Thursday, July 26, 2007

Entry #8

Reprisal
by Anti-Wife


As they danced on the branches the birds filled the air with a soothing melody. The path was covered with dead leaves and branches upon which the tiniest forest creatures dined. It created a soft carpet underfoot. Sunlight filtered through the green canopy illuminating cobwebs and providing interesting shadows. The scent of pine, earth and wildflowers combined to remind her why she always loved coming here as a child.

The woods were tranquil and quiet – a sharp contrast to her nearby home. There was no yelling and screaming here. No one belittled or demeaned her or reminded her of her failures. No one compared her to her perfect sibling or blamed her for the other’s problems.

She escaped the emotional brutality of her youth here. She loved this cool, crisp haven. It was her refuge. On rare visits home, she always came here.

Her mother’s letter surprised her. The instructions were specific. The casket should be wood – not just any wood – mahogany. The pillow should be silk. There should be two days of viewing before the funeral. Burial should be in the old cemetery in the family area. Her perfect sibling would oversee the actual services and more important details.

She noticed the small creature staring at her in the distance as she opened the cardboard box and pulled out the plastic bag. “Lunch,” she said as she scattered the ashes across the decaying tree stump.

As she walked away she thought, “Screw you.”

24 comments:

Victor J. Banis said...

Great punch line!

Victor J. Banis

SzélsőFa said...

I like the contrast and the description.

Katherine Napier said...

I am so glad my mom and I have plans to hang out today. I wonder if she'll notice the extra hugs.
My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson are coming to visit for the weekend, just to hang out with me. I wonder if they'll notice the extra hugs.
Thanks for starting my day with a deep appreciation for my family, an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and a very entertaining read.
Katherine

takoda said...

OOOO, "Jacob Have I Loved" -ish! Loved it!

Jaye Wells said...

Ah mothers and daughters. Such a complex relationship. You captured it well.

Bernita said...

Loved the ending.

astairesteps said...

Good stuff. Could feel the daughter's anger without you telling us she was angry. Could almost hear the yelling from the house. The ending was perfect, something this character would no doubt do. And the story was crisp and clear.

onipar said...

Wow. Very powerful.

I was going to say how this stood out among all the darker stories, and then, POW!

Very nice.

The Anti-Wife said...

Thank you for commenting everyone. I really do appreciate it.

kathie said...

Love it, Anti-Wife! Fantastic surprise ending after luring us into such peacefulness...

wrath999 said...

Nice twist in the end

Also don't we all have a place to go that's all or own

Jeff said...

I agree with others about the ending. It caught me by surprise. Good job.

Amin said...

That was a nice twist at the end. And I love the simplicity of the last line.

Very well written.

angel said...

oh that is brilliant- revenge is sooooo sweet!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Great stuff! Good juxtapositioning and voice. Really nicely done, loved the ending - smart twist.

JLB said...

Excellent - well composed.

jenn said...

Nice!

tea and cake said...

The last line was a fantastic twist.

Thérèse said...

I loved this.

I like the inherent contrast and contradiction in her acts, it's wonderful.

She hates her mother, or rather, wants to hate her and thwart her even when it comes to her last request/order, and yet she chooses to scatter the ashes in her secret, safe haven.

It's almost like she's saying: "Screw you. I love you, but screw you."

chanpheng said...

Seems like a revenge story, but she leaves the ashes at her favorite place - shows the conflicting emotions.

briliantdonkey said...

Definitely among my favorites. GREAT job with this one. Love the sibling rivalry, and revenge aspects of it. Nice Job!

BD

jason evans said...

I really liked that twist! She's got some real spunk. Last three paragraphs were great.

wordtryst said...

This is really good writing, and I love the twist at the end. She conveys an awful lot with very few words.

The Anti-Wife said...

Again, thank you to everyone who read and everyone who commented. I truly appreciate the feedback and look forward to trying my luck in the next contest.