Flash Fiction for The Purposeful Practitioner: Fiction – Her One #fiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP. 

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Credit: http://www.pixebay.com

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(I truly meant for this to be Flash Fiction, but the story just developed. Sorry about the way – over word count.) 

Grandma June huffed at Natalie, her granddaughter visiting her at home.”You’re not getting any younger, you’re thirty-eight. You can’t barely have babies anymore!” 

Natalie rolled her eyes at Grandma June,”Gran, I’m an elementary school teacher. I like going home and not having to worry about kids.” 

June sighed,”It was that man, you were supposed to marry. He’s a thief and stole your heart; I’m right aren’t I?” 

Natalie ignored June’s question. She hated when her Grandma or anyone, talked about Christopher. She’d never admit he was her one. 

He had been since she was in grade ten and Christopher an attractive senior in high school. It was when he had first asked Natalie out. They’d broken-up, having had incompatible lives with Christopher away at university soon after. 

Then, seven-years-ago, they’d ran into each other and started talking and dating again. Natalie had convinced herself this was finally it. Sadly, a few weeks before the wedding, Christopher had disappeared; the memories were agony for her. 

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Two-week’s later, Grandma June called Natalie up to invite her to a wine and cheese night she was hosting for her neighbours. She had tried to decline but June was adamant Natalie attend. 

She arrived at her Grandma June’s surprisingly lively wine party, in jeans and a white t-shirt. She had barely bothered to apply makeup as Natalie had come from the gym and was worn out. 

“Oh you came,” Grandma June said excitedly, approaching Natalie as she let herself inside. She hugged June and kissed her cheek, as June poured Natalie a large glass of red wine and filled her plate with bread and cheese. She winked at Natalie and left her alone in a small sitting room to rest before joining the other guests. 

“Natalie?” A deep voice said. She turned on the sofa towards the sitting room door. Christopher’s voice shocked her, she had almost doused herself in red wine. His familiar timber filled Natalie with great pain. She peered up at him feeling raw, as if he’d only left her yesterday without explanation. 

Tears began dripping down Natalie’s cheeks; she was crying and couldn’t stop herself. Christopher immediately sat down on the sofa beside Natalie and pulled her close; he wiped her tears away with his thumb. She tried to jerk out of his arms, but he wouldn’t let her move. 

“I’m not letting you go, ever again,” Christopher swore.”I can’t explain much about why I had to leave you, only that I didn’t have a choice.” 

Natalie shoved him hard, “You have nothing more to say, nothing at all?” 

Christopher was noticeably upset, “I told you I worked as an IT consultant. But I could never tell you or anyone who I worked for until recently. I worked for Special Forces in the army and I was called out to a job. It’s the only thing I can’t about. The job lasted years, and I wasn’t allowed to contact anyone. We saved countless lives, but it was awful what I did to you and being without you. I’m sorry.” 

Natalie rubbed her swollen eyes, “You’re a liar Christopher. You could’ve mentioned something, anything. What do you want now? To stay for a while and then leave?To rip me apart again?” 

Christopher buried his face in his hand, before gazing up at her: “I’m out now Natalie. I swear to you I work for regular businesses now, nothing to do with Special Forces or the army. I’ve no more secrets other than experiences of war and blood. I came back here for you, I even moved into a house on your Grandma June’s street. I hoped somehow, you and I could be together again. I love you.” 

Natalie made a sound of frustration. Emotions of both anger and feeling relieved assaulted her. Despite her anger at Christopher, Natalie knew inside, there would never be another man for her but him. 

To Christopher’ surprise, Natalie moved to sit in Christopher’s lap and be closer to him, to breathe in how delicious he smelt. 

“Marry me now and we can do whatever celebration our families want later. I’m still mad at you Christopher but you’re it for me. I’ve always loved you and always will. If you can be with me and never leave me like that again, I can forgive you.” 

Christopher nodded at Natalie, saying: “I promise.” He held Natalie tightly and kissed her lips hungrily

Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the sitting room door and Grandma June walked in, a smile on her face. June’s boyfriend Nigel was with her and so was the local United Church minister. 

Natalie looked at Christopher, “Did you do all this?” 

Christopher shook his head, squeezing Natalie tight and kissing her cheek. He pulled out a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring set from his pocket. He slid the engagement ring on Natalie’s finger, and Grandma June handed Natalie a ring which had been her Grandfather’s wedding ring. 

June smiled at Natalie and Christopher, a gleam in her clever blue-eyes. All was at it should be, she thought as her and Nigel witnessed her granddaughter’s wedding ceremony. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Writing 101 – The Red Sweater


www.optimalchiro.ie
http://www.optimalchiro.ie

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

 

He hadn’t always wanted  a child. Michael found them messy and loud, a disturbance to his peace of mind. Then, Natalie became pregnant and the way he thought about a child changed. He could see her belly grow and feel the child kicking, a life force all her own saying, ” It’s me Dad. It’s me Mom. Are you out there?” Then the day came when Natalie started having large contractions and he drove her to the hospital excitedly proud that he would be a new Dad soon. The labour took hours and when the baby was born Natalie and Michael waited for it to give that first piercing cry of life, but the little one never cried. She didn’t move, she was still and remained still.

Walking through the park that day with Natalie the tiny red sweater reminded him of their lost baby and he wept. Was it his fault because he hadn’t wanted a baby in the first place that their little girl died?

Natalie watched her husband cry and at first, she didn’t know why. Mike was not an emotional man, she had rarely seen him cry except for maybe after she had given birth to a still-born child in the hospital. Then Natalie saw the little red sweater an old women was knitting and she understood why Michael wept. He was remembering the baby. She grimaced. Hours of labour and she had give birth to a lifeless doll. She didn’t understand why but the baby episode, all the preparations, the looking forward to the baby, the labour, had all made her feel numb. Natalie felt as if she didn’t exist as if her and Michael were 2 completely different people since that time 2-years ago. Mike had wanted another baby as soon as possible, she had shaken her head sadly at him and said, ” Maybe in a few years.” But Natalie didn’t know if a few years would ever come.

Grandma Florence sat happily knitting a little red sweater for her first grandchild. She was ecstatic and had even thought that none of her kids would have grandchildren, since they were all in their late 30’s anyways. She held up the tiny red sweater and a man walking by her with his wife begin to cry in earnest. Florence wondered why she holding up a little red sweater, would make anybody cry? Babies brought joy the world. They were the promise that life, that the world would continue with a piece of you in it. She shook her head absently, noticed she had goofed up the last stitch and went back to finishing the sweater on the bench. Her sparkling eyes and ruddy cheeks gave her the look of a grandma who was extremely happy and had never experienced what Natalie and Michael went through. She had other things to focus on.