Saturday, February 27, 2010

All our tomorrows are gone

"The kids--," she said.

He nodded, knowing what she was asking. "The kids will be OK." He paused briefly. "In time, they will."

She squeezed his hand, hers so pale, his darkened by years of sun and wind. "I know," she said, "I know they will. But it will be hard."

"It's hard for them now. Jamie's trouble with his job--"

"And Sally with another baby on the way," she finished for him. "I know." She sighed as she looked out the window, the sun blood-red in the sky, the wasted trees marching in rows to the horizon.

"We had good years here," her voice soft now.

He placed her other hand atop hers and nodded again. "We did, but I can't keep it any longer. Everything's lost."

She turned to him. "No, no. I didn't mean anything. You've done all you could. You've done everything." She squeezed his hand more tightly. "We were happy here. I was happy here."

He bowed his head, his eyes closed.

They sat in silence a little while, then he raised his head and looked at her.

"We were happy. This place holds good memories." He cleared his throat. "But, if we can't keep it, we can't keep it. That's all there is to it."

She met his gaze. "That's all there is to it," she said. "We always told them we wouldn't be a burden. I'll not go back on that now. No matter what."

"No matter what," he said. The corners of his mouth lifted slightly. "Yes, we had good years here. That's worth remembering. Whatever about today, our yesterdays were happy."

She smiled back, her eyes bright. "I'm still happy. Even today."

He moved his hand to take hold of the shotgun's stock.

"Promise me," she said. "Promise me you'll be with me."

He placed the cold metal gently against her body.

"I'll be right behind you," he said.

11 comments:

  1. Blood-red sunset really set this piece up strongly for the ending. Loved the visual of the trees marching toward the horizon - again great foreshadowing of the ending.

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  2. Well that was a bit heavy for a Saturday morning, Kevin!
    Great tension and sadness here - and love.

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  3. And here I am HOPING they're selling their vacation home... sigh. So sad. Very effective foreshadowing. Peace, Linda

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  4. Such a tragic reality for more and more as time goes on, I'm afraid. Beautifully written.

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  5. What a sad and evocative story. Like Laura said, too true for some people. Nicely done.

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  6. After reading the end, the second paragraph comes to mind with acute pangs; reader truly knows what the kids will have to get over.

    Beautiful flash writing.

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  7. I agree that the line about the blood-red sunset set the stage for this story. The dialogue was authentic and could have easily been a couple talking about retiring the family farm. The twist was surprising but a natural progression of the story given the foreshadowing at the beginning. Excellent piece.

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  8. Well, I didn't see that coming. Agreed - thought it was about getting rid of the family home. I doubt the kids will appreciate this "selfless" act though.

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  9. Hi Folks, thank you all for reading and commenting. I'm glad this hit home and that the twist at the end was organic when the whole piece is considered.

    I appreciate your kind words.

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  10. Oh, how sad.
    I'm not sure the kids will get over it.
    I sort of thought they were aliens returning to their planet... but, oh. Very sad.
    As their author, I think you should tell them, "NO, NO! STEP AWAY FROM THE GUN!"

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  11. I expected something sad like this, something along the lines of a suicide pact. That being said, even though I found it predictable I enjoyed the writing and found the dialogue both enjoyable and realistic.

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