Newborn Session (Photo credit: Christine ™)

“Mom, take a break. I got this. Why don’t you go hang out with Cassidy for a while?”
Nodding her head and taking a few breaths, she agreed with her oldest son and left Ella’s room to check on her granddaughter. Cassidy was still slicing fruit, making samurai moves and grinning ear to ear. “Grammy look I got a high score! Want to play with me?”
Amanda couldn’t help but smile and laugh in return. Such innocence. “Oh honey, I don’t know if I feel like playing now. I’m not feeling so great.”
“Let’s go outside! Daddy always tells me to go outside for some fresh air when I’m not feeling good. We could ride my new bike! You know, my pink one with the bell that you keep here for me to ride? Please Grammy, please?” She smiled a convincing smile and opened her eyes wide with anticipation.
How can I resist her? “Sure Cass, let’s go outside, why not? Get your sneakers on and I”ll go look for your helmet.”
Cassidy had her own bike at her house and was in the process of learning how to ride it. Amanda bought her an extra bike so she could practice when she took care of her. They just took the training wheels off the last time she was over a few weeks earlier.
Outside, it was a beautiful sunny day without a single cloud in the sky. Amanda and Cassidy brought the bike around to the front of the house so she could practice on the sidewalk.
“OK, now remember how you did this last time? Remember to keep the pedals moving forward and handlebars straight. Find your center. Balance.” Holding her gently from behind, she counted to three then pushed Cassidy slightly forward. Cassidy pedaled, and the handlebars wiggled. She put down her left foot to keep herself from falling over to the side.
“I’m going to crash! I can’t do it! Grammy, I’m scared.”
“It’s ok honey, you can do it. It just takes a little practice. You’ll get the hang of it; I promise. Come on, let’s try again. Let’s move your pedal around to the top of the cycle so it’s easier for you to get started. Ready?”
Reluctantly, she tried again. This time she pedaled, and although the handlebars wiggled a little, she straightened them out and kept going straight past the next house on their street.
“I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”
“Yes, you are! Keep going and stop at the alley!” Amanda watched as Cassidy continued down the street and to the alley. Cassidy stopped, turned around and called for her Grammy to help her get started again.
“Try it once on your own and see if you can do it!” she encouraged.
Cassidy paused for a few moments, then started pedaling her way back. Her blonde curls blew in the wind, and her sweet smile was mesmerizing as she approached and stopped her bike. Elated, she jumped into Amanda’s arms. “I did it! I’m so happy!”
“You sure did. I knew you could. High five!” She congratulated Cassidy and decided to bring out her portable chair to the front yard. “I’ll sit here and watch while you do it again.”
www.dreamstime.com
__________
Here is the prompt:

Use the quote below to tell the story of how your primary character comes to the edge (a cliché). Note: Your character may/may not fly. However, he/she encourages others to start a new beginning – i.e. to “fly.” Spring offers new beginnings to grow and soar. Tell this story in no more than 1,500 words (no less than 800) with a balance of dialogue and imagery. Now let your story fly!

“Come to the edge, He said. They said: We are afraid.Come to the edge, He said.They came. He pushed them,And they flew . . .” — Guillaume Apollinaire French poet

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@MollyFieldTweet

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

Grass Oil

Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

February Friday Fiction #5: Eyes are the Window to the Soul

February is romance month in my Fearless Fiction Femmes Fatales group.  We write different fictional stories based on the same prompts from Molly Field at Grass Oil.  Make sure to visit the other blogs to see what stories they wrote (links at bottom of this entry).   If you missed the January Fiction episodes, you can click on this link to start at the beginning:

https://susannenelson.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/january-fiction-challenge-1413-lesson-learned/

femmesfatales

He didn’t know it would be the last time he looked into her eyes when he complimented her.  “You have the prettiest eyes,” he said as if really seeing them for the first time.  They were deep green like the ocean on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  There was depth and breadth and body in her eyes.   There was kindness and wisdom, and there was naivety at the same time.   She was younger than he, barely more than half his age.  When they were saying goodbye, her eyes caught his attention.

She smiled in return and said a simple, “thanks,”  followed with a shy laugh.  They were both a little embarrassed and uncomfortable with the connection taking place, but were both overpowered by it nonetheless.  The chemistry between them was strong, and when they made eye contact it felt like fireworks inside for both of them.  Time stood still.  A rush of emotion flooded over them as they both grasped for words awkwardly.

He now understood why people say that eyes are the window to the soul.   He never noticed how striking her eyes were until then.   He felt a soul connection with her, and it grew deeper that sunny afternoon.  Perhaps it was the universe’s way of letting him see into her soul before it was too late?  It’s funny how things work that way.

green eyed girl..

green eyed girl.. (Photo credit: ~no bullshit~)

They met at the hospital one day when a mutual friend introduced them.  If he knew what kind of pain their relationship would cause in the future, he would have turned her away, but he didn’t have any way of telling the future.   All he could do was live life fully each day and hope that his actions today would bring him to  brighter and better tomorrows.They hugged, said goodbye, and she went on her way smiling and waving.  It was a warm and friendly embrace. She smelled like a fresh breeze, and he got goosebumps from feeling that breeze rush through his senses. The sun shone behind her blonde hair like a halo.  Her smile and her beautiful eyes were forever etched into his memory.   He waved,  admiring her fit petite body as she walked away.   God she is gorgeous he thought to himself.  He got lost for a few minutes speculating what it would be like to be intimate with her.   He imagined she had a body like a Victoria’s Secret model under her hospital scrubs.  She sent flirtatious messages, and although they were subtle he picked up on them.  They got along so well, and her hugs were so genuine.   She felt so natural in his arms. He felt young and desirable again when he was with her.  She’s way too young, and besides I’m married he reminded himself.  He felt guilty for even letting himself follow that thought.  If he acted on his impulses, it might be wonderful temporarily, but it would crush his family and ruin his life.

He was clearly in the lustful stages of attraction and infatuation with her.   He only knew her for about six months. They started meeting for lunches then taking walks together when they could steal away the moments.  They got along in a best-friendly manner even though they were in vastly different stages of their lives.  He saw her only at work when she was at her best. They laughed and told each other stories.  There was nothing to fight about and no boring routine to get used to.  She admired his maturity and prestigious reputation as one of the best neurosurgeons in the country.  She flattered him and brought to life a vibrant part of him that had been lying dormant for a long time.

His wife was his best friend a long time ago, but their romance turned into attachment and commitment.  It evolved into responsibility and day-to-day mundaneness.  He loved his wife, but he hadn’t looked into her eyes that way in more than a decade.  It was a very different kind of love.  The passion had waned from his marriage.

Although his life appeared perfect from the outside, he was suffering a lonely existence.  Tragedy befell his family when two of his children died in a car accident.  His wife withdrew into herself, sinking into a downward spiral of depression.  He felt disconnected from her emotionally and physically.  He struggled with his commitment and responsibilities to her and his family versus the passion he felt for this young woman.  He wished he could get all of his needs met by one woman so he didn’t have to struggle internally this way.  He imagined starting all over again with a new relationship, a new life with a young wife free from complications.  He couldn’t get it off his mind, but he went through the motions when he got home from work that night.  He ate some dinner and retreated to his office where he ‘worked’ until midnight while the house was quiet.  He did have some paperwork to catch up on, but mainly it was an excuse to be alone with his deviant thoughts.  He carefully weighed his options and decided to sleep on things.  Perhaps they could meet for lunch again tomorrow and see where things go on their own.

The next day, he woke up early with the alarm at 5:30am.  He went through his morning routine getting ready for work.  He had a full schedule seeing patients all day.   He turned on the news while he ate breakfast.  “Breaking news,” went across the bottom of the screen.  “23 year old woman found dead from an apparent drug overdose.  Police are investigating evidence collected at the scene.  More on this story when we return.”  Pictures  of her apartment building and her face filled the screen before programming broke for a commercial.    Her green eyes looked right through him.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing.

His heart sank and his stomach flip-flopped.  He felt a wave of dizziness and sank to his knees.  He couldn’t hide his grief or mask his reaction.  Tears poured from his brown eyes uncontrollably, and he put his hands to his forehead and tried to slow his breathing.  He just saw her yesterday.  How could she be gone today?  Drug overdose? 

His wife heard him crying and came out of the bedroom to see what was going on. “Richard? Is everything ok?”  There was no answer.  He didn’t know what to say.  She held him as he wept.  The news came back on continued with more details. Cocaine and prescription bottles were discovered in the bathroom where her body was found.  There was no suicide note, so it’s not apparent if it was intentional or accidental.  “Did you know her?”  she asked.

“Yes, from the hospital,” he finally managed to answer.

“I’m sorry honey, why in the world would a beautiful young girl like that want to do drugs anyway?”  she didn’t know what to say either.

Richard was speechless.  Usually he was the strong person in the family.  Now he needed support.

__________________

Here is the prompt:   When was the last time you looked into someone’s gorgeous eyes? Maybe they were sea green and seemed to have all the secrets of the world behind them? What would happen if you had a chance to know this person intimately?

Then you find that person has a dark secret that would bring your perfect but lonely life to its knees.

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius

Thanks for reading. Peace out!

Related articles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-436932/Scientists-discover-eyes-really-window-soul.html

http://thedailylove.com/the-eyes-are-the-window-to-the-soul/

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=224296

Fiction Friday #4: The Gun

Every Friday this month, I’ve been posting fiction as part of a challenge by my friend, Molly Field, over at her blog Grass Oil. Today is the last installment of the month. If you missed the first three entries, here are links. If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to catch up since this is part four of the same story.

Fiction Friday #1: Lesson Learned

Fiction Friday #2: Althea

Fiction Friday #3: The Aftermath

     After Amanda‘s arrest, she and Richard went to bed without speaking. She retreated into herself and didn’t know how to handle the embarrassment. What would everyone say about her? Why did she have lunch with an ex? What would she do to make things better with Richard? How would she go on day-to-day with so many problems?
The next day, she got up and helped Brad and Robert with breakfast and the before-school routine. She and Richard were cordial but superficial to each other. He was obviously upset with her and worried about her at the same time. He left for work without a kiss, and the boys left shortly thereafter.
Once she was alone, she went back to her bedroom and sat down on the bed. She opened the drawer in the night stand, pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and started to write, “My dearest family, once you read this note, I will already be gone. I am sorry for the pain my death might cause you, but I think in a few years it will become something you can get used to. I can not forgive myself for the past, and I know you can’t either. I haven’t been happy in so long.  Please know I love you, and I’m sorry.  I just can’t go on like this any more.” She folded the paper in half and propped it up on the bedside table. She looked out the window and took a few minutes to contemplate the garden of roses growing outside. Life goes on, she told herself, they will be fine without me.   She looked back over the past couple of years and wondered what happened to her family. She wondered what happened to herself. She pulled the pistol out of the drawer. She held it carefully in her hands, and it was as if her whole life flashed in front of her eyes.  How could she ever fix all the problems she created in her family? She blamed herself for losing Ella and Anderson, and she knew Richard and Robert had never fully forgiven her for what she did. Their marriage had never been the same since the accident.  How could she face people after what happened at school?  Maybe it would be easier for everybody if I wasn’t here she thought to herself.

HS2000 9mm Pistol

HS2000 9mm Pistol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amanda never wanted to have a gun in the house. She didn’t have a father growing up, so she was never exposed to guns as a child or young lady. It was never a question in her house. Richard felt it was a necessity to have a gun in the house. He wanted it for self-defense (in the case of home invasion) and for hunting. They owned some land where he frequently went hunting and camping, and he really enjoyed going there to pursue his hobbies.
When she met Richard, she learned of his interest in guns and tried to understand it (even though it was new to her). Part of marrying someone is accepting who they are as a person not changing who they are.  Amanda firmly believed in the importance of each spouse maintaining some individuality in the marriage. She felt strongly that there are some things that are deal breakers like cheating and beating, and other things are part of the territory of marriage that you put up with. You accept certain things about your partner so you can live a peaceful happy life together. So she accepted Richard, guns and all.
She was most worried about having guns in the house because they had children. There were stories all the time in the news about kids who accidentally shot themselves, siblings, and/or friends when they played with a parent’s gun. There were other stories about teenagers who had lost their minds, taken their parents’ guns, shot and killed people in public places like schools, stores, and movie theaters. She really didn’t want her family on the news in a tragic, avoidable story.
They agreed to keep most of their guns in a safe, but Richard insisted on keeping a pistol in his night-side table drawer so he would be able to get to it quickly in the case of emergency. The safe with his rifles was in their closet, but he didn’t want to lose precious minutes if confronted by an attacker in the middle of the night. He signed Amanda up for shooting classes, and she braved the experience to show interest in her husband’s hobby. Once she learned how to handle a gun, she felt empowered and prepared for the possibility of being face to face with an intruder. She thanked Richard for exposing her to a whole new world and could barely believe the dichotomy inside herself as she grew to appreciate something she also feared and disliked.
All of the sudden, her phone rang. It was Richard. He was able to schedule a marriage counseling appointment for them that evening. He wanted to talk to the counselor about the arrest and what led up to it. When he asked what she was doing, she answered, “uh, nothing really, just thinking about things.” She hung up the phone, put the gun away, and threw the note in the trash. Not today she thought to herself.
She ordered pizzas for the boys and put Brad in charge of watching Robert for a few hours while she was at the counseling appointment with Richard. Brad was practicing guitar up in his room and choking down bites sausage pizza in between songs. He shooed his little brother when he came into his room to listen to him play. “Go find something to do! Mom and dad will be back soon. Don’t you have some games to play or something?”
Robert played video games for a while, and then he decided to make a video of himself as his favorite character in his new game. His parents weren’t home, so he sneaked into their room and got the gun out of the drawer. They didn’t know that he knew it was in there, but he did. His big brothers showed it to him before and made him swear not to tattle. He set up his camera and got a kick out of seeing himself on the screen. He pointed the gun right at the screen then right, left, up, and down so he could see it from many angles. He made tough faces and felt like a tough guy. He could still hear Brad playing guitar upstairs, so he knew he wouldn’t get caught.
Amanda was telling Richard about having lunch with her ex at the counselor’s office. Brad just nailed the solo he was working on in his room when out of nowhere, there was a BANG! Brad stopped playing and looked around wondering what just happened. It sounded like a firecracker. He paused for a moment and then realized he knew exactly what that sound was.
“Robert?” He screamed as he started running down the stairs._______________________________________________________________________________________

     Here is the prompt:  “Invent a / your character (who) has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don’t fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story / scene.”

     Please visit the other blogs to see what the writers did with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj

Thanks for reading! Peace out.

Friday Fiction #3: The Aftermath

Every Friday this month, I will be posting fiction as part of a Friday Fiction challenge from my friend Molly Field at her blog Grass Oil. If you missed the previous two installments, here are the links:

January Fiction Challenge #1: Lesson Learned

January Fiction Challenge #2: Althea

Amanda was a mess for years after the car accident that resulted in the deaths of two of her young children. She didn’t take it well at all. And she felt it was her fault that her daughter and son died. Her husband didn’t help the situation. As a logically thinking man, he couldn’t help but deal with the facts that led up to their deaths. Amanda let Ella sit in the front seat even though she wasn’t thirteen yet. Amanda let Anderson sit in the back seat without his booster because she was in a rush and Ella was complaining and trying to persuade her to allow her a special ride in the front seat. She knew about the safety guidelines, but she didn’t think anything would happen on that one time she was lax on the rules. Richard couldn’t help but blame her for the accident. He wanted more than anything to turn back the time so he could put the booster seat in the back and make Ella sit in the back seat too, regardless of her complaining. They went to counseling and were trying to move past the blaming, but Amanda had a hard time with the guilt on a day to day basis.

Every morning, she had trouble getting out of bed. She couldn’t fall asleep at night because of her racing mind, and Robert and Brad were still in school, so she got up early to help them with breakfast. Steven graduated and joined the army. He was always on her mind too. She hoped he would come home safely, and she often thought of the little girl he fathered but never met. It took tremendous energy for Amanda to keep her mind focused on the day to day instead of the past or the future.

She popped pills to regulate her moods, and she drank alcohol to numb the pain and escape to lighter places in her mind. She was under the care of a psychiatrist and a marriage counselor and an individual counselor and was trying her best every day to function.

She reconnected with a former flame on Facebook and agreed to meet him for lunch one day. It had been twenty years since they last saw each other, but it seemed like yesterday. Their connection was just as strong as it used to be. They laughed and shared memories and filled up on salads, pizza, and wine. She realized that school would be over soon and she needed to pick up Robert. He asked her if they could get together again sometime with a flirtatious grin, and she returned the smile with an answer of “maybe.” They hugged each other and went their separate ways.

Pulling into Robert’s school zone, she was suddenly pulled over by a police officer. She didn’t realize she was speeding because she was on her phone checking messages. Because school zones are cell phone free zones, and she was going almost thirty in a twenty zone, this particular officer was not very pleased with this driver. He could smell the alcohol on her breath, so he gave her a breathalizer test and tested her gross motor skills. Amanda was mortified this was all taking place in the school zone where other parents could see it. She failed every test and was taken down to the station and booked with a DUI.

English: School zone sign in Latham. Taken by ...

English: School zone sign in Latham. Taken by me on 20th January 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard came to pick her up when she sobered up. He was furious and disappointed and confused all at the same time. Once they got in the car, he asked her “so do you mind telling me what the hell is going on with you?”

“I don’t want to talk about it Richard. Can we please just go home?”

“Don’t want to talk about it? Amanda, I just picked you up from the police station….after you being so drunk that you got a DUI and a ticket for speeding and being on your cell phone in a school zone. What am I supposed to think? Honey, there is something serious going on with you. What can I do to help?”

“You can be nice to me. Stop blaming me for everything!” She cried.

“What? I am nice to you? Where did that come from? And what were you doing today?

“Why do you care? You’re always so busy with work and you only care about what I’m doing when something goes wrong.”

“Please honey, stop being defensive and let’s talk about this. What did you do before you got arrested? Where were you?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. You wouldn’t understand.” She wanted to tell him the truth, but she knew he would get angry with her. She took some deep breaths and thought about things. She realized just how bad things had gotten. She missed the old days when she and Richard spent more time together, when the kids were little and they were all happy together.

He breathed deeply too and kept driving with a cool head. He didn’t want there to be any more problems that day or ever. He answered in a loving tone of voice, “take your time and tell me when you are ready…and I promise to try to understand and be nicer to you. I love you.”

Here is the prompt:

“Your character commits a crime. (What is the motive?) Your character’s husband/wife/SO, discovers your character changing dealing with the evidence, and wants to know what’s going on. Write the conversation. What happens next?”

Visit the other blogs to see what the writers did with the same prompt: