Mother Dearest

I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended. My mother taught me love could be turned on and off. As a teenager, I could only go steady with a boy for six weeks. She kept track on her calendar. I hated her every time I fell in love. But then, after about five weeks, I’d tire of the boy and happily blame the break-up on my mother.

When she died, so did my excuse. So I became a recluse. Until I met John. He surprised me with his persistence. We met in coffee shops at first. Then his place. I was a good girl and told him no sex until I got a ring. I marked that special day on my calendar. Now I’m in widow’s weeds with a blood encrusted knife holding this year’s calendar on the wall.

 

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Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today is Prosery Monday.

Merril is hosting and asks us to use, word for word, the line “I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended” in a piece of flash fiction that is exactly 144 words or less, sans title. The line is from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, I wanted to be surprised. 

44 thoughts on “Mother Dearest

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 16, 2020 / 3:12 pm

    Ouch… it seems like there is a curse following her… (or maybe following John)

    Wouldn’t a “Dear, John” been enough

    Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:46 am

      Yup…. a letter would have been better but somehow my mind was on the darker side for this one.

      Like

  2. Glenn A. Buttkus March 16, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    Let’s assume old John deserved it. He cheated on her constantly, would get drunk and beat her up, and then he sexually molested his own 12 year old daughter. I would have held him down while she cut his throat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:46 am

      HAH! A response that goes even deeper into the darker side that I did with the writing!

      Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:47 am

      Well…in the early years, let’s just hope they went on with their lives and found other sources of youthful love! 😉

      Like

  3. kim881 March 16, 2020 / 4:19 pm

    I love the tone of the voice in your flash fiction, Lill, it’s as if your character is speaking to me directly. I would have hated my mother keeping track of my relationships on her calendar! What an ending!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:48 am

      Yep — there is just a bit of truth here……………….not the knife for sure!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. merrildsmith March 16, 2020 / 4:49 pm

    Yikes! I was not expecting that ending, Lillian!
    I would have hated my mother for keeping track, too. . .but oh my!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:48 am

      This was one of those where I finished and said to myself, “Where did that come from?” Why is it that sometimes we move to the macabre???

      Liked by 1 person

      • merrildsmith March 19, 2020 / 10:07 am

        Just the muse whispering. 😏

        Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:49 am

      I was aiming for a twist….and when I read what I wrote I actually thought to myself, “where did that come from???”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gillena cox March 16, 2020 / 5:50 pm

    OMG that was a chilling end to the story

    Happy Monday

    Much❤love

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:50 am

      Glad you enjoyed, if that’s the right word for a dark tale like this. And I’ll take your happy Monday and apply it to Thursday! 🙂

      Like

  6. Sherry Marr March 16, 2020 / 7:27 pm

    That ending was definitely a surprise! Well done! Glad this is fiction, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rothpoetry March 16, 2020 / 9:11 pm

    Beautifully done Lillian! I think there must have been a tad of truth in your account of your mother and your dates!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:53 am

      Hah….yup…in my early years of “dating” — junior high through about sophomore year in high school, this was indeed a rule….and we wrapped angora yarn around the boy’s ring so we could wear it! It was a pain when we itched our noses though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:53 am

      Glad I could surprise you at the end! BOO!

      Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:53 am

      Yes….somehow when I finished writing I realized how dark I’d gone with this one.

      Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:54 am

      Oh my indeed! A bit dark….sometimes I can’t figure out how I get there!

      Like

  8. Dale March 17, 2020 / 8:44 pm

    Yowza! Maybe mama knew best in getting her to quit them early…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Dale March 19, 2020 / 10:27 am

        So glad it did, Lillian!

        Like

  9. hank77 March 18, 2020 / 9:33 am

    kaykuala

    We were led on right until the end to find the dark side. Great ending with the mystery still intact Lillian!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:55 am

      Thanks, Hank. Sometimes, when I go to the dark side, I have no idea where the plot/idea came from! Glad you enjoyed the mystery here.

      Like

    • lillian March 19, 2020 / 9:56 am

      Yes, it was a bit of a shocker to me as well when I finished the writing and saw what I’d said!

      Like

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