Thursday, July 09, 2009

Entry #18

Epitaph
by Therese


“You know, I never loved you.”

Wine sloshes over the rim of her crystal glass. The pattern it makes on her crisp white trousers reminds me of ink blots. I’ve been in that kind of doctor’s office. I always see a dead pigeon.

She says it casually, like it is a considerate piece of information to convey. I’ll be there at five. Careful, that’s hot. You know, I never loved you.

“I wanted to,” she assures me, wide eyes sincere. She takes another long drink of cabernet. “I just never really did.”

She needs a truth serum no more powerful than the wine. Wine and a carbine pointed at her stomach.

I remind myself that I wanted to know the truth. But elimination of doubt has turned everything red.

“I suppose that’s why you’ll kill me.”

She nods, agreeing with herself, keeping eye contact despite the weapon pointed at her person. I wonder whether or not she realizes that no one will save her. Disdain and arrogance are reflected in the curve of her mouth. Her raised eyebrow holds pride and approval.

“You should know this: I never loved anyone.”

My thoughtful expression does not change as I erase her. She makes no sound as she is blasted, and the metallic aftertaste of blood joins the sweet scent of wine.

When the shot rings throughout the room, I realize that I could hardly have given my mother a more appropriate epitaph than the one she had given herself.

29 comments:

laughingwolf said...

oooooo this needs a backstory, but so well done, therese

Laurel said...

Fantastic.

Karen said...

Very, very cool! I didn't see HER coming!

wrath999 said...

Wow, nice surprise ending. Nicely done.

alex

JR's Thumbprints said...

The sense of taste & smell is all too often neglected, but not here: "...metallic aftertaste of blood joins the sweet scent of wine." That says it all!!!

Aerin said...

Whoa.

Tessa said...

A spine chilling tale, masterfully told. Superb.

Catvibe said...

So this guy had an unhappy childhood then? Nicely written, nice details.

Chris Eldin said...

WOW! Didn't see that ending coming! Very nice!

aniket said...

Superb. Great story.
Louvhed the ending.

It was gripping right from the start and right when we thought we know it all what's going to happen, wham! :D

Description and dialogue were very nicely balanced.

Perfect!

Ello said...

Wow! Another brilliant entry! I loved the line of how she said it just like if she was listing other mundane things. Thought that was brilliant! And the twist at the end. Excellent!

Therese said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. I appreciate the feedback very much.

I wonder whether anyone has considered that the dialogue may not necessarily all spoken by one person. I go back and forth on it, myself.

Hadley said...

Therese...I didn't see that one coming! Great story...I love the ink spot visual! Nice work.

The Preacherman said...

Absolutely supurb - even better if it had been me and my mother!!!

Great stuff!!

Four Dinners

Sarah Laurenson said...

I did wonder who said
“I suppose that’s why you’ll kill me.”


But wow. I'm not usually surprised anymore. I've read so much, seen too much TV, whatever, that I can usually see what's coming. So did not see this.

Excellent job!

Sarah Laurenson said...

And this line too:
“You should know this: I never loved anyone.”


That could go either way. There's so much here.

BernardL said...

Darkly foreboding with excellent follow-through.

pjd said...

LIke Sarah, I was unsure at first who said, "I suppose that's why you'll kill me." But only one person could have said it, having the carbine pointed at her gut. It took me a couple of times through to make sure I understood exactly who was doing and saying what.

I like the ink blots, dead pigeons, and careful that's hot. At the end, I don't really care much about either one of them. She's no big loss, particularly having raised a (son|daughter) that would blow her away like that. And the MC has none of my sympathy... who blows away his own mother just because she drank wine and didn't really care about anyone else?

The language is good, and some of the imagery is priceless. I do like the title and the way it's repeated in the final sentence, the period at the end of her otherwise pointless life...

Therese said...

Wow, it's nice to have this kind of feedback.

@ Four Dinners - Oh dear, I don't know what to say about that. Except maybe... yikes?

@ Sarah - Thanks! I don't know who said "You should know this: I never loved anyone." I think I prefer it that way.

@ BernardL - Thank you.

@ PJD - I agree that neither one is a particularly sympathy-worthy character. I assume the son/daughter has his/her reasons, to do with more than wine and love. But then again, maybe not.

Thanks for the constructive critique.

Gughan said...

The mother seems so enigmatic. Yet composed. She seems to have left so much unsaid. Death must have been a relief to her.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Yikes! Great story, I love the closing sentence.

illyria taylor said...

dear gods, is everybody's mother the same? This was a hard one to read, but it helped me understand my life in a better way. Thankyou

quin browne said...

my mother looked me in the eye, and said..."i'd love to say i like you, but, i never really did. not since the beginning"


yeah.


so, good story. would i do the same? nah, she's not worth the price.

Therese said...

@Guhan - I agree that she seems composed. She strikes me as a cold woman who just sort of accepts that this may have been a long time coming.

@Jade - Thank you. :)

@Illyrah - You're welcome? I think. Your comment made me sad.

@Quin - I... Well. That's got to be hard to deal with, however you decide to react to that kind of thing.

Heavy topic, unloving mothers...

desiderata said...

my UNimaginative mind would setle for a STEPmurder:( Surprised ending, entertaining:) YL

JaneyV said...

Therese I think that your monstrous mother is a fab character. So incredibly arrogant that she coolly goes to her own death unapologetic for her heartlessness.

I liked the impact of this piece very much.

J.C. Montgomery said...

I echo Janey's sentiment. Her complete acceptance of who and what she is - wow.

Terri said...

That last line is a bit like a punch in the gut.
You've put an awful lot into these 250 words that goes way beyond this short scene.

jason evans said...

Very stoic in the face of death. I believe her. That person couldn't love. High marks overall.

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