Friday, July 9, 2010

Auld Lang Sign

Jason Evans' Clarity of Night contest is now ON! The first five entries are up. The contest has gotten so big that this time around his scoring system for the Forties Club is being applied to the posts. The best possible score is 45 and entries that score 40 or higher get posted. You have all week to enter if you like. 250 words or less, inspired by the photo ""Uncovered." This summer's theme is in honor of The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish- great read if you've not already gotten your hands on it.
Sadly, this seems to be the first time I've not made the Forties Club but I'm posting my entry here:
Auld Lang Sign

"Tell her I love her, Frank. Happy New Year."

John studied his dead wife's brother. Thirteen years since they lost her. Twelve since John married Susan, hoping to give two little girls a stand-in for their mother. Six since Susan sealed his fate with another daughter.

John turned from the casket to see Susan tap her watch. He shuffled to the second pew, the nearly family section.

"We need to get going. The party starts in two hours and I've got to make the cheese tray."
Susan slithered out of the pew before John could sit. She slowed her exodus only to eye the tired satin and greenery on the sanctuary door. It wilted like last night’s cocktail dress on a hungover celebrant.

“When I came along we had Christmas down by New Year’s Eve.”

Like most of her commentary, it required no response from John.


John surveyed the hall closet.

“Why do you keep all those coats? You only ever wear the one.”

Any space that was his pissed her off. John retaliated with an ancient coat from the back. He jammed fists into pockets while Susan stalked down the hall.

Frayed card stock nestled against his hand.

12/31/73, Louisville to Boston. The boarding pass he unearthed was from his real wife’s first cancer surgery.

John marveled at the faded treasure her hands once held, turning it over. Quenching sweet pain bloomed fresh at the sight of her loopy handwriting on the back.

It said, “I love you, too.”