Thursday, April 19, 2007

Entry #3

Without Rose
by Maht Wells (or The Moon Topples)


The front door let out a creak and Tim nearly bolted, letting the exhilaration of coming close be enough. This was his dare, though, and he intended to prove himself. He felt his brother’s eyes on his back as he crossed the threshold.

They’d lain in the bushes and watched the old man push through the crooked screen door and pick his way to the truck. Tim had never heard the old man speak, had only seen him moving from house to truck and back again, and once in a great while sitting out front in an ancient metal deck chair.

He shut the door behind him and stood still as his eyes adjusted to the darkness inside. As the green wash faded, he was able to make out a pile of magazines stacked next to an easy chair, and an enormous, overflowing ashtray on the coffee table.

It was when he reached the kitchen that he thought about Rose, once the old man’s wife. Even Tim could feel her absence as he stared at the piling sink, the fallen curtain, the decay. This was his first real image of death, the effects of it and what life could become to those left behind. He would carry this kitchen with him.

“Tim!” His brother’s voice, from outside, probably halfway home already. The old man had returned.

Tim stood still for another moment, weighing his options before he turned on the water, squeezing soap from the bottle onto the dishes.

19 comments:

Bernita said...

Now that's a NICE twist!

strugglingwriter said...

Nice work Maht. I like how the tension seems to build throughout the story.

Jaye Wells said...

"This was his first real image of death, the effects of it and what life could become to those left behind."

I really liked this line. Nice twist at the end.

kcterrilynn said...

Liked the twist at the end. We had an old widower living in our neighborhood when I was a kid...I never thought of how his life must have changed until my dad died and I saw the differences in my mom. This was great.

liz fenwick said...

The tension was brilliant but its the twist at the end that gets you.

Sam said...

I adore this - lovely writing, and good ending. You've said so much with just a little.

Minx said...

Clever in its simplicity - nicely done, Maht.

Susan Abraham said...

Unexpected & stirring, Maht! :-)

kgilbert said...

Hurray for humanity! Well, written piece. I like how the images go from death, to decay, to all that life is meant to be.

Joni said...

The ending was a jewel placed in a well crafted setting. Very nice. I was touched.

Verilion said...

Great writing Maht and I really liked the end. It's very hopeful. You've created a real atmosphere in so little words.

Jude said...

Nicely done.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What an elegant ending! I got the feeling that not only did Tim experience his first image of death, but he became the man he was meant to be in the moment he began to clean the old man's home.

Good job, Maht.

Shameless said...

Maht, this was great, and the ending was so unexpected. It's only now, however, after already sending off my entry, that I see you have a character named Tim. Well, So do I ... and it's too late! Bloody hell. Oh well. We must be connecting on some mysterious level. This seems to happen to me! :)

Scott said...

Excellent piece. And I wonder too what will happen when the old man comes in and finds a stranger in his house, even if that stranger is doing him a favor. I really think you should expand this and make this into something longer, continuing from where this leaves off.

Beth said...

I too enjoyed the twist. A death theme are running through this one and I love all the different takes on it.

Shell said...

totally fascinating! i love that the options are still open for what happens next ... there's a zoom-in thing going on here that is so subtly done, the shift of light from whatever the boys were up to into the privacy and maybe sorrow of another's life; whatever the boys might have thought they would take, Tim's been given something else entirely ... lovely writing!

briliantdonkey said...

I like the way a dare turns into a good deed. One that could get his ass kicked but a good deed anyways.
SUPER job.

BD

jason evans said...

Unexpected end. Your descriptions are well chosen.