Friday, September 29, 2006

Jacqueline Louise Wright

Sam Wright of Landscape of Imagination has started a very special new blog. His sister, Jacqueline, died shortly after birth. Jacquie's Journal is an attempt to give her a chance to live some of the life she missed.

Sam has invited writers to create experiences for her. If you would like to contribute, please be sure to check the submission guidelines on his site. This story is my gift to her.

Be well tonight, Jacquie.
--Your friend, Jason


Jacquie watched her husband wiggle his key into the lock. The front door opened to a silent house. At the threshold, she listened to the tallcase clock tick in the darkness until his fingers found the light.

Her husband swept in, a clumsy flurry of hands emptying pockets and wrestling out of his tuxedo. Jacquie still lingered in the foyer as he gulped a glass of water in the kitchen, then thumped up the stairs. She twisted the deadbolt, and it snapped, metal on metal.

The clock boomed a single note. One in the morning. She couldn't face the dark ceiling in the bedroom. Not yet. She set her purse on the hall table and followed her husband's trail into the kitchen.

God, her eyes burned. She eased into a chair. The pearls on her dress scratched against her neck all evening. The skin was raw, and her ribs ached from the long squeeze. She opened the buttons and drew the longest breath she could ever remember taking.

Then, the phone rang.

She jumped and snatched it before her husband waddled from the bathroom and answered it with a toothbrush in his mouth.



Her daughter, Emily.

"Is everything alright? Is something wrong?"

"No, no, everything's fine. Are you still awake?"

"Yes," Jacquie said.

But Emily didn't say any more. Jacquie tried to interpret the silence.

"Are you at the airport? Your plane is leaving soon."

"It's delayed a little while. I sent Dan to go look for some magazines. I found a quiet corner for myself."


"It's okay. The delay won't be long," Emily said.

More silence.

Jacquie tried to think of things she should say.

"The ceremony was so beautiful, honey. I just know you two will be happy. And this honeymoon is going to be amazing. You're going to have a wonderful time."

"Thanks." Almost a whisper.

"Honey? Are you sure you're okay?"

"I just--"

Jacquie heard the quiver.

"...wanted to talk," Emily said.

Jacquie smiled and closed her eyes to keep the tears inside. "Honey, you can always talk. Whenever you want. You can talk forever."

She listened to Emily's voice, but the words were not important. She listened and the minutes passed while the sleepy world crawled on without them.


Susan Abraham said...

Hello Jason,

How beautiful this journal entry. Romantic, steadfast, thoughtful and even slightly mysterious.
A little bit of The Waltons mixed with a spoonful of salt and sugar.
I could have been watching a film.
The characters thoughts run through the reel, creating vivid framed pictures.
Plus, you have an excellent control of the 'mood form.'

Sam said...

Wonderful, Jason! I didn't know where it was going and was pleasently urprised!

Thanks for your support, it's very much appreciated!

anne said...

We never know where you're taking us, I really love that.

Scott said...

Sensitive, authentic and feminine. Very nice Jason.

Jaye Wells said...

Damn you! You made me tear up. Excellent.

Bev said...

you've done a great job here with the female voice...and perhaps given me some insite into a phone call I might daughter has just told us that she will be getting married next summer....

thanks Jason!

normiekins said...

what a beautiful sentiment for Jacqui.....

Jason, how you picked a poignant time in life for her....!!!

Atyllah said...

Beautiful story, Jason. Wow you captured the moment perfectly - a wonderful testament to Jacquie's life as lived through your storytelling ability.

Anonymous said...

Susan, thanks so much for the feedback and kind words. :) Mood is an essential part of my writing. I try to walk a careful line between scene description and action and make each equally vivid.

Sam, it was honor. Thank you. I wanted to explore the mix of sadness with the powerful reaffirmation of her bond with her daughter.

Anne, a high compliment. Thank you!

Scott, thanks, my friend. :)

Jaye, and I don't apologize for it! So there. :)

Bev, congratulations on the news! I have two very young daughters, and I suppose I am revealing my own wish for the future.

Normiekins, thank you. :) I forever drawn to melancholy emotion and bitter sweetness. It's such a complex and powerful feeling. I think I captured what I wanted here.

Anonymous said...

Atyllah, thanks so much! Sam is achieving his goal, I think. Jacquie's life seems very real to me now.

Kelly Parra said...

This is so wonderful! And such a great short, Jason!

anna said...

I have left a comment to this over at Sam's blog.
This post was well worth a 2nd read. Jacquie has grown up sensitive and caring and somebody I think we'd all like to know.
good stuff Jason!

Roberta said...

I first read this on Jacquie's journal. Your sensitivity and understanding about the connection between a mother and her daughter was so on the mark!

Nicely Done!!

Susan Abraham said...

Hi Jason,

I couldn't resist linking your page on my blogroll. Hope that's ok.


Terri said...

Yes you captured the moment beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Kelly, I was intrigued from the moment I heard about it.

Anna, yes, she raised a very fine daughter. Keeping a true connection to an adult child is the greatest challenge, I think.

Roberta, thank you! I'm very pleased that my portrayal rings true.

Susan, I love links!! Thanks. :) I've linked to you also.

Terri, thanks, my friend. :) Has autumn come to Ireland yet?

Susan Flemming said...

Jason, I love your story. A woman's relationships with her adult daughters can be the most rewarding of her life. I value my daughters' friendships.

And I remember calling my Mom from the hotel room the night after Dave and I got married. I told myself it was to let my parents know that we had arrived safely, but part of it was also to touch base... the need to know that even though I was a married woman now, she was still my Mom.

This is such a great project that Sam has started. Not only to honour his sister but I think he is touching others as well. I know I was so touched that I wrote a story for Jacquie too.

Sam said...

Thank you for spreading the word!

Melly said...

Very. Very moving Jason.
You captured a moment that probably most mothers to daughters go through.

Very unique and sensitive. Well done.
Quite amazing actually.

Thanks :)

mermaid said...

'She listened to Emily's voice, but the words were not important. She listened and the minutes passed while the sleepy world crawled on without them.'

I can feel the two women's voices, and their breaths, and their heartbeats trapped in time, in a telephone, in marriage, on paper here.

It measn a lot that you, as a male, are able to catch the subtle nuances of women, their roles, and especially the bond between mother and daughter.

Maybe this was never your intention, but the reader gets to decide, right?

I'm always sobered by your attention to details of the world and the wide array of emotions and connect/disconnections between humans in their relationships.

Anonymous said...

Susan, thank you for sharing your own story with me. This scene was completely my own creation, so it's very gratifying to hear that the emotions in it are very real. ** I enjoyed your addition to Jacquie's life! Thank you!

Sam, my pleasure. :)

Melly, such kind words and compliments. Thank you!

Mermaid, you've sensed my intention precisely. There is so much power and drama in human feelings and interractions. Writing for this blog during the past year has taught me that compelling stories don't always need fantastic plots, murders, and explosions.

Also, I take your comment about my intuition as a great compliment. Observation, listening, and intuition are part of my nature. Knowing your sensitivity, I'm not suprised you perceive it.

robert rohloff said...

Beautiful story.