(All A-Vote…I crack myself up…)
Hooray! This week, we had two participants, which means we need to vote!
Both participants dove deeper into the protagonist’s feelings about their family, evoking some strong emotions. You’ll definitely enjoy reading them both! Check out part one here, before diving into the potential part twos:
Stephanie Ayers @theauthorSAM
I closed the piano softly. Something drew my attention to the room just beyond-Mother’s sitting room. A small bed took up most of the space, but it was the covering that drew my eye. A bright red quilt, handmade, spread across is haphazardly, as if someone had rushed out of it just that morning.
Impossible. Father had passed on two weeks ago. How could it look so freshly slept in?
I moved across the floor unaware. Portraits decorated each wall, a shrine to someone’s childhood. I didn’t recognize the people within them. The signature on the bottom, a harsh black slash against an otherwise peaceful scene, reminded me of my mother’s. My thumb flicked over the corner, the dried paint rough under my touch. A stab of pain shot through my abdomen. So much I never knew about my parents. I had no memory of Mother painting anything ever. I looked closer. The faces matched names in my head, and it became clearer at each glance. I moved closer to the one hanging over the small never-used fireplace. Red and yellows shouted from the canvas, and a mother and child held hands as they walked away from the carnival, each bearing an ice cream and happy smiles. Stunned, I stepped closer and almost fainted when reality claimed my mind.
“Momma?” a little voice piqued from behind me. A mess of fat, auburn, roly-poly curls tumbled around a small freckled heart-shaped face. Sleep lingered in her hazel eyes.
“Bug,” I called, holding my hand out to her. “Come and see.”
She stood between my arms, her thin weight pressing against my body. “That little girl looks like me.”
“Who is that woman with her?”
My throat caught, choking me as tears cascaded my cheeks. My heart burst open and pain stifled me. I sat down on the bed, surprised.
Renee L.Tennis-McKinley @
If only I’d come home sooner.
I wandered the empty rooms, memories snapping before my eyes as though pages of the photo albums Mom had kept on the coffee table.
Dad’s chair with his remote at hand. Mom’s china displayed in perpetual newness in the over sized hutch.
The dining room table, ragged centerpiece bookended by the salt and pepper shakers I’d sent her one Christmas.
It had come to this. Clearing their lives away, packing their bits and pieces into bland cardboard boxes.
Each bit laid away, each piece folded and stored, chiseled at my strength.
Memories of two people I knew, yet never knew.
Familiar items that meant everything and nothing.
My room, almost as I’d left it. Patches of darker paint on the sun faded walls where I’d peeled away posters, long since discarded.
On the bed an unfamiliar quilt made by mother’s hands. Hands that rarely held me, yet so carefully stitched each square into place.
Red and blue checkered fabric here, that came from the new dress for my first day of kindergarten
Different shades of denim scattered throughout saved from multiple pairs of jeans. The center square, the shiny iridescent pink of prom. Around the edge, strips of soft fabric stamped with pastel bunnies recognized from old pictures as my baby blanket.
I carried the quilt past the crowd of boxes awaiting the moving van.
Twenty minutes later I stood in front of a door clutching the bundle tightly. I turned the handle with shaking hands.
She sat in front of the widow. Late afternoon sun highlighted the yellowed gray of her uncombed hair.
As I approached her chair, she turned. Pale blue eyes met mine with confusion, then settled on the riot of color in my arms.
She gently touched the fabric, her hands smaller than I remembered. Her eyes focused as they returned to my face. A smile began to bloom as she stroked my cheek with the same tenderness she had afforded the quilt.
I wished I had come back sooner.
This is very exciting, as the story can go in one of two different ways from here on out.
I hope you loved both stories as much as I did. Renee and Stephanie have made my week by submitting to the contest, and I really look forward to seeing where this story goes next! Also, it just occurred to me that we’ll need to come up with a title for the finished story (when the time comes) so I might be putting out a call for ideas in the next couple of weeks.
Voting will be open until Saturday at 11:59PM EST. Be sure to share the voting post and show these authors some love!
As always, think happy thoughts!
Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on photoree.com