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Prompt Rides - 26. Last Sunday

Prompt 683

Word List
a grave - a test tube - a bowl of rice - a cell phone, a pink fingernail

Mike blew on his pink fingernail to help dry the polish. As often happened, he marveled at the things he did because of his daughter. Five-year-old Bethany insisted on having her nails painted every week and Mike had become an expert. When she wanted to have her dad paint his own the same color, he steered her to a compromise. Most Monday mornings he showed up at work with a brightly colored pinky nail.

When the cell phone on the kitchen table rang, the girl answered it. “Hello?” The girl’s smile grew. “Hi, Nancy. Yes, he’s right here. He just painted my nails.” Nancy was Mike’s girlfriend. “Pink!” The girl looked serious for a moment. “Okay, I’ll tell him. Bye.”

“Was that for me?” An innocent-sounding Mike asked.

“Nope. That was Nancy. She said she’ll be here in an hour.”

“Well, then, we better feed you. How about a bowl of rice crisps? You can eat your cereal and watch cartoons while I shower.”

 

He toweled his short hair and full beard dry before blowing his nose with the towel. Red-rimmed eyes stared back from the mirror while he ran a comb through the facial hair. It was always the same every last Sunday of the month; his emotions took over and he could not stop crying so he allowed himself to do so in the shower while Bethany ate her breakfast.

Since Nancy had come into their lives a year before, the body-shaking sobs were not as bad; the time spent shedding tears was shorter. His girlfriend and daughter bonded soon after he introduced them and a sense of peace infused his life. The loneliness was not as marked.

Today was a bit different and he was nervous. For the first time, the young woman who had helped dissipate some of his life’s darkness would accompany them on their monthly pilgrimage. You see, Bethany was a true test tube baby. Conceived from frozen eggs and born a year after her mother died. The last Sunday of the month was a special day for them and his daughter had asked Nancy to join them today. The day they would visit the grave of the mother she never met.

C.A. Hazday
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2 minutes ago, dughlas said:

A nice use of the prompt. Well done.

 

Thanks. Flexing my prompt muscles. It's been so long since I did one atrophy's set in.

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6 minutes ago, northie said:

Short and sweet. Short and touching. Thanks!

 

Thanks, northie. Considering it took me like 10 minutes to write it, I'm glad it worked.

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A nice slice of life.  Fathers and men in general get short shrift when it comes to being involved or even caring for the ones they love, these days. Thanks for showing that's not the case.

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@Mikiesboy

 

Thanks, tim. The theme of a single father's been running through my mind. Although there's no gay characters or theme to this piece the situation's similar when it's two fathers.

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This was very complete and satisfying for being quite short. I was especially impressed with how you made the dad and daughter so well fleshed-out (is there a better term?) again for not using many words. Thanks.

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@JeffreyL

 

Thanks, bud. Doing flash fiction pieces is good training. Too many of us can get wordy and one of my editors keeps reminding that often, less is more. Brevity of language is a talent most of us have to train for.

Edited by Carlos Hazday
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@AC Benus

 

Thanks, AC. I like writing the verbose paragraphs full of flowery language but there's satisfaction in conveying an idea in less than 500 words.

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55 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

@Mikiesboy

 

Thanks, tim. The theme of a single father's been running through my mind. Although there's no gay characters or theme to this piece the situation's similar when it's two fathers.

as i've been told, we don't always have to write about gay characters .. i liked that Mike is human.. xo

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@Carlos Hazday that was very nice!

i chuckled at the realism of Mike blowing his nose into the towel, lol!

and Bethany is a wonderfully real child

i'm so glad you did this, thank you for sharing it!

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11 hours ago, mollyhousemouse said:

@Carlos Hazday that was very nice!

i chuckled at the realism of Mike blowing his nose into the towel, lol!

and Bethany is a wonderfully real child

i'm so glad you did this, thank you for sharing it!

I thought I replied yesterday but my mind must have drifted. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. I thought the towel bit would get a few yuks but it seemed realistic to me. Most of us do similar stuff.

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12 hours ago, Carlos Hazday said:

I thought I replied yesterday but my mind must have drifted. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. I thought the towel bit would get a few yuks but it seemed realistic to me. Most of us do similar stuff.

not a problem at all Carlos!  i know you have a life outside of GA and would respond as you had time

yeah, the towel was realistic, especially as Mike had been crying in the shower.

 

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8 hours ago, deville said:

Exceptional.....beautiful and utterly human. 

 

Thank you for reading my little story and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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3 hours ago, Defiance19 said:

Oh, this is fantastic, Carlos... Just the right dose of emotions.. Love it! 

 

Thanks, Def. One of those instances where I read the word list and they all fell in place. A little massaging and done. I wish it was always this easy. :P

 

So now you've seen a picture of me with Sal and Sal, do we look alike? LOL

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2 minutes ago, Carlos Hazday said:

So now you've seen a picture of me with Sal and Sal, do we look alike? LOL

Oh, gosh yes! Especially Sal with the glasses. Definitely all from the same tree. Lol. 

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2 minutes ago, Defiance19 said:

Oh, gosh yes! Especially Sal with the glasses. Definitely all from the same tree. Lol. 

 

That one (Salomon) is two years younger than me and we wear our wrinkles with pride. He's the one moving to NYC. The other one (Salvador) is 13 years younger than I am. He's the one who recently moved from NJ to Chicago.

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