Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Entry #26

Things We Cannot Say
by Beth


Hold the trash bag, pick up the garbage, and put it inside. Bleach and hot water in the bucket, scrub, and wipe with a rag. Bleach will wash away anything. The kids have to see the way it could be, but not this.

How would I answer when they asked where we now lived? “The Indian Village, a mobile home community.” A trailer park. No, I couldn’t say it. It’s not true if I never say it out loud.

*******

I thought about crashing my car into a tree yesterday. I didn’t think about the kids or my wife … just me. My boss said I was the best manager he’d ever had, and then fired me a week later.

I can’t do this anymore. I’ve been paying the bills since I was eighteen years old. I’m almost 40 and I’m scared. I yell at my wife and ignore the kids. How can I tell them? They lost everything because of me.

*******

Dear God, my brother cried last night in his room. We miss our old house and our friends. We don’t want to go to this new school. We’re scared everyone will pick on us for being poor. We know Mom is sad, so we can’t ask her to take us back home. I want to be back in my garden room with the picket fence border I helped her paint. PS, please make daddy talk to us again.

24 comments:

Scott said...

I just love this! It really speaks to me, me being a product of this kind of upbringing. I relate to the children who just need their daddy, and now, being older, and having had several conversations with my father about is neglect of my siblings, I get it too why a father, feeling the failure, shuts everyone out, ironically because he wants to be more than he is. And of course, the mother who tries against all odds to make a home. I think this is brilliant. You've packed a whopping punch into less words probably than this comment.

Sam said...

Very touching - and interesting veiw points, one after another. Terrific story!

Joni said...

I really like the different perspectives. I think we can identify with all of them. Nice writing.

Beth said...

Thank you so much for the comments. Special thanks to Scott for helping me submit. I felt inferior in this contest and he helped me along.

I love the critiques ... the give and the take of this.

Jaye Wells said...

Such an original way to approach this . It was sad and touching. Well done.

briliantdonkey said...

Impressive that you can get the different point of views with such a small word count. And even do so effectively. Nice job


BD

Beth said...

Thank you both. I wrote two different ones and Scott said he liked this best. I was worried it might be confusing, but I'm so glad it was not.

September said...

Very sad. The ending, with a letter to God from a young child - touching! And that ending: "Please make daddy talk to us again" -- pulls on your heartstrings.
Very nicely done.

heather said...

the amount of talent shown here makes me want to pull my entry. this is amazing. my favorite so far. ~very~ well done.

Beth said...

Thank you so much, September. I really appreciate your comment.

Heather, this is exactly how I felt this morning. I just finished telling my son I shouldn't have entered. Are we our own worst critics? Thank you so much for writing this to me and about my story.

mermaid said...

I just finished reading werewife, and I am amazed at all the different genres here. Your simplicity speaks volumes, of loneliness, of sadness, of disappointment, of human despair. I love it.

mermaid said...

PS. Don't you let anyone ever make you feel inferior. There is a place for craft in writing and a place for the straight to the heart, straight from the heart type of writing.

Beth said...

Mermaid, thank you so much. I am my own worst critic. I don't think anyone here has been anything but completely kind. I'm sure of it, actually.

Fran Piper said...

Beth, this is excellent. Three different voices, a lot said in a
few words. You have NOTHING to feel inferior about!

Terri said...

This is really good, my favourite so far, too. You've packed whole lives and three full characters in - well done!

Beth said...

Fran, thank you so much.

Terri, wow, I really am honored. Truly.

Susan Flemming said...

You've broken one of the cardinal "rules" of short fiction by not maintaining a single point of view. And you've made it work!

Now that is good writing! As others have commented, you have nothing to feel inferior about.

Trevor Record said...

This is good, because it gives us the story of an entire family - it makes the story very different then if it were just a frustrated man on the end of his rope or confused kids put it in a bad situation.

Shameless said...

Yes, I really liked this, and I gave it my second best vote.

September said...

Beth - so glad this got an honorable mention. :) Congratulations.

Beth said...

Thank you very much, Shameless!

Septetmber, thank you too. =)

Kaycie said...

This made me tear up. Your story is my favorite.

jason evans said...

Wow. That was really powerful. Each voice is distinct and the observations potent. Using the postal script for the last line was a perfect touch.

A very high scorer overall.

Congratulations on the honorable mention!!

Beth said...

Kaycie, thank you so much. I appreciate it!

Jason", thank you for your review. Much appreciated. Thanks for the HM as well. =)