Friday, June 7, 2013

Short Story Challenge

This post is a little different for me.  

At the suggestion of my friend Boo, I am attempting Stampington's short story challenge, which you can read about HERE.  The basic idea is to pick one of two photos and write a short story (500 words or less) based on that image.  

Here is the photo I chose, followed by my story:

Photography by Andrea C. Jenkins featured in Life Images 2008

There’s not much time left now.  I don’t know how I can be so sure, but I know.  I feel it in my bones and in my breath.  In my long life, I've learned there are so many things in this world, magic things, that have no explanation. 

There’s not much time left now.  I try to pay attention to everything I can, because magic lies in the details.  I feel the cool sheets on my withered skin.  I see the light shining through the window casting shadows on the dust.  I hear little Faye as she tells me that a boy at school said girls should play with dolls, not cars, but she likes her car and she doesn't care what that dumb boy thinks.  And she goes on and on about her day, because time is not so precious to a child.  And I try to pay attention to it all, but I’m tired and my mind drifts.

Time never stops ticking, but memories are magic and for them time does not exist.  They never grow old.  Only our minds are not strong enough, and in our weakness the memories fade a little.  I think about Charlie, the way I have for the past fifty years.  The features of his face may be hazy, but I recall that there was love in his eyes.  I forget the voice that spoke the words, but the things he said have stayed in my heart.   And he was young, so young.  And he was gone so quickly.  There he was in his grey suit in the casket, and I laid red roses on his grave, and that’s why I've hated roses all this time.  And looking back, I know there weren't too many days that passed where I didn't think of him and I never stopped wishing he could see the things I've seen. 

And now I’m thinking that perhaps Faye, when she grows older, will think of me the same way I've thought of Charlie, wishing I were with her to share in the sweetness of this old world. 

I don’t know what happens when a person dies.  But I do know I've seen magic in this life.  I've loved and I've been loved.  I've seen children born from that love, generations, all the way to my great-granddaughter, Faye, who’s standing next to me telling me all the things that are important to a child.  I want to give her good advice, but she’s so young.  She wouldn't understand.  And besides, we must all make our own way.  So I tell her I love her instead.  And she says she loves me too and she will see me tomorrow as she walks with her mother out of the room.

But there’s not much time left now.  Tomorrow I will be only a memory to her.  Tomorrow I must look for magic in a different place.


  1. Oh - my - goodness me!! This is a most wonderful story that touches the heart and the imaginaion. I was visualising the whole time you were speaking to me as if I had my eyes shut and your words gave me the sight to see what you were saying. Congratulations! To me, you are a writer as well as an artist. An Artistic Writer for sure. :0) Mo x

    1. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed writing it! Before I started doing art, I really enjoyed writing, especially poetry (I still like to, but I don't do it nearly as often as I used to).

      I used to keep a blog for my poetry:

      I think some of them are good and some of them are not, but I enjoyed writing them either way! :)

      Thanks again for your kind words! <3

  2. Wonderful story, Sweet. It's packed with emotion. I could feel it as I read each word.

    1. Thanks Boo! I really appreciate you letting me know about the challenge; I enjoyed it very much!

  3. Wow!! This is terrific!! I had tears in my eyes reading it, thinking about how fragile life is & how important it is to live in the moment. Thankyou for sharing this beautifully written story. You are very talented!
    (Glad to hear you enjoyed the Ira Glass piece too! )

    1. Thanks so much for the compliment! I'm sorry I made you cry though! I like that thought about it being important to live in the moment. I really do think that there are special things to be seen in the small details that make up our lives, but all of us, myself included for sure, get so caught up in everything else that we miss the little interesting bits all around us! It reminds me of that quote (I'm paraphasing): 'I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that I've only lived the length of it; I desire to live the depth and the breadth as well.'

  4. Oh my, that is such a touching story. Very well written... amazing! Beautiful.
    Keep writing, that's all I can say.
    Kindly, Jana

    1. Thanks Jana! I like to write, and it makes me happy when someone likes what I've wrote! I'm glad Boo told me about this challenge; I really enjoyed doing it! :)


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