All-American

No idea where this one came from, just another unhappy child moving away to become who they are. I honestly believe you can’t quite make that transition into the person you are meant to be until you leave your childhood home. This is the story of Sam, who left home and became their own person.


She looked down at the pictures of the child dressed up as as the all American little boy, in blue jeans and a red flannel shirt, and it made her squirm. There was a smile on the child’s face, and it wasn’t from happiness, it was from relief that they were allowed to go home.

An entire summer trapped on Uncle Jeb’s farm, and there wasn’t a single moment of it that the kid didn’t hate. It was all about the act of “toughening” the boy up, as though at ten years old, the threshold for masculinity was not being met. That there was some thickness of skin that hadn’t been achieved, and the act of crying at the injustice of it all was taken as the proof that the entire exercise was required. That picture was the day that a countdown was made, and while college was always a long shot, it was a freedom that couldn’t be passed by.

Teachers marveled at the new found studious nature, never before had a student made such a change in a single summer, not without some sort of accident of tragedy occurring, but they knew of no such event. A single summer on a farm should not have been such a thing, but in this case it was everything, it was the last straw in a pile of sticks, and it was too much to bear.

High school came and went, and in the end, the grades were enough. There were better schools, closer schools, if education had been the aim, but it wasn’t. The goal was the city, the goal was somewhere big enough to disappear, the goal was being far enough away that this place would be a memory buried deep enough that no one would ever know that it was a place of origin in the story being told.

There were a lot of cities to chose from, and the one the now teenager chose was so liberal that someone like Uncle Jeb would shudder to step foot in it, and it was perfect. It was a place where dreams came true, and no one was forced to toughen up, or be a man. That was where Samuel started to be known as Sam, and graduated as Samantha.

Her parents never called her, followed up, even though she kept the old beat-up flip phone for 12 years, paying a phone bill long after she replaced it, just in case. She didn’t call them either, but it was the principle of the thing. Four years in sociology had taught her a lot about people, and she knew that unless she reached out with a wife and a son, or fulfilled the promise to take over the family farm, they wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her. That was just the way some people were, and there was nothing she could do that would change that.

She became a social worker, and eventually, she did get that wife, and even the son, but she wouldn’t be taking on the farm. Even if she did show up with her new family, they wouldn’t understand this, her, as she was, it just wasn’t their way. She had made a good life for herself, and when the flip phone broke, she had the line rerouted to her phone, just in case.

Her son was 11 when she got the call. Her family of three spent five hours on a plane, and three hours in a rented SUV to get to the house her parents had called home. It should have been a few years further out, but car crashes happen, especially with drunk drivers and missed red lights.

So here she sat, still in her back suit, looking at the picture of a child, who looked so much like her own, and yet was so much sadder. She walked out the door, her wife and son following, and they got in the car, not stopping till they hit the airport. No one broke the silence until the return tickets were paid for, and it was her wife who asked.

“What about the house?”

“Sell it” She whispered, voice hoarse.

“But the things, the memori-” Her wife tried again.

“Sell it all. There isn’t one thing in that house, that I want to remember” She half yelled, and then wanted to cry. Her wife didn’t look angry, just sad. Helena pulled out her phone, and called a friend, who would get a hold of someone local and take care of it.

Samantha was going home, for good this time.

Forever Yours

This was a micro fiction challenge, under 250 words, but written in the form of letters. It was supposed to be a challenge in terms of character voice, and I am not sure I nailed it, but these are two unsent letters. It’s another one that is not so happy. Sorry guys,


Greg,

You are my best friend, my person, and I will go to my grave with my biggest regret being that I don’t have the courage to send this letter.

I have loved you since we were six years old, and you found me crying on the school yard, and gave me the dandelion you picked to make me happy. You were always doing that, our entire lives, little things to make me happy, and I have loved you for each and every one of them.

I wish I was braver, but the risk of losing your friendship, the best thing in my life, was just too much to gamble. I love you Greg, and I always will,

Your Friend,

Tommy


Tommy,

I’ve loved you since we were six. That day in school when I saw you crying, it hurt my heart, and I knew that I’d do anything to make you happy. I’d even pretend that I didn’t love you, so that I could stay with you, and be your friend.

I wish I’d read your letter a lifetime ago, before I got married, before I had children, before you were no longer with us.

I wish I could tell you that you were always the one good thing in my life, no matter how bad it got, and if you weren’t brave, then I was a coward, because I said nothing either. I have loved you Tommy, my entire life, and I always will.

Forever Yours,

Greg

Forget-Me-Not

Sorry for the delay, I thought I had scheduled this for release….but apparently not. The response to this weeks six-sentence story prompt and a continuation of last weeks story, this was written for the word prompt of CANVAS. I worked it a few times, but it still isn’t quite what I wanted. Tell me what you think?


She hadn’t lost hope, but it was starting to stretch a little, wear thin in places, as she had given her book to a contact heading to the city a month prior, and she hadn’t heard a word since.

She feared the worst had come to pass, not that the book had been seized, or hadn’t made it’s way to the clothier, or even that someone else had bought the fated garment, but that Elsa had not received her message, because Elsa was no longer alive to receive it.

It was improbable, as Elsa was quite well placed due to her family and job, but in these times it was alway a possibility, one far more likely than Elsa getting her message and choosing to ignore it, or of course, having moved on from a wretch like her.

It was another six weeks before the courier arrived again, and Jocelyn’s heart sank when the bag of ill gotten goods was finally emptied and not a single thing had come her way. She turned to leave, drown her sorrows in the near lethal rotgut that passed for a drink here, but before she made it to the door she was stopped by a hand on her arm, and was confused as the couriers empty bag was pushed into her hands.

Jocelyn’s heart leapt as she rushed back to her room with her prize, which she had to turn almost inside out before she found it, the small scrap of canvas bearing an oil painting of a pair of forget-me-nots, done in Elsa’s style, and she began to weep with the relief of it, Elsa still loved her.


Part 1

Myosotis Sylvatica

If you haven’t listened to The Amazing Devil, I highly recommend them, their song “Elsa’s Song” was the inspiration for this one, along with Girlontheedge’s six-sentence-prompt BOOK. This is what I would say is a Dystopian piece about something doing something against the rules, for all the right reasons.


Elsa could hear nothing over rushing sound of her own blood pounding in her ears, as she walked along the mostly empty street, her head down, not making eye contact with those she saw, knowing any one of them could be secret police.

She needn’t be worried, not really, there was no reason to suspect her, buying a new jacket wasn’t a crime, and she was assured that the shape of the garment would conceal the secret it carried, the one that she was risking her life for.

The walk took only minutes, but it felt like hours, every glance towards her an accusation, every nearby step made by the Krali, come to arrest her for what she had done, was doing, was planning yet to do.

Finally, she had made it, she was home, and better yet, she still had it, here, safe.  She carefully removed the stiches from the jacket lining, and pulled the thin, worn, book from between the layers, gently, as it was, by far, the most previous thing she had ever owned.

Her eyes filled with tears, as she opened it to the first page, and saw not only the handwriting of her lover, whom she had not seen in so many months, but the small blue flowers dried between the pages, forget-me-nots.


Part 2