Saturday, September 15, 2012

Story Saturdays: Longing

This short story was in response to a writing prompt. For those who don't know, a writing prompt is a word, phrase, or thought meant to spark an idea. The idea here was "longing," and though that means many things to different people, given the release of my novel MISSING and the soon release of its sequel FOUND, I had those thoughts on my mind.

Hope you enjoy and as always, feel free to leave me a comment. If you like "Story Saturdays," I will try to pen them more often.

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It was only a weed, a daisy-like flower sprouted in the crack in the pavement. Yet I could see how it came to be there, how some bird or critter scattered the seed into that spot of soil. I saw how it stretched and grew consumin’ the air, nourishment, and water it craved ‘til it burst into flower.

He and I were like that flower. Like that one afternoon when sparks jumped between us and I knew and he knew how it’d be. Like our young love, newly wed, that only desired the next glimpse, the next touch, the next taste of each other. Like love fed and watered, which became a beautiful thing, a garden of pleasure and delight.

An’ it swept over me. I pictured him as real as he ever was - his fingers runnin’ through his dark, wavy hair as he smoothed out the cowlick, which always formed over his ear; his eyes crinkled at the corners like they was wont to do when he laughed; the salty taste of his skin as he reached for me, his callused palm caressin’ my face. My eyes stung with the image, and I mourned through tear strung lashes the memories of my past.

Bendin’ over at the waist, I plucked a flower from the weed and held it out before me. The scenes nearby faded away: the rows of flags reflected in the ebony stones, the people clustered around its base, the soldiers in their shiny uniforms pacin’ back and forth. My daughter wrapped her arm about me. My granddaughter stood at my feet. But it was he and I again and nothin’ before us but time and age and each other.

The flower wilted in my hand, its stem curlin’ over my thumb, and the years passed between us. I pressed my fingertips to the cold wall and traced each letter of his name, each curve and angle a symbol of who he was then and who he remained to be. Then those forty-five years he’d been missin’ seemed like nothin’ at all. Nothin’ against the size of the space he occupied in my heart.

My daughter squeezed my shoulder and laid her head against my cheek. “They’ll find him,” she said. “They’ll find him, Mama, and he’ll come home.”

‘An I believed her.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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Story Saturdays

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