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6th December
2012
posted by amber

Here is the first story submitted for the on-line writing workshop. If you have comments on any story, you can enter them into the comment section below the story.

This was the first time he’d ever lied to her.

She sat, quietly, holding the picture of them, taken by a shopkeeper in a public market they had visited while overseas two years ago. Their smiles, and the way they held each other close spoke of a deep love; a sense of strong commitment.

She lifted her gaze from the rustic, hand hewn picture frame bought in a market in Bangkok that held the picture, unconsciously stroking it while she looked, unfocused, out the large picture window at their huge, well-manicured back yard.

“You know,” the soft, comforting voice of her best friend, started quietly, “what he did was, well-“

“I know!” Marisha’s voice suddenly interrupted her friend, cutting her off in mid thought.

Silence fell noiselessly.

The curtains fluttered in the strengthening wind that blew through the screened door.

Marisha stood up and walked to the door, opened it, and walked outside. The breeze grabbed playfully at her flowered summer dress, and tussled her long, brown hair. Walking to the railing of the large, multi-tiered deck, she leaned her elbows on the top rail, and stared out across the yard.

“He planted that rose bush for me,” she said woefully, “told me that as long as it lived, so would our love.”

Her friend stood close by, having followed Marisha outside, and stood near, but not too near as to be imposing.

“Never in a million years,” Marisha stated, her voice quieting to a whisper, “Never…”

The wind danced through the yard, whirling and swirling past and over the rose bush; the flowers nodded their scented heads.

“Marisha,” her friend began, cautiously, in case she were cut off once again, “If I had known…”

Her friend swallowed, her eyes teared up, and she quickly wiped them on her sleeve, trying to hide her emotions from her friend. She cleared her throat, and sniffed lightly.

“If any of us had known, we would have let you know. We would have helped you face this…this…”

Words escaped her.

“This ‘situation’,” Marisha finished her thought, emphasizing her word with well-placed quotation marks. Her friend burst into tears.

Marisha moved towards her, and hugged her sobbing friend.

“You know, Monica,” Marisha said, her voice wavering, “I could have handled it if there was someone else.”

Monica nodded.

Marisha looked at the picture she still clung tightly to, and looked longingly at the man that held her in the picture. “But not once did he tell me that he had cancer…”

5 Comments

  1. 06/12/2012

    Hey, Darryl, nice story with a good surprise ending. My two comments would be for you to give the story a title and to change the name of one of the characters. You can get away with it in a short short, but generally names which are too much alike cause confusion. I try to never use the same first letter for names.
    Amber

  2. Darryl Hurd
    07/12/2012

    Thank you for your comment, Amber. I didn’t title it because I wanted others to figure out what they thought it should be called. I also named both characters in a similar fashion in order to bring a sense of similarity to the story. Both names started with ‘M’ and ended with ‘a’ in an attempt to show how closely we are all affected by any given situation.

  3. 08/12/2012

    I’m with Amber on this one Darryl. You’ve got a nice, quick story, but similar names, I would argue, even in a short, short can be problematical for the reader. I understand your reasoning as the writer. I lean towards that kind of symbolic representation myself, but I’ve learned over time that readers often need more context to pick up on and appreciate those subtleties. Our stories live long and prosper in our own minds before we get them sculptured on the page, so we get pleasure out of thinking these things. Readers come to our stories cold & sometimes these touches just annoy them.

  4. 08/12/2012

    Okay, Darryl – since you wanted title suggestions and I’ve already used ‘The Lie’ for my own story, how about ‘Picture of Lost Happiness’?

  5. Darryl Hurd
    08/12/2012

    Not a bad title, Amber. When I hear from some others and what they would have named it, I will share with you what I originally titled it.

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