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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Treat For You

It seems I have quite a bit to blog about these days.. But I'm saving some for rainy days.
But I felt like giving my few readers (if they still read?) a treat.

I'm taking an online writing course at a community college and we are often given prompts to write a short story on.

Here's a recent one.


Molly ran a nervous hand through her mousey brown hair. Her mom had pulled her out of school before third period and brought her straight home. Now they were sitting across from each other at the kitchen table. Her eyes were fixed on the granite, studying it as though the texturing held the cure to cancer. Her mother stood and began to pace back and forth on the stark linoleum, rearranging the few items that kept the countertops from being entirely bare.  
Neither of them were speaking.
Molly’s silence was a nervous one. Her mother’s, angry.  It drug on for an eternity while Molly sat on her hands, staring at the tabletop.
Suddenly she heard something light hit the granite.
Slowly she raised her eyes to see the source of the sound.
A large manila envelope.
Her mother shoved it toward her. Her perfectly manicured nails clicking like claws against the table.
“What the hell is this?” Her mother asked. Her voice had a knife- like edge. The envelope was unopened.
Roger Lyman Hospital: Ultrasound Clinic
5687 W. Lyman Drive
Springfield, IL 72843
The return address read.
Molly felt her stomach turn.
“I found this under your bed. Why is there an envelope addressed to you from the ultrasound clinic? Are you pregnant? Don’t lie to me girl!” Her mother was leaning over the table like a predator over its prey.
Molly’s fingers shook as she picked up the envelope. She slowly picked at the top, working paper free from adhesive.
Pick pick pick. Click click click.
“Answer me!” her mother screeched. “I’m not about to have one stupid baby damage this family’s reputation! Your father is running for governor! Do you hear me?”
Molly kept picking slowly at the adhesive. Her hands shook more violently with each passing millisecond. A knot had welled up in her throat, making it impossible to reply.
Pick pick pick.
“Answer me, goddammit!” Her mother snatched the envelope from her hand and ripped off the remaining paper flap from the adhesive. She pulled the papers and tossed aside the first page of type, going straight for the photos.
A puzzled look crossed her face. She flipped back to the first page. Her eyes passed over the words. Molly watched the color drain from her mother’s face.  Slowly the page turned back to the ultrasound pictures.
Abruptly, her mother set down the papers and turned her back to Molly.
Molly reached across and picked up the papers.
Dear Ms. Molly Bartlet,
                The rest of the text faded away.  Terminal   was the only word that remained readable. Standing alone on the stark white paper.  Molly laid down the papers. She felt like she was floating. Spiraling above everything else.
                Somewhere far away she thought she heard her mother sob.

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