Friday, August 25, 2006

Entry #27

Helena
by Roberta Nolte


She sat under the sugar maple smoking a cigarette and counting headlights. Her denim jacket wrapped around her stiffly. The shiner on her right eye was nasty purple and black.

Ol’ moon looked down at her through the clouds. She wondered if he took pity on her “situation” or was he smiling at her. She was sure it wasn’t for encouragement.

“That son of a bitch will never hit me again.”

She dragged deeply on the Camel and watched as a car pulled to the shoulder and stopped. The lights blinded her for a bit, but she shook back that blonde shag from her eyes and tossed the butt away. The passenger side of the car opened, so she grabbed her suitcase and went to the car.

There is a mound by the sugar maple. Some notice it, some don’t. It’s not really something one would notice, like a black eye or a ripped jacket. It just appeared one morning and it’s nothing someone would notice in rush hour traffic.

No one has placed a missing persons report for Helena.

The tree knows the secrets. Its leaves dip as if in mourning.

On cloudy nights, the Ol’ Moon drops its smile and weeps through the clouds.

20 comments:

anna said...

Just found this! Some wonderful images Roberta. It left me with a sick feeling. Battered women just got no luck at all.

anne frasier said...

roberta, you really captured a mood of sad futility.

very nice.


i liked this line:
"The tree knows the secrets. Its leaves dip as if in mourning."

k. lawson gilbert said...

This left me with a sad and melancholy feeling. Lots of great imagery....good craftmanship in the writing.

Joni said...

This is really great. Meloncholy. I think you captured the emotion of it perfectly

Shadowrite said...

Deeply sad and told in such a brusque, matter-of-fact way that it makes the situation that much more hard to stomach. Excellent characterization. Wonderful writing.

Jim said...

Oh, very nice. I liked this one. Take the obvious and just keep twisting it a little. Well played...

Jer said...

So sad, but so well written. Jer

Robert Ball said...

I'm left with a sense of emptiness. Nice piece.

robert rohloff said...

Sad, but yet so real.

RichMcD said...

Always loved your writing, Ro. Sad thing is it's all too real.

Rich

Marcail said...

Love the resolution of this piece. The quiet exhaustion of the end.

Roberta said...

I wish I could thank each of you personally for responding, but I haven't figured out this daggone program yet.

Thank you so much!

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

The last sentence was Very good writing. A sad, but true story.

Bhaswati said...

So much said in so few words. The piece is short but heavy in terms of the pathos it conveys. Nice.

Flood said...

It’s not really something one would notice, like a black eye or a ripped jacket.

Wonderful.

Nicholas Abbot said...

I like the fact that you chose for the tree to be a sugar maple. Great juxtaposition of sweet and awful.

The Wandering Author said...

This was a great, if incredibly sad, story. I liked the mound that no one would notice, and the fact that only the tree and the moon showed any sadness.

Annie said...

I felt a sense of heaviness reading this piece that I hope I can dispel. This is the hallmark of good writing. Good Job!

Bernita said...

Well done!

jason evans said...

I really saw the scene of her sitting there when the car pulled up. Very well described.