Morning Story – Fiction for The Speakeasy

Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin – author of “The Story of an Hour”

Whoever can find the most references to the Speakeasy photo prompt (<—- find it there!) in this flash fiction gets to choose from some fantabulous books that I will send to your door. Leave answers in comments.  You’ve got until Monday morning.

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The footsteps paused briefly at her doorway. One breath.  Another. Then she heard the scampering tumble of the eight and nine-year old feet down the carpeted steps heading for the television. She wondered how long she could stay here, heavy in the concave mattress, before a plaintive demand called to pry her from the bed.

Refusing to peel back her eyelids, Louise cursed the growing light forcing her to acknowledge that another Saturday had begun. Weekends were so long when Brent was out-of-town. All the activities they had decided that the boys absolutely needed piled up, one on top of the other. Early morning soccer followed by mid-morning karate. A break for lunch. Then Rickie went to drumming while Joey dragged his feet to cello practice.  That kid had begged for cello, whined about cello, until they had given in. The freaking instrument took up the entire closet. Someday I’ll buy a nice cello stand, Louise promised herself. I’ll buy a nice stand and it will class up the living room to have a cello displayed. In the meantime, it leaned against the down jackets and hanging umbrellas in the back of the hall closet.

She rolled over to her right side, dragging the covers with her. If I don’t open my eyes, the day won’t start. Under the heavy layers, Louise felt her mouth twist into a wry, bitter grin. If she didn’t show up to soccer, if she just let the boys destroy the kitchen with cereal and milk and orange juice and half-eaten bananas, would anyone notice? Eyes still closed and starting to stretch, pushing against the headboard, Louise rejected the idea of hiding in bed all morning. A sudden, violent vision of the state of the first floor under a day-long reign of her rambunctious, unrestrained offspring convinced her feet to inch off the bed and onto the floor.

Louise pulled herself up and waddled to the bathroom. The jangling sounds of bad animation promised a few minutes of privacy. Leaning into the mirror over the sink, deepening lines glared back at her and then blurred. A wave of exhaustion wrapped around her tightly. Dear lord I’m old. I look old. And sad. And tired. 

A sudden need for fresh air threw open the bathroom window with a little too much force, leaving a satisfying dent in the casement. Oops.  But it was the sound of sparrows twittering outside that straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin to face another day.

This is another attempt at fiction for The Speakeasy over at YeahWrite. There’s room for fiction and poetry at The Speakeasy, and we love those personal anecdotes at YeahWrite.
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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to the car culture, dealing with leaving a career I love, and spouting off along the way.
This entry was posted in Beating Back the Aging Process (ha!), Fiction, Suburban Life, yeah write and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Morning Story – Fiction for The Speakeasy

  1. Great last paragraph! “…a satisfying dent in the casement” ! I’ve known that feeling. The fresh air, the straightened shoulders…wonderfully visual.

  2. Kristin says:

    Photo references: Brent out of town, down jackets, Louise waddled. I am sure there are more, but this is what I found. I enjoyed your story.

    • I’m going to go ahead and accept the down jackets, even though that would be goose and not duck. But had I thought to allude to it there, I would have. You’re right about Brent, but could you explain how? Otherwise, the Waddled makes it two (including the down!).

      • Kristin says:

        Thanks for accepting the down…I feel a bit foolish. Plus, you’re making me feel like I am in school (which I love!!!) I said Brent was a reference to the picture of the duck because it is a male duck and because he was clearly off on his own. Male ducks do this shortly after they mate…they go hang out with other male ducks until the eggs hatch.

      • Oh no! I didn’t mean to make you feel foolish. Then I’m a very bad teacher indeed. (There, feel a little guilty now? 😉 ) Love that you mention the male duck habit. Mallards have often been thought of as mating for life, but that’s just not true for all of them!

  3. Stacie says:

    This is so good! And so relatable (but my little footsteps never paused and went downstairs – they barged right in!). You were so far from the photo, which is so fascinating to me since I am to literal to wander that far (I think). I’m glad you put this up on the Speakeasy!

  4. Mandy B. says:

    So good! I love the section about the cello. I have two little boys, and I can so relate to it.

  5. Kristin says:

    Oh oh! and the mirror…Louise looks in the mirror and sees a blurred image like the duck in the frozen pond. That’s 4!

  6. I love this. The “Oops.” I’ve said that same oops. So relatable.

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