Sunday, April 23, 2006

Entry #8

“Reality”
by Robin Allen


“Damned storm!”

The lights blink out after a great flash of lightning. She fumbles her way to the fireplace mantle to fetch the matches. Several old photographs are toppled by her blind hands until she at last locates the long matchbox.

She carefully feels her way to the entry hall table to light candles. Her husband will be home soon, and these should provide enough light to get him comfortably inside.

The first match is struck, the first candle lit. She is caught by her reflection in the mirror hanging above the table. The image enchants her. Her face is warm, almost dewy, in the soft glow. Her eyes, rich pools of blue, brim with depth and romance. She smooths her fine, dark hair back into place. Her lips, slightly parted, are full and inviting. She admires her beauty.

The second match is struck, the second candle lit. She studies her reflection again, numerous years have suddenly passed. Her skin is rather sallow and wrinkled with tiny spots from all those summers in the sun. Her blue eyes are faded, the color so faint to express only weariness. Her hair, pulled back, is more salt than pepper, with each gray glimmering in the candlelight. Her lips are thinned and deeply creviced, too many cigarettes. She despises her age.

She considers the two images and the stormy night.

“Who knows how long the electricity will be out?”

The second flame is quickly extinguished.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like the present tense verbs here. You've managed it without being awkward.

The dread light of 'reality' also rings true. I enjoy how "She" does not delve too deeply into despising her age, but resolves the issue with some humour.

Flood

Erik Ivan James said...

This is good example of an "I can relate" story for the reader. And that's a big of what we want our readers to do. Great job.

Bernita said...

Oh neat!
Clever twist on that restriction about never describe your character by having him/her look at themselves in a mirror!

Bhaswati said...

Clever use of the two lights. Very nice contrast. Great job :)

Jeff said...

Well done, Robin. :)

Jaye Wells said...

I liked this. I think Erik hit it on the head about being able to relate. That second image would scare the crap out of me.

sandra said...

At my age, I can perfectly understand her reactions. It's a scary thing to look in the mirror one day and see your mother staring back. Well done.

Kelly Parra said...

Robin, very nicely done! You do great at these contests. =D

Kelly from FM =)

Jim said...

Nice use of present tense and very evocative imagery.

Robin said...

You're all far too kind. After reading the other entries, I think I should go back to the corner with my crayons....

skees said...

Robin,

That was a great idea and theme for the lights. Very symbolic. Liked it al lot. Crayons? hardly. Hey if you're using crayons then I'm scratching rocks on the driveway;)

beadinggalinMS said...

Great job!

Terri said...

Love it!
It's very... real.

Lyn said...

Wow, what a surprise for the husband when he gets home - and the humor is subtle, nice touch to conclude the scene. I want to know what happens next! Agree that the use of present tense is done well. Enjoyed it. Lyndon

jason evans said...

Robin, so true!! I've often thought about how semi-darkness is a window to our dreams of beauty. Our minds don't have to compete with stark reality.

High marks for enjoyment and storytelling!

Prashanth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prashanth said...

Wonderful ability to 'show', not tell. Simple idea very well executed, with a curious, strange twist - that can be construed atleast 2 ways - a wierd black humour piece, or an engaging psychological study.