This month has been a doozy so far! Hopefully it’s been going more smoothly for you guys. How are your NaNoWriMo projects going?? I’m proud to report I went from being a day behind multiple times to being a day ahead! I kind of want to take it easy today, but who am I kidding? I’ll probably write ’til my fingers bleed.
Thanks to the craziness of the month, I had to push back week 5 of #TuesFlashFicTrain. Now that we’re back on track (haha, puns) it’s voting time! Since this is week 5, we have the endings to the lovely story we’ve been watching unfold. Just as all the previous entries, these pieces are full of emotion, beauty, and the deep sorrow of loss and opportunities come and gone. I’m sure they will tug at your heartstrings as they tugged on mine. Be sure to check out parts one, two, three, and four to get the story in its entirety before choosing the ending!
Stephanie Ayers – @theauthorSAM
My fingers fumbled nervously as I tore at the stitches. My curiosity grew larger every second. Just as I burst, the last stitch broke, and the seam spilled open. My eyes closed as my fear trembled hand reached inside, and touched something cool and metallic. I opened one eye as I pulled the item out. A shiny silver key sat there on my palm. Long and thin with a wide top, it was an antique key that would open an old lock. My mind shifted through the various rooms of the house. I knew I overlooked something. I wandered through the house slowly, until a small silver chest tarnished with age atop my mother’s dresser caught my eye. The lid refused to open until I stuck the key in the lock and turned it. A stubborn click released the top, which flipped open spontaneously. The wind blew cold breath on the back of my neck, pushing me forward just enough to peek in the box. It contained papers, neatly folded and yellowed by time.
I sat on the bed, and chewed my bottom lip. The wind ruffled the papers in the chest before planting a kiss on my cheek. Heat chased the wind out, and I sat there, too stunned to move. The house had been sealed shut, and I had not opened a single window. Where did this wind come from? Icy fingers crawled up my arms, and I rose. A push of frigid air brought me to the chest again. I stared at the papers, not yet ready to cure my wonder. The wind pushed again, insistent. I reached out, then balled my quivering fingers into a fist and shook it.
Dust bunnies scattered as I lifted the paper from the chest. As I opened it and read, memories rushed over me. The old woman returned, my face intimate with the palm of her hand. My cheek stung as though I had been slapped, yet no one was there. I lowered the papers, taking it all in when a news clipping fluttered to the floor.
“Couple saves child from house fire.”
My mother and father stood in the headline photo, a small girl between them.
“Octavia Wylde accused of arson and child endangerment.”
My eyes focused on the papers again, taking in my name and the two names beneath it. My final gift of love from the parents I never thought loved me, my adoption papers. My entire life history contained in one small box.
I had been gone too long.
Renee L.Tennis-McKinley – @
With the echo of those hateful words still reverberating in my mind I tried to focus on the stitches. I hesitated before trying remove them. Did I truly want to know what was hidden inside? I tried to remember seeing the teddy since that terrible night.
I couldn’t remember. If fact I remembered nothing of that night after the crashing of the tree.
Steeling myself against one more disappointment, I picked at the stitches. As I focused on the task at hand, any further memories were held at bay. It was a welcome relief.
Finally pulling the last stitch free, I timidly probed the old fiber fill. My finger grasped a small plastic bottle and pulled it out. It was an old medicine bottle. Whatever label it had once sported had been removed. Snapping the lid off, I removed a tightly rolled paper. Notebook paper, folded twice over and then carefully wound to fit inside its small container.
I sat on the dusty floor, the teddy still in my lap. It was with trembling fingers I opened the sheet, flattening it on a space I’d cleared of dust. I recognized my mother’s neat script.
You’ve been gone for over a year now. I tried to clean up your room but had to stop. I found your teddy bear in the back of your closet. I always wondered what happened to it, but I didn’t ask because of that night.
I wanted so much to take you into my arms then, but it wasn’t my place. You weren’t my child yet.
We had to walk away, your father and me. We did everything we could to hurry the paperwork and push the agency to expedite the adoption. How I wish we’d just swept you up and taken you that night.
When the legal machinations were finally done, you came to us a frightened, mistrustful child. Your father forever held himself responsible for not be able to bring you from that awful place earlier.
I’m so glad you keep writing to him. It means more that you can know.
Maybe we should have tried harder. We thought all you needed was time and space to learn we loved you with all our hearts. When we realized our error, it was too late. We couldn’t find our way around the walls you built.
I’m writing this knowing I will never mail it to you. I guess it’s just for myself. But if by chance one you find this…
We are proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished.
I love you, so much. Your father loves you so much.
Tears spilled freely to the floor. My mother would never know how much this meant. This gift of the knowledge of their love.
I wish I had come back sooner.
What did I tell you? These writers love to tug on my emotions! As always, thank you to all participants for taking time out of their busy schedules to give us such wonderful pieces. Can’t begin to express how much I enjoy reading these 🙂
Voting will be open until Sunday at 8:00AM EST(pushing everything due to my slacking this week). Be sure to share the voting post and show these authors some love!
Reminder: If you have title suggestions, please drop them in the comments. Another poll will be going up tomorrow to determine the title!
As always, think happy thoughts!
Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on photoree.com