Bloggy Mom’s Writing Prompt – 8-4-12

Posted: August 5, 2012 in short stories, Uncategorized, writing
Tags: , , , , ,

She had sat in the rigid chair, staring at the coffin as people she knew, and those she didn’t cradled her in a hug, whispering words of comfort.  When the service was over,  Mr. Ward, of Ward and Sons Funeral Home delivered her to her childhood home, murmuring condolences as they ushered her to the door. He handed her a set of keys from a plastic bag full of her mother’s belongings and bid her goodnight.

Inserting a familiar key into the lock she watched the Cadillac’s tail lights disappear before opening the door. Dropping the plastic bag holding her mother’s wedding ring on the hall table she froze, unsettled by the lack of sound. She wanted the noise, the familiar sounds that greeted her on each trip home. Music would be blaring from the kitchen as her mother went about her day, singing and dancing to her favorite tunes. The silence was surreal and she fought back the urge to run screaming into the night.

To exhausted to prowl the house, or the memories she trudged up the stairs. Opening the door to her old bed room she stripped, took a quick sponge bath and fell onto the twin bed that still wore the lavender comforter she had to have when she was a senior in high school. Rolling to her side she let the hot tears roll from her lashes as deep sobs racked her body.

“What am I supposed to do now?” She screamed at the walls, “I lost my job, my manuscript was rejected, Ken left me for a floozy and now mom is gone! I’m alone, all alone. Worse than alone, I’m dead broke with no place to live!” she wailed into the pillow.

All she wanted to do was open her own art gallery, maybe sell a few of her own painting and sculptures and those of other local artists. She also hoped to publish some of the stories banging around her head to magazines or other publishers. Rolling to her back she focused on the eternal grimace of the cartoon pilot on the wall opposite her bed, one of her mother’s earliest successful drawings. She hated that drawing. Night after night she went to bed as the grumpy little pilot glared down on bed. Every time she asked her mother if she could take it down, she got the same response.

“Take care of the art, and the art will take care of you my love.”

Jumping to her feet she ripped the picture from the wall, fighting the urge to smash it to the floor. Noticing something odd on the back picture she perched on the edge of the bed, running her fingers over the brown paper covering the back. Feeling something under the paper she used a nail file to pull staples before pulling the paper aside. Nestled into the frame was a small, brown book with the letters C.N. B. embossed in gold. Pulling open the cover she gasped at the sight of her own name. Further inspection revealed that it was a bank book.

Nestled between the second and third page, was a folded note in her mother’s handwriting.

“My daughter, my love; “Zippy the Pilot” was the first drawing I sold commercially. He was used in ads for many years. Instead of selling the image out right, I drew up a contract for a percentage of the proceeds, putting them into an account for your future. You are destined for great things. You writing will gel and thrive and your artistic talent and appreciation for others will help many. I am not sure when you will find this as the ability to forecast the date of my own death is beyond my power.  I hope that the final balance in this book will be enough for you to realize your dreams.  I love you now and forever, never doubt that fact.”

Turning to the final page of entries, she gasped, unable to swallow enough air when she saw the final figure, 2, 783, 451.00! Tears of joy mingled with tears of sorrow as she fell asleep, cradling the drawing  of Zippy.

Go here to link up with the Bloggy Mom photo prompt exercise,

  1. SAM says:

    Wow!! I love the twist at the end with the amount of the money from the painting. Thank you for linking up with us this week. The beginning of your story was such a sad time for your character, and as you continued, you really brought me in, feeling her emotions. I would have liked a little more anticipation over what the letter said–maybe a llittle more showing rather than telling–but you managed to take me there overall and I enjoyed it. I gasped out loud at the end, feeling overjoyed as if your character was really my friend. Bravo for making me care about your character!!

  2. Ah, anticipation would be nice, but I didn’t want my first post on this forum to run over the 750 word limit. I can’t wait to read the other entries on this prompt.

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