Sunday, August 27, 2006

Entry #51

The Sun Has Not Set
by Helen Parocha


Maureen picked up the parcel with shaky hands. It was that anti-ageing cream she had ordered. She stared at herself in the mirror, saw her haystack hair, her bloodshot eyes. What a joke. That the cream should arrive today, the day Geoffrey had left her.

She slapped the gunk onto her face. Oh, she had tried beauty products, whatever the magazines recommended, but each day she looked more wrung out. No wonder Geoffrey had gone.

The fan whirred above her. Midsummer night and the city was neon. She would never get used to Geoffrey’s town. As a girl she had lived on an island, so far north that the night stayed light at midsummer. The sun sank to the horizon, the sky curdling with clouds as if someone had cracked an egg across the heavens. Her oily tears trickled under her collar. She would give anything to be a child again.

She must have fallen asleep. Her head throbbed as she opened her eyes. Odd light filled the room. She stumbled to the mirror. Her hair was mousy. Her teeth had that gap between them. I’m eleven. Her legs weakened. She saw the posters on the walls, the school books on the desk. Outside, the moon rose over the sun-soaked horizon.

I’m eleven, Maureen thought, and I’m ugly. She always had been. But this was before Geoffrey. She put her hand on the books. The sun had not set on her. She could start again.

13 comments:

Joni said...

Huh. This produces a lot of questions. When this contest is all over, you should give us the rest of the story.

The premise if this leaves me hungering for more. A nice piece of writing.

robert rohloff said...

Sometimes, I wonder if we had it all to do over again. Would we change anything. Or do we have a destiny to follow. Good story. I can tell a lot of deep thoughts went into it.

nicholas abbot said...

I'm curious too...I can think of a few backstories to this one!

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

WE are beautiful, as long as someone else thinks so. Thiss story was a nice surprise.

Bofire said...

To be a child again-everyone will say this at least once in their lifetime. Good reading.

Jim said...

Nice bit of subtle foreshadowing there at the beginning. How often I've wished for second chances...

anne frasier said...

woo-hoo!! very nice, helen!

this line was particularly fantastic:

"I’m eleven, Maureen thought, and I’m ugly."

loved it!

Marcail said...

Loved this. People are never never satisfied with what they have. Loved that 'back to book' line.

klgilbert said...

"BACKWARD, TURN BACKWARD, OH TIME IN YOUR FLIGHT...MAKE ME A CHILD AGAIN JUST FOR TONIGHT!"

I thought what Robert did...would we go back? Interesting premise. Thought provoking.

Helen said...

Thank you so much for your comments, everyone. I have terrible difficulty in being concise in writing, which was why the 250-word limit was good for me. As you can tell, this idea is part of a much bigger one. I often ask myself: "Would I go back to being age eleven? What would I do differently?" When I was eleven I lived in the Shetland Islands. The photo reminded me of "Da Simmer Dim", Midsummer, when it would stay light all night.

Scott said...

How many times have I dreamed about having a second chance. Who cares about ugly. Try being young again with a world of possibilities and an adult mind to tackle them. Great concept and wonderful writing.

Bhaswati said...

The writing style makes this piece so intriguing. I definitely want to know more!

jason evans said...

A dear wish for many, I'm sure (although interestingly I have an aversion to doing the same thing twice). The description of the island was very evocative. High marks for storytelling.