Friday, July 5, 2013

Fiction Friday: (Very) Short Stories

I am so excited to share very short stories today! The first one was written by my very good friend, Laura McClellan and I wrote the second one. 

Father's Day
by Laura McClellan
I don't know what I'm doing here. I know I shouldn't be. But I've already rung the bell and I can hear footsteps inside.

I reach in my purse for my phone instinctively. I always do that when I don't know what to do with my hands. No, she'll come to the door and I'll be staring at my phone like an idiot, like, "Oh, hi, didn't see you there!…At your own house…on your front doorstep."

I clasp my hands instead, trying to look natural and think of something to say. Instead my mind sinks into the same scene I've been replaying in my mind for the last twelve hours. 

The car door slams outside. I'm still awake because I watched too much CSI and I have an overactive imagination. I move to the window, thankful for the distraction. It must be Benji, back from his trip. I had been annoyed that he had to work over Father's Day weekend, but I always feel a childlike excitement when I hear him arrive home.

I peer out the glass and see a man getting out of a blue Mercedes, carrying my husband's briefcase and wearing his tie. He kisses the blonde woman inside before striding up the driveway.

The latch clicks, ripping me from my nightmare, and the door creaks open. Her eyes widen a bit at the sight of me, but she recovers quickly and her look softens.

"Well, hello! Cathy, is it?" her smile looks painted on.

"Yes, Cathy," I respond, trying to sound casual over the rapid thumping of my heart. "How are you, Meredith?"

"Good! Good…" she looks past me for a moment, then meets my eyes. "How rude of me to let you stand out here in the heat. Won't you come in? I've just made a pot of tea."
As I am ushered in, the sunlight catches my eye--glinting off the hood of her freshly-washed blue Mercedes.

The Calm Before the Storm
by Nicole Jeannette Phillips
The warm night air rested lightly and pressed up against her skin as waves of cooler wind blew from time to time. It was a welcome respite from the summer’s typical evenings when she often found herself debating whether she hated the sticky humidity or the oppressive heat more. Tonight, not even the mosquitoes bothered with her and she wondered if they could smell the poison in her veins.

Linda pressed her lips against the rim of her tall, cool glass of iced tea, coated in its own sweat and remembered Mrs. McClure, the woman across the street from her childhood home. It took her four months to die from cancer, or at least Linda’s mother made Mrs. McClure a casserole around Valentine’s Day and she was dead before the Fourth of July. Linda tried not to cry when she thought of her freezer full of casserole dishes made by neighbors and the women from church on some committee. “Are you okay?” they kept asking her, delivery after delivery. “I’m fine,” Linda muttered out loud to herself in her chair. Alone on the patio, she listened to the musical hum of the neighbor’s air conditioner and her own heart beat. A small and sudden wave of nausea overcame her although she struggled to decipher whether it was caused the memory of Mrs. McClure’s children returning from the funeral or if the chemo had finally started its rampage.


No comments: