Mother’s Day Fiasco

To celebrate Mother’s Day, you’ve invited the entire family over to celebrate. But instead of bringing your mom to the celebration, your father brings someone else—and tells you that this woman is actually your mother. How do you react? Is it someone you know? Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

writing-prompts

Download from our shop right now!

You might also like:

257 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Fiasco

  1. gvenditti

    “Dad, you can’t be serious,” I said, refusing to believe. “That woman over there is not my mom.”

    “Honey, please. She is my wife, which means she is your mother. Are you okay? I know you had a long trip – do you need to lay down?”

    I brushed off his suggestion. “No, this can’t be right.” I searched the room, and my eyes went to the wall with our family photos. “Ha! I bet she isn’t in any of these.” I strode over to the wall, confident the joke would soon be up.

    Scanning the faces on the wall – my heart sank as I saw my non-mom in each of the photos. She was at my birthday, high school graduation and last Christmas!

    A wave of panic came over me. “This can’t be happening – what did you do to Mom!”

    David, my oldest brother, tried to comfort me. “Maybe dad is right, you need to take a load off.” He motioned for my other brother, Josh to come over. They each slung an arm over their shoulders and helped me to the couch. My Dad went over and turned on the TV, while my “mother” went into the kitchen to get a glass of water.

    My dad channel surfed for a few minutes, then came upon a station where a familiar face appeared.
    “Wait! Dad – that’s mom!” I turned to David and Josh. “Do you guys see her? What’s she doing on TV?” She was surrounded by people I’ve never seen before, but she was interacting with them as if she all knew them.

    They sat stone faced staring at the TV. I got up, snatched the remote from my Dad’s hand, and pointed it at the TV.

    “Who are these people and why is mom with them?”

    A voice piped up from behind me. “Those “people” are my family, young lady.”

    I swung around and there stood my “mother”, the water in her hand trembling. “Steven, tell her.”
    My dad extended a hand out to me, signaling for the remote. He put muted the channel. “Come on out, everyone.”

    At that moment there was movement throughout the house, and soon about a dozen men with video cameras and recording equipment revealed themselves.

    “Honey, a lot has happened since you last saw us. My business went under, and the bills were piling up. We were going to lose the house, so I had to take some drastic measures.”

    “What did you do!” I boomed, knowing full well I wasn’t going to handle what I heard next very well.

    My father paused, then looked up at me with a hint of mischief in his eyes. “I made your mother do the show “Wife Swap.”

    David nodded, and then Josh snorted, unable to hold his laughter in. “Congratulations, you’re not crazy,” said David, hugging me. We fell apart laughing, but not before I beat each of them severely with a pillow.

    This was one Mother’s Day fiasco I would never forget.

  2. Rapunzel

    I just blinked.

    “Come again?” I ask. Clearly, I missed something. I mean….right?

    My dad smiles nervously. “Sweetie, this is your mom.”

    I look at the women standing next to him. She fidgets and gives me a shy smile. I don’t know who she is, but that ain’t my mom. “Dad I think we need to get you to a hospital. Ma’am I’m apologize for the awkward situation.”

    “No, honey. I’m telling the truth. This is your mom.” He run his fingers through his hair and starts sweating. “Jolene isn’t your real mom.”

    Again, I just blink.

    I looked over to the women again and I start realizing the similarities. We’re both short. We both have blue eyes. We both have freckles. But like….no.

    “Yeah, no.” I decide. “No.” I tell my dad. “Just no.”

    “uh,” my dad is lost for words. “Sweetie-”

    “No, If this is an affair. Then Hell no. I respect you dad and I’ll deal with you later, but I don’t know her, I don’t respect her. So if this is an affair, I’m kicking her ass-” He holds me back right as take a step forward.

    “No no wait.” The lady speaks up as she took a step back. “This isn’t an affair. I give birth to you.”
    “It was years go.” Dad kept explaining. “I married Jolene but Hanna,” he gestured to the woman, “gave birth to you.”

    Hanna gave me a sad smile. “I freaked out. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. I didn’t….I didn’t love your father.”

    There’s an awkward silence that passes by before dad speaks up. “I made a mistake while I dated Jolene. And Hanna-”

    “Mistakes were made.” Hanna added.

    “Oh I’m a mistake. Thanks.” I was half-expecting the cameras to come out. But no such luck. I had to accept the fact that my parents had teenage lives before I was born. Ew.

    Seriously, ew. Talk about getting a reality check.
    Dad used to be a play-ew. I can’t even.

    “Let’s start over ok?” Hanna took a step forward and extend her hand at me with a warm smile. “Hi. I’m Hanna. I’m your mom.”

    I looked at the hand. And then back at her face.

    I smiled, “I’m Hailey. And I’m not interested.”

    “Hailey.” Dad sighed.

    “No, don’t ‘hailey’ me. Just because this lady popped me out doesn’t mean she’s automatically my mommy. Ok? My mom stepped, raised me and loved me. This lady ditched me the second her life got hard. So no.”

    Hanna sighed, “I knew this was a bad idea.”

  3. rbalke

    Disbelief. I am in disbelief. I am already not on good terms with my father, and he has the nerve to bring this woman into my life at age 20 and tell me this is my real mother? Not a chance. Family is not always blood. I walk away from my father and apparently my new mother.
    I pick up the phone. And I dial for the mother that I have always known. She picks up the phone. I sigh in relief.
    “Mom, what the fuck is going on?” (Excuse my French).
    “Honey, I am not your biological mother. That’s why you never really resembled me. But, I still love you all the same. I wanted to tell you… But your father never let me… You know how it is with him.”
    I am crying with angry tears. “Mom I’m just so done with dad and all his bullshit. I don’t care if you’re truly not my real mother. I just want to see you. I’m picking you up and we’re celebrating mother’s day.” Click. I hung up the phone.
    My dad was waiting for me desperately outside. The woman that claims to be my mother was as white as a ghost. Oh boy did I look like her. I badly wanted to smack my father. I was so angry, have been that way for a long time. Especially with him. It’s very complicated. I give him one last look of frustration, and I walk away from my father and mother. I don’t bother saying bye, and turn my back on them forever.

  4. Pete

    Having some fun…

    Almost Sweet.

    Dave and I stood at the window, as Dad—some wilted form of him anyway—stepped out from the drivers’ door and ducked in the backseat. I closed my eyes and heard Dave slug his beer, belch, and giggle. Almost simultaneously.

    Jen slapped the back of his head, crossed her arms. “Stop it.”

    “I know,” Dave croaked, his arms out as he slid back, and made his way to the kitchen. “I know, it’s just,” he was laughing too hard to finish.

    Jen came to my side, and we watched my father, a retired Corrections Officer, cross the yard carefully, nodding and cooing into the ear of a sex doll wearing one of Mom’s old dresses.

    I set my arm around Jen, took a deep breath. “When you married me, is this what you envisioned?”
    She looked out at the lawn, to my father, her seeing something I could not. “No, I thought he’d go for a redhead.”

    Dad stumbled, dropped “Mom” and fell to one knee. He placed a hand under the doll’s head. “Seriously,” I said to her.

    Jen sighed. “My father gambled away our house, savings, and my mother’s life insurance. This” she said, nodding, “is almost sweet.”

    “Almost sweet, huh?”

    Dave returned, slurping at a new beer. Jen turned to my little brother, her compassionate gaze narrowing. Dave craned his neck to look around us. “What?”

    “Dave,” I said, “That’s our dad. When Mom died, some of him died.”

    He rolled his eyes. “Oh God, Nate, really?”

    I turned back to the window. Dad had scooped up the doll. He smoothed her hair. I thought about the neighbors then shrugged it off. Let them explain to their kids why the old man had a doll. It’s not illegal. That being said I wasn’t exactly rushing out to his aid.

    Neither was Dave, saying whatever entered his head. ‘You don’t think he…?”

    Jen snapped. “Dave, shut your mouth. Of course he doesn’t.”

    “No,” I said, still watching my father. “I don’t think so.”

    I’d dropped in on Dad’s unannounced a few weeks back, where I’d found him at dinner table. G Glenn Miller was on the radio, and I remembered how Mom loved swing music. She always said it reminded her of watching old movies with her mother.

    Anyway, the doll sat across from Dad, permanently shocked at what she’d been built to do. Candles burned against the evening. Dad saw me and leaped from the table, wiping his face with a cloth napkin, his smile bouncing from me to the doll. “Oh boy. Look who’s here, Rita.”

    All I could think about was how this memory would replace another. How when I was six I’d wrecked my bike. Dad carried me home, singing the theme to Gilligan’s Island to distract me as he used his own shirt to wipe the blood from my knees. He’d handed me off to Mom and went for my bike, but to this day I could still feel his stubble dragging across my forehead with his steps. “A three-hour tour…”

    Now when I thought of Dad I saw the world’s loneliest dinner.

    Jen kissed my cheek and ran for the door to help Dad in. When I turned around, I locked eyes with my little brother. We heard Dad in the kitchen, making a fuss about a glass of water for Rita. Dave closed his eyes, shook his head. When he spoke, it was barely a whisper. I only knew what he said because I was thinking it too.

    “Sometimes I think the wrong parent died.”

  5. nchorsemama

    I just wanted to say, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms in here!

    And…….Happy Mather’s Day to all the men who are both Mother and Father to their Child/Children!

    And…… I haven’t forgotten those of you who just have Furbabies cause they count too! Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      What are Furbabies? All I’m getting from google is just pictures of dogs, am I missing something?

      Also Happy mother’s day to everyone as well!

      And I’d like to give shout out to Kaboosh for reading my first story in the prompt “At The End of The Rainbow” Just saw it today. Thanks for reading it! Really appreciate it.

    2. Observer Tim

      Hey, I fit into none of those categories. However, I have a number of imaginary “daughters” who help me with my writing and perspective, and several whole universes that I’ve given birth to. I’ll take the wish in its spirit; Happy Mothers’ day to you as well. 😀

  6. ReathaThomasOakley

    Mother’s Day with Annie

    “Annie, don’t scuff your shoes.”

    “What?” I sorta stammered, must be true, mothers do have eyes in the back of their heads.

    “Those’re your church shoes, you didn’t change them.”

    “Yes, mam. I was just thinking real hard, forgot about shoes.” I hurried to catch up, Mama’s a fast walker sometimes.

    Mother’s Day’d been really nice. At church I got a red carnation, my mama being alive and all. Mama’s was white. I think she got a little sad, but she was really smiling when Daddy took us to Marty’s for dinner. We all got shrimp, but Brother, like always, got a tuna fish sandwich. Then, when we got home, Mama and me walked to Aunt Violet’s to see Vonnie.

    I hadn’t seen her since she got married and moved to Plant City. She’s just about my favorite, older, cousin with her blond hair and blue eyes.

    “Mama?”

    “Yes, Annie?”

    “You remember Vonnie’s bedroom, how pretty it was?”

    “I do remember. Her mama helped her paint it, and made a ruffled skirt for that little table.”

    “And, over it she had a big mirror with all her friends pictures stuck on the sides. I really liked that room.”

    “Well, Annie, no reason you can’t have a room like that. Won’t be long you’ll be a teenager, in high school.” Three years seemed like a long time to me.

    “And, Mama, her clothes, she always had pretty clothes, like today, she looked so pretty.” Mama stopped walking and looked at me.

    “Yes, she did.”

    “You think when I’m older I can have clothes like Vonnie’s.” Mama gave a funny laugh.

    “Well, Annie, when you’re married you can.”

    “When I’m married?” I didn’t understand why she was still laughing.

    “You see, Annie, Vonnie’s gonna have a baby. She was wearing what ladies wear when they’re expecting, they’re called maternity clothes.”

    Maternity, hmm, I couldn’t figure out why she was laughing at that word. Once, before we had a television set, we went over to Aunt Helen’s house to watch Red Skeleton. I liked his program, but always had a headache next day. I was glad when we got ours, Daddy said we could watch with all the lights on, not just a leopard lamp like Aunt Helen had on top of the set.

    Anyway, on the show, these people were dancing and singing like they were in a hospital, but, all at once, the grownups started talking and laughing and saying things like, I never, and, I can’t believe that sign says Maternity.

    Now I had more thinking to do, about Vonnie being married, and maternity meaning clothes and hospitals, and it all about having a baby. So much thinking to do while I was remembering not to scuff my shoes.

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      Intriguing Reatha! It was like a blast from the past, taking us back to when we were kids and how we (for some or maybe all) think about the things around us. Lovely story.

    2. Pete

      Reatha, I meant to write my congratulations with this series in the last post. Well deserved! You have such a great voice here, with Annie and her mother and the spot on details sprinkled in that place me in the scene. Enjoyable read, again.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Charning is the word Reatha. In our house we had a black panther TV light. In theb 50’s we watched Jackie Gleason,Sid Caesar, Jack Benny and Ozzie and Harriot.

      2. ReathaThomasOakley

        Pete, I so appreciate your words. I was a bit embarrassed about what I wrote. I’m sure lots of folks here are published, but I just had to brag.

    3. pven

      Your distinct voice is evocative of time and place in a way that few others capture. I watch out for your stories each week; pieces like this one are why.

    4. Observer Tim

      Reatha, are you sure you didn’t find my time machine and travel back to your childhood? You totally nailed the little girl mindset (at least from observation of the kids at/around my church). I love the dividing line between before/after we had a television (went through that myself, too) and how she’s working to figure out what’s going on with Vonnie. This story could not be told today; there’s too much internet poisoning.

      This is lovely and lively and innocent in perfect measure.

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Thanks, Tim. I’m fortunate to be in contact with several elementary school classmates, who I fear I’ve neglected recently. When I think about that time in our lives it’s easy to try to recreate and/or embellish episodes from the past. Or, I’ve been using your wayback machine! We were so innocent that I suspect younger people might not understand. Thanks again.

  7. igonzales81

    “Don’t say anything about the flowers,” my sister whispered to me as we shared a quick hug.

    Right away, I knew it was going to be one of those days.

    “Son!” my dad boomed out. “Been a while, hasn’t it?”

    “Yes, sir,” I replied, staring at the arrangement of red carnations sprouting from a tall vase that the old man cradled. “Uh, where’s Mom?”

    Dad stared at me for a second, the let out a thundering laugh. “That’s a good one, son.” He thrust the vase of flowers towards me. “Now be a good boy, and give your mother a hug.”

    I shot a glance toward my sister. She nodded encouragingly, mouthing the words “play along”.

    “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom,” I said, with all the forced enthusiasm I could muster. “Why…why don’t you and dad take a seat; I’ll just get the coffee.”

    I handed the vase back to dad, gave my sister a look that demanded she assist me, and then hurried from the room.

    “Okay,” I said, once safely out of earshot of Dad. “Why is Mom a vase of carnations? And how is Dad okay with it? I thought you were cutting back on…all that.”

    “Please don’t jump on me,” Sis replied, running a hand through her hair. “The flowers aren’t really Mom; Dad just thinks they are. Or, well, he thinks she’s the flowers…it’s complicated.”

    I added a shot of whiskey to my cup of coffee. “Start at the beginning, please.”

    She sighed. “Mom booked a Mother’s Day tour of Washington Wine Country for her and dad, but he backed out. You know how he can be.”

    I do indeed. My dad is one of the most hidebound homebodies in existence today; his picture appears in the dictionary next to the word “sessile”. “Go on.”

    “She wasn’t about to miss it, but she didn’t want leave Dad alone.” Sis shrugged.

    I shook my head. “Well then, let’s make the best we can of it.” Taking up a tray of coffee, I returned to the living room with the air of a soldier heading back to the front lines.

    Coffee and conversation went okay, with Dad doing most of the talking, Sis filling in the awkward silences, me adding whiskey to each subsequent cup, and Mom…er, the flowers just sitting there and looking pretty.

    Then Dad seemed to notice that someone hadn’t had much to say.

    “You’re being awfully quiet, dear,” he said to the flowers. “You’re not still upset about that wine tour thing, are you?”

    “Hey,” Sis piped up. “Maybe we should play a game?”

    Dad glanced at her, turned back to the flowers. “I know what’s really wrong: you haven’t had a ciggy today. I know you’re trying to quit, but it’s Mother’s Day.”

    He whipped out a Marlboro, tucked it into a knot of stems, and applied a lighter. Maybe it was a dry bunch, or maybe I’d accidentally sloshed some of my “coffee” ono the arrangement, but in an instant the entire bouquet was up in flames.

    Sis and I both leapt to our feet, but I was faster. I snatched up the vase, hurled it to the floor, and proceeded to stomp out the raging inferno.

    In the smoke-tinged silence that followed, Dad turned a horrified gaze on me. “You just…just…STOMPED OUT YOUR MOTHER!”

    Twenty minutes later, the paramedics closed the doors of the ambulance, cutting off Dad’s raving shouts, while I stood there in shock.

    Sis came up and put an arm around me. “Don’t worry. He’ll be fine tomorrow. The glamour will wear off, and he won’t remember anything.”

    “That’s good to know,” I said, unsure if it was or not. “Well, at least Mom’s having a good day.”

    “Oh, that’s right,” Sis slipped away, heading for her car at a jog.

    “Where are you going?”

    “Need to catch up with Mom by midnight,” she replied. “Before she realizes that she’s been touring wine country with a lizard she thinks is Dad.”

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      Oh, my goodness indeed! I loved the ride igonzales, and that last line? Superb! Made me cackling at work. What a great story to start my day! Thank you!

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Reminds me of the Munsters. What a zany group to have as a family. I think I would have needed more than bourbon to get through the day, In one word ……….. Pricelessj

  8. kuljay

    I get flooded with emotions whenever I see my best friend,Sally,pack her precious handmade gifts for her beloved mother. “This is lovely” I would say, holding back any sign of envy.

    “Do you believe him?” She asked without flinching. “I mean, it’s hard to believe the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ even for me as a devout Christian but yours? Yours is—”

    “Why is it so hard for you to believe him while you find it easy to believe in some script you don’t even know the author?”

    “Tell me what you believe in your gut for Christ’s sake!” She shouted as I stormed out of her room and ran towards our house. I had no clue she harbored these doubts all these years but she was determined to put them to rest today.

    It was on mother’s day and my 6th birthday when I let Sally in on my little secret.She was easily convinced then. I was easily convinced. God I miss those days!Now another 4 years have passed and today,Sally’s inquisition awoke my own doubts that I shelved in an unreachable compartment in my brain.

    My father was still at work. He worked twice as hard to fill in the financial void my mother left when she took off with all the credit cards and drained the bank accounts.I restlessly waited pacing in my cramped 6ft 6in x 6ft 6in room for hours on end debating whether I should continue to trust him.How could I have doubted him when I enjoyed being brought up by just him?I would receive everything in double.He always gave me an extra goodnight kiss,would tell me “I love you” twice, in male and female voice.

    “I met your mother when I was eighteen,in a queue at Wholefoods. She couldn’t take her eyes off of me” He said one night as he tucked me in bed. “She was from another planet visiting earth for just a few hours” he continued. “The hours turned to years and nothing else mattered to her more than having me in her arms. After three exhilarating months,she found out she was pregnant with you. I guess the pregnancy took a toll on her ”. He took what seemed like an eternal pause and said “Then one day after you were brought from the hospital,she said to me “I overstayed my welcome on this planet. It is time for me to leave.””

    I was glued to the window when I saw father get out of his car with Darius, his workmate. I rushed down the stairs and burst the door open “Who is my mother? Where is she?” I yelled.

    “Hi gorgeous!”
    “Honey, I don’t know how else to tell you but this is your mother” Father said pointing at Darius with one hand and holding my birthday gift with another.
    “He is my mother?”
    Darius said “This house is much smaller than our old one,Louis”.

      1. kuljay

        Thanks Reatha.
        Darius was a woman before and took off when the narrator was born and came back to her life as Dad’s workmate but she did not know all this time.

        I have only written business blogs before. This is my first time outside my comfort zone. Any advice/criticism is much appreciated. Please give me more details where the story was unclear.

        Also,is it possible to write longer 500 words or will the system not allow it?

        1. ReathaThomasOakley

          I’ve just reread your story several times, but first about the 500 words. You won’t be cut off, and, personally I’ve found trying to stay close to that forces me to consider the importance of every word. I think my writing has gotten tighter.

          I did understand who Darius was, that was a clever element, and that your MC had told Sally the explanation Louis had given about the visitor from another planet, but how did MC know the true story. And, the MC seems much older than ten, as does Sally, plus, 6.5×6.5 is a very small room. Those just caused me to stop as I read.

          This site is a wonderful place to try new things and get feedback, plus, it’s fun to see my stories here.

          Keep writing!

          1. kuljay

            Thanks Reatha for the feedback. I thought about the MC’s age much later after I had posted. I will think through my characters better next time. MC gets to know the real story when her Dad points a finger at Darius…What I wanted to bring out is a dad in denial,a gullible kid and a mom who is selfish enough to take off days after her kid was born to because she thought she is trapped in a world that isnt hers(her female body) but she comes back and she cares more about the small house they live in rather than getting to know her daughter…the 6.5×6.5 was just to say they were close to being homeless given the mother drained the accounts…. How do I bring all these things in this story? Still learning.

            Happy to be here. It brought me out of my comfort zone.

    1. Beebles

      Hi Kuljay, Always a scary moment, opening up, but the folks here will love you for it. I did wonder where this was heading with the religious references at the start, the secret and then the alien suggestion toward the end – false trails? – and then i thought the only explanation had to be Darius used to be a woman, which sort of popped out of the blue. But i am king of ambiguity in my writing, I think I’ve left a clear trail without giving too much away and then people go ‘Uh?’ Don’t worry too much about 500 words, not a rule as such, more sort of guidelines. Just be careful of the language because the spam filter is pretty strict. Look down the thread and you’ll see some good advice re forbidden words. Look forward to more.

      1. kuljay

        Thanks Beebles. It was very scary but reading amazing pieces written by the likes of you encouraged me to come out. I am here for the learning and so far so good 🙂

        The alien suggestion was both false trails and also to suggest that the father would rather believe he was with an alien than admitting to himself that his ex is now a man…..

    2. Observer Tim

      I love this take; flawed people living an imperfect life in circumstances a little beyond odd… It could be an SF take on love between worlds, or a social take on the stories we tell our children when society fails us. Very well-realized, and a great first post.

  9. Beebles

    Sorry, late and a bit rushed. thought I’d give some characters from my other stuff a bit of a walk about. Hope it makes sense.
    ———–

    Whoever was to come through that door, she knew she had to control herself. Whoever it was that her father was calling their mother, she must give them a chance though every atom in her body fought against it. She paced the Persian rug to the clicking of the mantle clock and Nathan’s tiny automaton scurrying across the boards, while the sound of creaking carriages in the cobbled street below crept in through the open sash.

    ‘Why has Father been so secretive about it, Maysie?’

    Maysie pulled the black hair from her carob skin and glanced down at her younger brother. ‘He’s not being secretive, Nathan, he’s just being Father. You’re only ten. I’ve known him eight years longer than you. I know how insensitive and selfish he can be.’

    But she had promised Sophia she would try.

    When her father had told them, she had screamed, unable to control the tears of anger and frustration. She had fled next door to the arms of the only person who had given her any solace since they had arrived from India five years before. She unleashed a tide of troubles onto her friend.

    ‘My mother’s ashes hadn’t reached the ocean before he had us packing our bags and taking ship. He never even asked if I minded going. Let alone if I wanted to go.’ She looked up into Sophia’s brown eyes, crowned by laughter lines under her grey hair. The woman’s expression was compassionate, understanding. It always was.

    ‘He thought he was doing what was best for you,’ Sophia tried to reason with her, their hands clasped. ‘Times had changed. Marriages like your father’s were frowned upon. Governor Wellesley was putting a rocket up the Company’s behind, trying to stop such fraternisation. Your mother was Indian, a bibi to the Company, and your father knew they would block any advancement of children from such a marriage. He saw the best chance for you was to come to London. Besides, Lord Liverpool’s offer to head up the Academy of Science was a huge advancement for Joseph … sorry, for your father. He could offer you more than you had in Calcutta.’

    ‘But I didn’t want to leave.’ Maysie cried, ‘to leave my mother, my people. And now he’s trying to replace her memory with some woman he won’t even tell us who she is!’

    Sophia pulled the girl into her arms and cradled her, cooing soft words of comfort.

    ‘Try to understand, Maysie. Your father is lonely. It’s hard for him, for anyone, to go through so much of their life with no one at their side, no-one to confide in, to share the burdens.’

    ‘You manage,’ Maysie sobbed, ‘These past two years since Marc died I’ve never once seen you succumb to grief.’

    ‘But it still hurts, my child. I miss Marc so much. I think of him every day, as your father thinks of your mother. But we must move on, do what we think is best for those we love.’

    ‘But I don’t need another mother, Sophia. I have you.’

    The older woman brought Maysie’s face level with her own, cupping it in her slender hands.

    ‘Promise me Maysie, that you will try. That you will extend a little generosity to your father and to the woman he wants to marry.’

    They dried her eyes and Sophia squeezed a smile from the girl before she sent her back next door to her father.

    Now the clock in the drawing room chimed and Maysie stiffened as she heard the door to her father’s study open. She could hear the woman’s voice as they crossed the hall.

    ‘Get up Nathan.’ She yanked her brother to his feet. It wasn’t so difficult for him, she thought, he was adopted.

    The door opened and her father stood there, thin face, sparkling intelligent eyes.

    ‘Nathan, Maysie, I’d like you to meet your new mother.’

    He stepped aside and the woman entered. Nathan gasped and Maysie stifled a cry.

    ‘Please, Maysie,’ Sophia said, smiling gently, ‘you promised you would try.’

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Very intriguing Beebles. A perfect ending to leave the reader finish it for himself. The background as usual is complete, adds mystery to the story and prepares the reader to carry on for himself. I am left with a mountain.of questions myself.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Maysie is a compelling character you’ve made very real. The setting and time are very interesting, with details that made me want more. Great job.

      1. Beebles

        Thanks Reatha, Yeah I enjoy Maysie, never afraid to step on toes, whether she means to or not. Sophia gets painfully little airtime in the book but she is a fascinating historical figure. She was an English spy who rescued Marc Brunel from the Terror in France, whisked him to the US then they met up and married again later, leading to Isambard …. She deserves more.

    3. Observer Tim

      I had to double-check that I’d read this right; once I knew I had I couldn’t stop smiling. This is a lovely period piece – you did a great job tying your story to the “real” world. And thank you especially for using 19-th century mores rather than 21st. Big smiles all around.

  10. aldersprig

    Written as tootfiction – 500-characters-or-less for Mastodon:

    Lunch was ready, the kids dressed up. Dad walked in whistling, as always. But with him…

    She wasn’t Mom: Mom had blond hair, a dimpled chin, a smile that only came out on blue moons.

    This woman had my nose, my black hair, my pointed chin. She looked as much like me as my clone-daughter did, just older.

    Dad ah-hemmed. “When you were made, cloning was still in its infancy, ha. But now that you have your own daughter…”

    My clone-mother-it had to be-smirked. “Happy Mother’s day, me.”

    1. Observer Tim

      Ah, Mother’s Day in the age of cloning. I absolutely love this. It’s short and to the point, as it has to be, and it opens the door on many questions. A beautiful little story, AlderSprig.

      Now I have to go look up “tootfiction”. This should be interesting.

  11. pven

    “We’re still waiting for one more person,” Mom told the host, looking around the restaurant. “It’s not like Frank to be late,” she murmured.

    “Your party has already arrived,” replied the host.

    Mom’s face turned ashen. “Oh… no he didn’t.”

    The host gathered three menus and calmly led us past tables laden with waffles, scrambled eggs, and bacon. We wove between the lines at the omelette bar and roast beef station to emerge onto a small veranda with a single table. Sitting at the table was a woman who looked up from beneath a big floppy hat and fierce red wig and said:
    “Hello, kids. Mary.”

    I’m not proud of how Mom reacted, and I kind of have to censor her language a bit.

    “For fox sake, Frank.”

    “Frances,” Dad beamed as he stood up and hugged us.

    “The hail it is. Why the hail did you decide to dress like a woman today, of all days?”

    “The doctors are recommending that I move to the next step. I told you. I started living as a woman at the beginning of this month.”

    “I just don’t understand why we can’t have one meal as a family without drama, Frank,” Mom sobbed.

    “Frances.”

    “FOX!” Mom screamed. “This is Mother’s Day, Frank!” She literally spat Dad’s old name. “Muh. Ther’s. Day! I shouldn’t be competing with your gundam cry for attention!”

    Holding out a bottle of champagne like a white flag, a waitress opened the door to the veranda. Mom took that as her cue.

    “Let’s go, children,” she snapped, grabbing my hand.

    I think that moment was the first time I ever saw real-live bravery. I mean, Dad’s been great ever since he told Mom how he felt five years ago, although he wouldn’t call it being brave, just being true to himself. But my sister chose that moment to take a stand. And against Mom, of all people.

    “Mom.”

    Mom nearly punched through a glass pane as she slammed open the veranda door that was slowly swinging shut behind her.

    “Come now, Margaret.”

    “Mom, you’re being a bully.”

    “Nonsense.”

    “Yes. We’re studying this in school. You’re calling Dad hurtful names, trying to isolate him, exclude him from the family. All because of how he looks. It’s not right.”

    “He is a freak. And if he goes through with this, he will become an abomination.”

    “But he will still be my…” she looked back to Dad. “Father? Mother?”

    Dad smiled. “Frances, honey.”

    “He’ll still be my Frances. Go if you want to go. Frances will take me home after brunch.”

    Mom stared at Peggy until my stomach growled.

    “Come along, Tyler,” she snapped, and nearly dragged me out of the restaurant before I could side with my sister.

    Mom and I had lunch at Cracker Barrel. She spent much of the meal ranting about Dad, and while I didn’t understand much of what she said, I did learn how quickly she’ll disown me if I ever became confused like he was.

    “Don’t worry, Mom. I don’t think I’ll be like Dad when I grow up.”

    “Well, thank God for that.”

    I was replaying the moment my sister had told Mom she was being a bully, thinking how much she looked like Frances right then, fierce and proud of the choices she was making.

    Head hunched over the triangle peg game, as loud as I dared, I whispered: “I wanna be like Peggy.”

    1. Observer Tim

      Wow, lots of twists and turns, Pven, and a great way to skirt around the censorsoft. I’m sure this is an issue that many families have to go through regardless of the direction. It manages to be emotional, tragic, eye-opening, and borderline hilarious all at once. And the last sentence is absolutely priceless. Great job!

  12. Mainiac

    Jamie waited all day as each family member came over they would sit around and all tell tales of what they use to do growing up as fun when they were just kids … It was wonderful to hear all the loving Tale’s told One by one .. Her Mother was a loving Mom and had never spoke much of her Family for Jamie was all she had and she loved her so much she always seemed to know when Jamie needed her most.
    As Carl was getting off of work that evening he was met by a older woman .. She was so Happy to speak with him it was very important to her . He obliged and offered to listen to what the woman had to say he went down and sat at a coffee shop and listened with love and tears in his eye’s At what he was being told . ‘That evening Carl came home and when Jamie rushed to see her dad she asked were is My Surprise daddy. “He said.. I have something to tell you.. For Your Mother is Behind me .. Jamie looked Puzzled ?? ‘No Dad Mom is Here !!!! From behind she could see the woman before her it was a woman that looked at her with love .. Jamie’s Dad said’ I can explain everything Go Sit By your Mother now … ‘Jamie was confused she turned around and saw her Mom had tear’s in her eye’s for she had waited a long time for this day to finally Come….With Excitement Jamie’s Mom pulled out a stethoscope and asked the Woman to come over to were her and Jamie sat. ‘Her father explained ‘When you were Born Your Heart was no Good and we were told you would die with in a few Hours . And in the next room a Woman had lost her baby in a car accident . You needed a Heart to live This woman here before you ‘ Gave you life’ she gave you her only child’s heart that is why you have that scare on your chest We always told you a Angel had Kissed you from above on Your Birthday. For it was This Woman whom Gave you life there fore she is also Your Mother we wanted her here on this special day So she could hear her Child’s Heart beat within you On Mothers Day as a Gift to her for Giving you life . Or we would have lost you at Birth . We waited till you were old enough so you would understand . Everyone in the Room had tear’s in there eye’s For now Jamie realized she had not one Mother But Two ..whom surly loved her ..’One that Gave her Life in Birth and one that gave her back life in Death . Only a True Mother Could be so loving and Brave… The woman listened To Her Only Child’s heart for the first time with loving tear’s in her eye’s… From that day Forth On Every Mother’s Day she would be welcomed as part of the Family… The Mother Jamie Never new till she was Twelve .

    1. Mainiac

      Sorry it did not come the way I thought it would , The spacing and capital letters are all a mess I am still getting use to my program and this is My first attempt at this . Try to look past the mistakes and focus on the story if you can first attempt .

    2. Observer Tim

      This is an absolutely touching story, Mainiac (boy, is that a strange juxtaposition). It’s a heartbreaking scenario that ends with people being drawn together; the girl’s reaction is beautiful. This one goes straight for the emotional jugular. Very nice.

      One suggestion about story structure: I would recast the narrative about the coffee shop into something closer to chronological order, thus allowing the impact of it to slowly grow. the “love and tears” should definitely come at the end of the sentence, since it’s a reaction. But that’s me, I’m no expert.

  13. Jennifer Park

    At first I thought my vision was distorted by the respirator mask. Then I remembered that the mask does not go over my eyes. Still, the mask is a part of my face now, like with that kid on Dr. Who who had a gas mask merged onto his face. He had a mother he didn’t know he had.

    My mother… She died in the car accident, I heard them say. This woman cannot be my mother.

    “She wanted to see you before…” My father cannot finish his sentence.

    I know what he cannot say. Before I die.

    “This is your mother,” he repeats. “Really.”

    The woman that cannot be my mother begins to sob. She tries to reach for me, but does not know how to get around all the tubings and wires. What would Dear Abby say about a biological mother who knocked off her long-lost daughter’s life support while trying to hug her?

    “Barbara… I’m so sorry… I’m…”

    Why is this woman sorry? She isn’t the semi-truck who drove over the median and struck my mother’s red Miata head-on. She isn’t the firefighter who was late for his daughter’s bat mitzvah, and hurriedly pulled me out of my seat, tweaking my spine. She isn’t the surgeon who infected me with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, now eating their way up my body. Yum. Yum.

    “I wish… I wish… If only I hadn’t…”

    What did you do, woman? If only you hadn’t cheated on my father? If only you hadn’t gotten hooked on heroine? If only you hadn’t been too poor to fight my deep-pocketed father and his trophy wife for custody over me? What was it?

    And why did you all lie to me about…

    There is the tingle. Another drip of the morphine. They are giving me way too much, and I’m going to drift off to sleep now. Maybe for the last time.

    If I die, if I don’t die, my father’s going to be even richer, suing the pants off the losers who have killed me. Are killing me.

    My “mother” is freaking out. I look like I’m dying.

    I try to raise a hand reassuringly. I feel like I am, but I know I’m not.

    Oh, well.

    Good-bye, Mother. Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Mainiac

      Jamie waited all day as each family member came over they would sit around and all tell tales of what they use to do growing up as fun when they were just kids … It was wonderful to hear all the loving Tale’s told One by one .. Her Mother was a loving Mom and had never spoke much of her Family for Jamie was all she had and she loved her so much she always seemed to know when Jamie needed her most.
      As Carl was getting off of work that evening he was met by a older woman .. She was so Happy to speak with him it was very important to her . He obliged and offered to listen to what the woman had to say he went down and sat at a coffee shop and listened with love and tears in his eye’s At what he was being told . ‘That evening Carl came home and when Jamie rushed to see her dad she asked were is My Surprise daddy. “He said.. I have something to tell you.. For Your Mother is Behind me .. Jamie looked Puzzled ?? ‘No Dad Mom is Here !!!! From behind she could see the woman before her it was a woman that looked at her with love .. Jamie’s Dad said’ I can explain everything Go Sit By your Mother now … ‘Jamie was confused she turned around and saw her Mom had tear’s in her eye’s for she had waited a long time for this day to finally Come….With Excitement Jamie’s Mom pulled out a stethoscope and asked the Woman to come over to were her and Jamie sat. ‘Her father explained ‘When you were Born Your Heart was no Good and we were told you would die with in a few Hours . And in the next room a Woman had lost her baby in a car accident . You needed a Heart to live This woman here before you ‘ Gave you life’ she gave you her only child’s heart that is why you have that scare on your chest We always told you a Angel had Kissed you from above on Your Birthday. For it was This Woman whom Gave you life there fore she is also Your Mother we wanted her here on this special day So she could hear her Child’s Heart beat within you On Mothers Day as a Gift to her for Giving you life . Or we would have lost you at Birth . We waited till you were old enough so you would understand . Everyone in the Room had tear’s in there eye’s For now Jamie realized she had not one Mother But Two ..whom surly loved her ..’One that Gave her Life in Birth and one that gave her back life in Death . Only a True Mother Could be so loving and Brave… The woman listened To Her Only Child’s heart for the first time with loving tear’s in her eye’s… From that day Forth On Every Mother’s Day she would be welcomed as part of the Family… The Mother Jamie Never new till she was Twelve .

    2. Observer Tim

      This is tragic, and a horrible way to meet one’s birth mother. It also shows, once again, how thoughtless her father can be in his “compassion”. He’s introducing his daugher to a mother she’ll never know, and dragging his ex in so she can watch her daughter die.

      Your story captures the emotions really well; the device you used (short sentences punctuated with internal reflection) is very effective at that when well done, and this is well done. Good job, Jennifer.

  14. jhowe

    Rant 101

    Most of the authors I like to read wouldn’t be able to post on here unless they took the realism out of their dialog and were careful with their prose as not to infuriate the spam filter. As a result, after a few tries, they would cease to attempt a post. If their villain was a thug from the underworld, would they insert an asterisk in certain words whenever he spoke? I don’t think so. It’s distracting and they would be put off by such distractions. Of course they could consider the spam filter and write to suit it, but then the writing would suffer and who wants that? King, Patterson, Koontz, Roberts, Ludlum, Follett, Baldacci, to name a few, would have as much trouble posting as we do. Try telling them about asterisks.

    1. jhowe

      Whoa, who wrote that? He must be having a bad day. And on Mother’s Day weekend… how tacky. He’ll try again next week and maybe charm the socks off you.

      1. nchorsemama

        Lol jhowe! I’m still trying to figure out the rules. I’m paying close attention to comments to get an idea of what I can and can’t say.

    2. Observer Tim

      I find it truly odd the “magic words” that are censored. It’s like we are being forbidden from discussing certain topics without being told. The last bit in italics is what bothers me; censor me if you really want to, but at least tell me that I’m being censored.

      And in extension to your rant, no quotes from Gordon Ramsay…

  15. ShamelessHack

    “Hi, Dad. Thanks for coming. I…”
    “What’s wrong son?”
    “I…uh..why is she here?”
    “Who? Oh you mean Artue?”
    “Yes. Where’s Mom?”
    “I hate to break this to you son, but that phony princess you’ve been catering to all these years isn’t really your mother. Artue is. You’re old enough to know that now.”
    “What! You’re telling me Artue is really my mother?”
    “Sorry. That’s the way the galaxy crumbles, C3PO.”
    “Damn it.”

  16. nchorsemama

    Let’s take a walk on the dark side……..

    Dog and Rat sat gripping hands on the edge of Dogs bed as they listened to the news their Father was giving them. After his first two sentences, their thundering hearts drowned out the rest. They watched in silence as he left and gently closed the bedroom door. They hadn’t responded. How could they? Their birth Mother had been in prison for the past 10 years for selling them for crack. Now she was out and coming here!

    Daniel and Dani were 13 year old twins whose Mother judith had indeed sold them for crack when she was at her lowest point over ten years ago. They’d ended up with a sadistic woman so cruel that their Father worried they may never fully recover.

    “It’s been 6 months David and they still don’t answer to their own names! Well I refuse to call them Dog and Rat!” Donna, David’s sister cried. ” And on Mother’s Day David really? Haven’t they been through enough?”

    More than enough David thought guiltily. He really didn’t think he’d ever be able to forgive himself for not seeing his now, ex-wife’s, drug problem. Ten years he’d lost with them to that monster! The twins psychologist had already revealed to him some of the punishments his children had to endure. Kneeling on rice for hours on end, being thrown into ice baths, sleeping in dog cages in the barn. It made him ill to just think about it and those names she called them Dog and Rat! For 10 years that was their names.

    “David! Are you listening to me?”

    “What?”

    “I said They are still hoarding food up in their room.”

    “I know! What do you want me to do, Donna? It’s Judge ordered, a condition for her release! The program she’s been in has steps and she’s coming to atone.”

    “They should have just let her rot in there for the rest of her miserable life!” He agreed wholeheartedly with her on that count.

    “The psychologist said it may be helpful.”

    “I disagree!”

    He had his doubts too. His children had yet to be enrolled in school, neither knew how to read or write. They’d never been to school or had any friends. Only each other. When speaking to each other, they had their own language. The psychologist said it was normal.

    I just want my children back! He thought violently, and prayed they wouldn’t be damaged further.

    David, the children, and their aunt were gathered in the dining room when the psychologist joined them. David had begged for him to come today when they met their Mother. He still wasn’t sure that this was a good idea. The table was laden with a Mother Day feast, for the children not their Mother. He been trying to get them to believe they had plenty of food so they would feel the need to steal and hoard the food.

    The honey baked ham had his mouth watering. The crispy skin on the roasted chicken was just begging to be plucked and put into his mouth. The mashed potato’s and gravy still have steam rising off of them. The string beans were smothered with bacon pieces just the way he loved it. Oh those golden rolls…..he could wait to slather them with creamy butter. His Sister had done a fine job indeed. He hoped they would be done eating before Judith arrived.

    They had just sat down and were filling their plates when the doorbell rang. No one moved. It was the children’s psychologist who gained his wits first and got up to answer the door. There stood Judith and a deputy Sheriff. The years had not been kind to her. She looked much older than her 33 years.

    When they reached the dining room door everyone was standing.The twins who were closest to the door stood board straight holding hands.

    Judith took in the scene before her. The uneaten plates of food, her ex-husband and sister-in-law. When her eyes reached the children she teared up. They were so small for thirteen, and way too thin.

    “ I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were having dinner….” she was cut off by Dog.

    “ You’re here to atone?” There was no emotion in that voice.

    “Yes I…I’m so sor……”

    “Rat” Dog held out his hand and was handed a small paper sack. His eyes never released his Mother’s gaze. He opened the sack and poured it’s contents onto the floor in front of his Mother. Small grains of dried rice littered the hardwood floor.

    You could have heard a pin drop.

    “Atone” no emotion. “Rat , get her bath ready and don’t forget the ice.

          1. nchorsemama

            Such wonderful words for encouragement! I love Stephen King! Thank you so very much MoiraiTQ!

    1. Observer Tim

      I had a little trouble following at first, and only when I got my bearings did the true horror sink in. It’s a truly nightmarish scenario you’re describing here. I’m a little surprised they remembered her given that ten years had passed and they were only three when sold, but I’m guessing their mother hasn’t changed that much. I’m guessing the psychologist will put a stop to the torture before it goes too far…

      You do dark very well, NC.

      1. nchorsemama

        Thanks for reading Tim. I don’t think they remember their Mother at all. I think they just believed their Father that she was their Mother. I think they want her know what hey were subjected to. I also would hope that if no one else, at least the deputy Sheriff would step in. Thanks again!

          1. MoiraiTQ

            Here is what I’ve done. I had to quit here because I need to go home. I’m so intrigued with this story and story line.

            MoiraiTQ’s part

            Everyone just froze. The small movements of the boys, the falling rice, the ice bath torture. It hadn’t clicked in everyone’s heads, yet, what the boys were going to do.

            Luckily, the deputy and the psychologist woke up. The psychologist moved toward the boys and knelt at there level, ignoring the pain of the rice on his knees. It was nothing compared to what they had endured. The deputy gathered the adults and walked them outside.

            It was apparent that the twins were not going to do well around their mother. The deputy told David and Donna to stay on the porch. He walked Judith to the squad car and she got in the back seat.

            Back in the house, the psychologist told the twins that they would never have to see their mother again and while they felt anger toward her, they could not torture her like that horrible other woman tortured them.

    2. Kerry Charlton

      Oboy, this is realism with a capitol ‘R’. I don’t blame them a bit, however it isn’t going to help the twins as they watch their mother suffer. An eye for an eye causes nothing good, I know it’s just a story but it hits hard and that’s what it’s intended to do. Good job writing it.

      1. nchorsemama

        Thank you Kerry! I agree you on the eye to eye. I’ve only ever written for myself (for my eyes only) lol This is all new to me. I am thoroughly enjoying these scene exercises and really appreciate everyones input. I’m finding out that my mind has a will of it’s own! lol

  17. Kerry Charlton

    WHATEVER LOLA WANTS

    ‘Same old, same old.’ Brad thought, bring Mom a dozen roses, two if I have enough money and take her to lunch.’ Since his parents had split eight years ago, he never considered his father because of the way he had always treated his Mother. This year he had invited his Dad to see if a reunion might be a possibility. Then he thought twice, ‘I have to tell Mom.

    Surprising, he found his Mom excited about it and she arrived early for her party wearing an off the shoulder that accented how she still looked with s fabalous figure. Most of the other family had arrived when Brad’ father showed up with a beauty on.his arm, and Brad knew she looked familiar to him but why? He knew her face and her voice was ringing a bell in hid mind but it was that come-hither look that some women of the ages had that tweaked his attention . A Mona Lisa smile and the low voice of a torch singer
    Then it hit Brad.

    Because he was an aficionado of old TV series one in.particular came to mind. Henry Mancini had drenched the series in his music, a torch singer played Peter Gunn’s girl friend, none other than Lola Albright. Brad’s father started the introduction. Out of the corner of his eye, Brad noticed his Mom in a fit of rage as she ran across the room toward Lola, her hands turned into claws.

    A quick glance at Lola showed Brad the fear she felt as he stepped in between the two. His Mother’voice rang through the room.

    “This is the last straw Lola. Was this Charlie’s idea of revenge and why on Mother’s day?

    “No, I called Charlie to bring me today. It’s not his fault. I just had to see Brad for myself.”

    “And I suppose you’re going to ruin my day, aren’t you?”

    “Of course not, this is your day not mine. I’ll leave now, I am so sorry for interfering.”

    The two women settled down to an awkward silence. Brad’s family shuffled foot to foot as embarrassment filled the room.

    Brad went to his Mother and held her,

    On you obviously know Miss Albright but I ‘ve never met her would you introduce me?”

    “I can’t, I’ve made such a fool of myself.”

    “Oh come on Mom, I know all about it, please.”

    “How could you, we never told anyone.”

    “Well I do know, birth certificates are public knowledge. I’ve known for a long time.”

    Brad’s father stepped back from the gathering for a moment as the introductions were made.

    “I would like to say.” Brad announced, “<one thing on a special day for both of you. I never dreamed of having two Mother's but if I had, I would have
    Chosen both of you."

    The statement caused a stir between Brad's two younger sisters, his aunts and uncles who had arrived for the party.

    "Now that's over, can we eat,? Dad, where are you? Why are you standing over there? It's because of you that I have two Mother's. I thank you for that. Come join us and let's be thankful for Mother's everywhere. I have the rare honor of having two, one to sing me to sleep at night and one to wake me up in the morning.

    1. Kaboosh

      It was kinda difficult to read this. The story was fine, but I recommend going through before you submit and checking for spelling errors, incorrect punctuation, etc.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Sorry for the difficulty. I tried to post for two days with a perfect edited story, no go. Then posted it into the box with my phone, letters so damn small I couldn’t read a lot of them. Is it Friday 13th?

    2. Observer Tim

      What a wonderful sentiment, Kerry! It’s a good reminder that in a complex world we have to be thankful for everything we have in plenty, especially mothers. What a well-mannered son was given birth to by one and raised by the other. 🙂

      (blast from the past – the login bug is back for me today)

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Log in twerp has been around me for weeks, Have to log in twice everytime I get to the site. I’m glad you liked my mushy Mother’s Day. I think of her often, especially now.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      Hey Kerry, I posted that I clearly remembered Peter Gunn when you issued the Lola challenge before. We might be the only ones who do. Another great piece, well done as usual.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks Reatha, I get a little sentimental when
        Mother’s day comes. around. You know.my Mother was a writer herself and wrote a weekly column for the Coral Gables newspaper . No education.past the 10th grade yet she read a lot every day and taught herself. I have an idea the editor of the paper was a good friend and spent some of his time advising her.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Beebles . Lola Albright only needed a small break to hit the big time. Good torch singer and had the looks to go along with it. But as with a lot of other talented people, it never happened. ‘Tis a shame laddie.

          1. Kerry Charlton

            A torch singer has to be beautiful to meet my requirements. Okay, here are a few:
            Sarah. Vaughn
            Lena Horne
            Peggy Lee
            Jeri Southern

            You get the idea, soft jazz and blues.

    1. MoiraiTQ

      It sounds like you may have words that are not approved. I had two in my story below. If you have words that are spelled the same as body parts or a personal orientation, then it won’t go through.

    2. Kerry Charlton

      Very intriguing Beebles. A perfect ending to leave the reader finish it for himself. The background as usual is complete, adds mystery to the story and prepares the reader to carry on for himself. I am left with a mountain.of questions myself.

  18. Kerry Charlton

    WHATEVER LOLA WANTS

    .
    ‘Same old same old,’ Brad thought, ‘bring Mom a dozen roses, two if I have enough money and take her to lunch,.’ Since his parents had split eight years ago, he never considered his father because of the way he had always treated his Mom.
    This year he had invited his father to see if a reunion might be a possibility. Then he thought twice, ’I have to tell Mom.’

    Surprising, he found his mother excited about it and she arrived early for her party wearing an off the shoulder that left litte to the imagination about what good shape she was in.. Most of the relatives had already arrived when Brad’s father showed up with a beauty on his arm, only Brad recognized. He knew the face and her voice was familiar, but it the come-hither look that women of the ages had, that excited him. A Mona Lisa smile, the low sexy voice of a torch singer. Then it hit Brad.

    Because he was an aficionado of old TV series, one in particular cane to mind. Henry Mancini had drenched the series in his music, a torch singer played Peter Gunn’s girl friend, none other than Lola Albright. Brad’s father started the introduction. Out of the corner of his eye, Brad noticed his mother in a fit of rage as she ran across the room toward Lola, hands turned into claws.

    A quick glance at Lola showed Brad the fear she felt as he stepped in between the two. His Mother’s voice rang through the room,

    ‘”This is the last straw Lola.. Was this Charlie’s idea of revenge and why on Mother’s day?”

    “No, I called Charlie to bring me today. It isn’t his fault. I just had to see him for myself.”

    “And I suppose you’re going to ruin my day, aren’t you?”

    “Of course not, this is your day, not mine. I’ll leave now, I am so sorry for interfering.”

    The two women settled down to an awkward silence. Brad’s family shuffled foot to foot as embarrassment filled the room.

    Brad went to his Mother and held her,

    “Mom, you obviously know Miss Albright but I’ve never met her, would you introduce me?”

    “I can’t, I’ve made such a fool of myself.”

    “Oh, come on Mom, I know all about it, please.”

    “How could you, we never told anyone.”

    ‘Well I do know, birth certificates are public knowledge. I’ve known for a long time.”

    Brad’s father stepped back from the gathering for a moment, as the introductions were made.

    “I would like to say one thing on a special day for both of you.”

    “I never dreamed of having two Mother’s but if I had, I would have chosen both of you. “

    The statement caused a stir between Brad’s two younger sisters, his aunts and uncles who had arrived for the party.

    “Now that’s over, can we eat? Dad, why are you standing over there, it’s because of you, that I have two Mothers and I thank you for that. Come join us and let’s be thankful for Mother’s everywhere. I have the rare honor of having two, one to sing me to sleep at night and one to wake me up in the morning. “ .

    .

  19. MoiraiTQ

    The reverse side of my MD coin
    ——————————–

    I was almost done setting the table for our annual Mother’s Day meal for my mom. The snacks were on the living room table. Wine was chilling in the fridge. My lady friend, whom I’ve been dating for about eight months, with the last three pretty seriously, was coming over before mom. It was time for mom to meet her.

    It was almost three when the doorbell rang. Jackie was supposed to come by then. I opened the door fully expecting to see her and was smiling broadly. My smile dropped. It was my dad. My dad and I aren’t on good terms. He left mom when they were in their 40s. He claims it was a mid-life crisis. Mom wasn’t so sure.

    “Hello dad. What do you want?” I said with my disgust in my voice. “You know mom will be here soon. I don’t want you around when she’s here.”

    “Hello Mary Ann. I know she’ll be here soon, but I wanted to talk to you before then. It won’t take but a few minutes.”

    “OK. Come on in.” I walked back into the living room and sat down on the sofa.

    “Hold on. I need to get someone.”

    He walked around to the front of my house. I heard two pairs of footsteps, his and a woman’s. Why was he bringing a woman over? And on Mother’s Day! I won’t let him ruin my mood.

    I heard them enter my house and turned. My jaw dropped. “Mary Ann, I want you to meet your biological mother. Her name is Jackie.”

    I jumped up from the sofa and shouted, “Jackie! What are you doing with my dad?! Biological mother?” I turned red. I was angry and confused. All of that turned to nausea. The thoughts of Jackie and me … It was too much.

    I ran down the hallway, into the bathroom, and vomited into the toilet. I rinsed my mouth and brushed my teeth, then splashed my face with cold water. I didn’t dare look in the mirror.

    I calmly walked back into the living room and stood there glaring at Jackie. She looked stricken. Dad looked confused. I was fuming.

    “Would you care to explain, Jackie?” I said. “Did you know? I certainly didn’t.”

    No one spoke for several tense seconds. Dad spoke first. “Well, it’s obvious you two know each other. Someone want to tell me how and why?”

    I tilted my head and lifted my right eyebrow at Jackie, as if to say, “Well?”

    She began. “Well, no, Mary Ann, I didn’t know until earlier today. Your father called me, after all these years, to say that he wanted to see how I was doing and wanted to go to lunch. It was during lunch that he said he wanted to reintroduce us. You see, he and I were married a long time ago. It was only after I found out I was pregnant when I realized that I preferred women. I loved being pregnant and loved my baby; I just couldn’t stay with your father. I gave you up when we divorced. I tried to tell him that today was not the best day to tell you, but he insisted.”

    My dad’s face changed, as if the wheels finally turned to the correct thoughts. It was his turn. He sprinted down the hallway. When he walked into the living room, he was looking at me, embarrassed.

    “Well, dad, I’ve always been attracted to older women. I met Jackie almost a year ago, just by chance, at the gym. We hit it off. We were a couple. Until today.”

    1. Observer Tim

      This manages to be both comic and tragic at the same time. I’m a bit curious about why Mary Ann’s dad did this, and on this day; I’m sensing he’s a real spiced dried meat (i.e. jerky) who chose the date and time deliberately. Even if he was expressing some form of moral unction about the union (presumably because the two were dating in a cestuous way), his tactic shows that his main goal was to hurt his daughter, his ex-wife, or both. Good job creating a small-minded villain, Moirai.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          What a curb at the end, someone mentioned a roller coaster, felt more like a whirly bird. Writing is at a fast clip and you have to hold on to your chair when you read. Phew!!

  20. MoiraiTQ

    The reverse of my MD coin
    —————

    I was almost done setting the table for our annual Mother’s Day meal for my mom. The snacks were on the living room table. Wine was chilling in the fridge. My lady friend, whom I’ve been dating for about eight months, with the last three pretty seriously, was coming over before mom. It was time for mom to meet her.

    It was almost three when the doorbell rang. Jackie was supposed to come by then. I opened the door fully expecting to see her and was smiling broadly. My smile dropped. It was my dad. My dad and I aren’t on good terms. He left mom when they were in their 40s. He claims it was a mid-life crisis. Mom wasn’t so sure.

    “Hello dad. What do you want?” I said with my disgust in my voice. “You know mom will be here soon. I don’t want you around when she’s here.”

    “Hello Mary Ann. I know she’ll be here soon, but I wanted to talk to you before then. It won’t take but a few minutes.”

    “OK. Come on in.” I walked back into the living room and sat down on the sofa.

    “Hold on. I need to get someone.”

    He walked around to the front of my house. I heard two pairs of footsteps, his and a woman’s. Why was he bringing a woman over? And on Mother’s Day! I won’t let him ruin my mood.

    I heard them enter my house and turned. My jaw dropped. “Mary Ann, I want you to meet your biological mother. Her name is Jackie.”

    I jumped up from the sofa and shouted, “Jackie! What are you doing with my dad?! Biological mother?” I turned red. I was angry and confused. All of that turned to nausea. The thoughts of Jackie and me … It was too much.

    I ran down the hallway, into the bathroom, and vomited into the toilet. I rinsed my mouth and brushed my teeth, then splashed my face with cold water. I didn’t dare look in the mirror.

    I calmly walked back into the living room and stood there glaring at Jackie. She looked stricken. Dad looked confused. I was fuming.

    “Would you care to explain, Jackie?” I said. “Did you know? I certainly didn’t.”

    No one spoke for several tense seconds. Dad spoke first. “Well, it’s obvious you two know each other. Someone want to tell me how and why?”

    I tilted my head and lifted my right eyebrow to Jackie, as if to say, “Well?”

    She began. “Well, no, Mary Ann, I didn’t know until earlier today. Your father called me, after all these years, to say that he wanted to see how I was doing and wanted to go to lunch. It was during lunch that he said he wanted to reintroduce us. You see, he and I were married a long time ago. It was only after I found out I was pregnant when I realized that I was not heterosexual. I loved being pregnant and loved my baby; I just couldn’t stay with your father. I gave you up when we divorced. I tried to tell him that today was not the best day to tell you, but he insisted.”

    My dad’s face changed, as if the wheels finally turned to the correct thoughts. It was his turn. He sprinted down the hallway. When he walked into the living room, he was looking at me, embarrassed.

    “Well, dad, I’ve always been attracted to older women. I met Jackie almost a year ago, just by chance, at the gym. We hit it off. We were a couple. Until today.”

  21. Observer Tim

    Okay, things have gotten too normal; time to weird it up…

    YOUR NEW MOTHER

    Janie put down the phone. “Dad says he and Kayla will be here any minute.”

    “Why is he bringing her?” asked Fran. “We all know he’s having an affair with her, and we know he’s the father. The baby shares half her alleles with us.”

    I was the calm one. “Come on, give him a chance; he says he has an explanation.” Personally, I was every bit as curious as they were, but I seem to be the holder of the family supply of self-control.

    “Come on Anna; you know he’s probably going to give us some bullspit about being nice because that little bundle of adultery is our half-sister!”

    “Jane! Remember what I said; hear him out first. He says he can explain what happened to Mom.”

    “And he had to save it for Mother’s Day. What a louse.” Fran carefully hid the baseball bat she’d moved up from the basement so it couldn’t be seen in the hall closet.

    We waited.

    Of course most of our anger evaporated when Kayla showed us little Amanda. Even Fran’s twenty-minute tirade about the insult of naming the baby after Mom evaporated in the face of the little pink bundle of burbling. It took several attempts for Dad to even get our attention.

    “Girls, I told you I had an explanation. I’d like you to meet your mother.”

    Janie was the first to find her voice. “Dad, Kayla is NOT our mother! She’s younger than Anna!”

    “Okay, he’s snapped. Janie, call the funny farm.”

    “Fran! Dad’s not exactly normal, but he’s not that crazy.” I planted my hands on my hips in my best Mom impersonation and stared at him. “Explanation please, Dad.”

    He took out his laptop. “You’re going to find this hard to believe, but Amanda is your mother.”

    “The baby? Maybe you should make that call, Jane.”

    “Girls! Hear me out. This was your mother’s idea; she was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The doctor gave her two weeks to live, and she took that as a challenge. The cloning process was ready for human tests, and she decided not to wait for government approval. We used one of Kayla’s eggs and impregnated her with your mother’s DNA.”

    “So the baby is Mom’s clone.”

    “Not exactly. She had everything ready, including the mnemonic transfer. Not only does the baby have your mother’s DNA, she also has all of your mother’s memories and consciousness; her soul, if you believe in that sort of thing. In every way except age she is your mother. She’ll even tell you that herself when her palate firms up enough so she can talk.”

    My mouth opened and closed like a fish several times and I stared at the little creature on the breast of my Mom and Dad’s lab assistant.

    The baby turned her head and nodded, then went back to her suckling.

    1. Observer Tim

      Overheard in the house a couple of hours later…

      “I’m really sorry, Anna.”

      “No, it’s okay; I should have known when I tried to burp Mom that she’d spit up on my shoulder. I did it enough times when I was her age. I’m just going to go change my shirt now.”

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      I’ve actually wondered how something like this could go if/when humans are cloned. Thanks for explaining, but I’m still not sure it’s a great idea. Fun story.

      1. MoiraiTQ

        I’ve tried it several times today. Tried copy pasting from Word and notepad. Created an alternate account and won’t post. I tried pasting it into a comment and will not post. it has 606 words. I’m thinking I may have to break it into two parts.

        1. Observer Tim

          Check it for words related to biological reproductive acts and social hot-button topics. There’s a silent filter on the site that blocks explicit progonaphy, termination of pregnancies, and a number of other issues. Some of the keywords are quite abstruse…

          1. MoiraiTQ

            I had one questionable word and changed that one. Also Mr Admin didn’t have it in his spam box. 🙂

  22. E.C

    It had felt like hours. It was almost as if the roses had already started to wilt. The sun was setting over the horizon. Madison wrung her hands, and peered at the clock. Eight o’ clock. 8:30. It was dark now, the spring breeze sifted through the curtains as she sat on the couch, her knees pulled up to her chest. Her family had left hours ago, the presents laid untouched on the dining room table. Madison’s eyelids dropped, Her head was suddenly heavy.

    There was a small click. Her eyelids fluttered open. Her father was standing in the door.

    “Hi honey,” He seemed hesitant.

    “Is something the matter?” She rubbed her eyes and stood. “When’s mom coming home?”

    “Well darling, she isn’t.”
    Madison stood as rigid as a board, her eyes wide.

    “She what? What do you mean?” Madison opened her arms and gestured to all the decorations and the presents on the table. “But I did all this for her. Where did she go, I really wanted to surprise her.” Tears pricked the corners of her eyes.

    “I need to tell you something, this is your real mother.” Madison’s head snapped up. A gentle looking woman peered out from behind her father. Her hair poured over her shoulders in dark brown ringlets. Her face was round and soft, not a single mark or blemish hindered her flawless skin. Even her hands were dainty and petite. Though Madison had adopted her father’s golden wavy locks, this woman had the same bright, crisp, and glassy green eyes.

    “Who is this woman?” Madison took a step back.

    “Ah, I know this is sudden but. Your mother and I found out that, 18 years ago we took home the wrong baby.”

    “What?! How can you take home the wrong baby? How can you mess up something like that?! It’s crazy!”

    “Your tone right now is unacceptable. Pack up your things and get out of my house.”

    “What?! Dad! You can’t just send me off with a stranger!” His face contorted into that of disgust.

    “You aren’t even my child, your real mother is going to take you back.” Madison’s blood ran cold and slow like molasses, her stomach churned.

    “No please, I don’t know her. Why are you doing this.”

    “You aren’t mine,”

    1. Observer Tim

      This story wins the award for “most heartless bastard of a father ever”, which surprises me because in a couple of the tales (including mine) the mother got murdered. Focusing on Madison’s emotions helped build the scene, and definitely amplified the shock at the end. I hope for Madison’s sake that she can learn to love her biological mother, because she’s better off without either of the parents who raised her if that’s how they decide to play it. I think the worst moment for me is when he called her “honey” at the door before throwing her out.

      Of course, this could also be a thriller-level plot twist orchestrated by the woman at the door…

      It’s a powerful story either way, E.C.

    2. E.C

      I’m glad to hear that you were all pulled in at least a little. Originally I was going to have the woman at the door be a mastermind behind all this but as I was writing it in between classes I thought why not go with something a little less time consuming. I wanted to opt for a sort of thriller since I don’t do it very often, I’m still trying to figure out what I do and don’t like to write.

  23. KERobertson

    Mother’s Day Fiasco: (Hello everyone, I am new to the website and this is my very first post. I hope you all like it!! I did change it up a little. I have never been so great at following my prompts exactly.)

    Two things were off about this morning, only two. Other than that, the day started off as normal as it could. As normal as it ever does. I woke up hot and sweaty because my dog decided to sleep in the bed, again, despite all my protesting though I can never really say no. I made myself some coffee, three sugars no cream. I went through my routine with an almost zombie-like obliviousness to the world around me. To consciousness even. Why think that early in the morning? I almost made it through the entirety of my routine when I let my dog outside and was jerked out of my haze with a sudden gust. It was cold outside. It was cold outside and the sky almost told a story of danger to come as the wind pulled and tugged at my robe. A ball of anxiety settled in my stomach. It seemed the wind was whispering, something is wrong… run for cover. I shook my head and at the same time tried to shake off the ever-growing anxiety. It was Mother’s Day and I would not have it ruined.
    The second of strange things didn’t happen until later in the day after hours of preparation for the party. I had invited the almost the whole family over to celebrate. Almost meaning the family that was over the need to cause meaningless drama that every family seems to have, or so I had thought. We were celebrating for a couple reasons. The most important of which it was Mother’s Day and it was also a week away from my Mother’s 60th birthday. I knew no one else would care enough to throw her the party she deserved so I took the responsibly upon myself. There was snacks, booze, and music. We were set up to have the time of our lives. The only problem was that stupid little ball of anxiety that just wound tighter and tighter.
    There was already a decent crowd when my mom walked in. It was at 6:15. I remember because it was the exact same time the pizza guy knocked on the door. I gave him his money and then turned my attention to the guest of honor, pizza totally forgotten. At the sight of her all the anxiety from the day washed away. She was my best friend and this was her day. At that moment I thought that the only off-putting moment of the day was past and now I could relax and enjoy the party. Which I did completely. There was drinking and joking and card games, which I am very good at by the way. It had been a long time since I had seen my mom that happy, even though I kept winning. Not since dad had passed 5 years ago. Everything was as near perfect as it could be all things considered. That was, until one of my aunts let something slip.
    I was headed towards the kitchen to restock our chip bowl when I heard them whispering near the bathroom. It was my aunt on my dad’s side and her husband. I shouldn’t have stopped to listen. I don’t know why I did, I am not prone to eavesdropping. No matter what I should or shouldn’t have done, I did it, and what I heard was not something I ever expected to hear. The second off thing about today. More than off, life-changing really.
    “You know it’s real funny when you think about it,” my aunt almost cackled, “no one would ever throw Sylvia a party…. she’s such a drag. No wonder the one person who does is that half-wit drop out who thinks she’s her daughter. I wonder what she would do if she knew that her mother was 23 years dead. Now she was someone who deserved a party. She would die all over again if she could see how her daughter turned out.”

    Drunk, they are obviously drunk. That’s what I told myself as I found myself walking away from the kitchen still clutching my chip bowl. My feet were making their way to my room, I barely heard the people calling out to me as I passed through the living room. They are just drunk. I was sitting on the bed now, bowl still in my hands. Her words replayed in my head. 23 years dead. That would mean she died in childbirth. Who was she? Wait what am I thinking. She didn’t die in childbirth because she is not my mom. My mom is in the other room celebrating at the party I threw… and I need to get back. I threw my head back, squared my shoulders, and gave myself a good mental slap. Now was not the time to let mindless babble get to me. I ignored the now returning ball of anxiety and walked proudly into the living room and sat down for another game.
    The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. My mom didn’t act any different. It didn’t feel any different. I convinced myself it was because nothing was different. I had even managed to enjoy it, or at least that’s what I acted like. That’s what I told everyone as they left one by one. I couldn’t ignore it though. I saw their sideways glances and their bent heads whispering. I knew what they thought of us now. I couldn’t pretend that nothing had changed. I had made my decision before I really knew what I was doing. I pulled my mom into my room after the last of the guests has left.
    It’s hard to explain how difficult it is to bring something like this up in conversation. Where to even begin? How do you even say it? Eventually my mouth just kind of blurted out what I heard my aunt saying earlier. I watched my mom’s face go from genuinely happy, to confused, to almost what I would call mournful. I watched it and it broke my heart. Who cares who gave birth to me. Who cares about what people who don’t matter whisper when they are drunk. The woman in front of me was my mom. As far as I was concerned that’s all that mattered.
    It turns out that my biological mother was my real mother’s sister. She died giving birth and her sister, my mom, took me in. Oh how we cried that night as my mom relived the death of her sister and admitted to me that I wasn’t really hers. She cried and cried as she told me how much she loved me. How much it felt like I was really hers. How no one could ever ever say I wasn’t her daughter. In the end that’s what mattered. She was my mom. She raised me and loved me and kept me safe. She was my best friend. Who cared what anyone else thinks. We have each other and that’s all I cared about.
    A week later me and my mom opted out of having a party and instead the two of us had lunch together. We talked about everything. How the family felt about me dropping out of college, how they blamed her for it. How they thought she would never be able to be the kind of mom her sister would have. Most importantly we talked about how wrong they are. How wrong we would prove them. Us against the world, forever and always.

    1. Observer Tim

      There’s a real intensity here, KE. I think I have some of these relatives; I know I have some of the anxieties. Your focus on the emotional impact of the situation helps it grab hold of the emotions and squeeze. I’m very glad the story worked out the MC and her mother, and it sounds like they’d be better off without her father’s family figuring more than occasionally in their lives.

      Welcome to the site, I hope you choose to stick around because your writing is very good; I can see signs of a few rough edges to be worked off (mostly on the grammar front), but that practice is a large part of what this site is about. 😀

      1. KERobertson

        Thank you so much! I didn’t expect any positive feedback seeing as I wrote it in the middle of the night after a long day or work, so thank you!

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Very well done. The beginning pulled the reader into the story, the dog was perfect. I liked how the potentially destructive overheard conversation led to an even better relationship.

      1. KERobertson

        Thank you! I was tired so I feel like I started off strong and then slowly lost it. I definitely should have let it sit overnight then edited before posting.

  24. nchorsemama

    Gabby was vibrating with unleashed energy. She was riding Sternlin’ Silva “Silver” as she she fondly called him, her favorite thing thing do in all the world. Her best friend really, if she ever stopped long enough to think about it, he was her only friend. She had just finished sharing the wonderful news with him. She was going to see her real Mother tonight! It was Mother’s Day, and the first Mother’s Day she ever really wanted to celebrate. The woman she’d called Mother all these years despised her and said nary a kind word. She’d known from a very early age that there was no love coming from her. On the other hand, the man she called Papa was very kind and did indeed love her, but from afar. He was always away on business, traveling around the world, for what, she knew not. He gifted Silver to her on her fourth birthday, and to this day eight years later, it was the best present she’d ever received .

    “Ready Boy? What do you say we fly like the wind today” She said with anticipation. Silver was dancing in place. He could feel the energy pulsing through her on his bare back. He snorted and pawed the at the ground. He was more than ready! They took off like a bullet out of the stable and sailed over the pasture gate. The rolling hills of the English countryside was indeed her backyard. Long red gold curls flew out behind her like morning sunshine. She laughed as they soared over the huge fallen oak that went down in a storm two years ago. He made the stream that flowed through the valley seem like just a puddle. She was having a glorious time, so much so that she gave him his head as they launched over the neighbors 5 foot stone fence. They weren’t on the property two minutes before the dogs gave chase! It was a game they’d played many times, and Silver had o problems outrunning them on this day.

    As Gabby and Silver returned to the stable, the butterflies intensified in her stomach. Only one hour until dinner and she would see her Mother.

    “Looks like you two had a long run today.” Colin said with a smile. It was a rare sight indeed to see such a smile on Gabby’s face.

    “It was wonderful, Colin and it’s a beautiful day!” If Colin thought it unusual to see this side of her, he’d not mention it, for he knew his place.

    “Would you like me to walk him and rub him down?”

    “No thank you, I have time to do it myself, but thank you.”

    Gabby jumped up from the bay window seat in her Father study for the fourth time in five minutes. The anticipation of seeing her Mother was killing her.

    “Where are they?” she asked to no one, for she was alone in the study. As she paced, she passed her father’s bookcase with the glass doors and saw her reflection. She paused and ran her fingers through her windblown curls. Her face was flush from her glorious ride in the sun. Would her Mother recognize her? Would she look like her Mother? How she had longed to be loved.

    Gabby stood stock still. Was that voices she heard? She ran over the the window seat and sat down. Yes! Footsteps and voices coming closer! She suddenly felt sick. What if her Mother didn’t like her?

    The study door opened. Her Father smiled at her and held open his arms as he always did on those rare visits. She went right in.

    “Gabby, this is Sara……” Gabby looked and saw the woman behind her Father, then tried to look around her.

    ” Where is my Mother?” Gabby searched beyond the study door looking for her. Sara had tears streaming down her face.

    “Charles?” Sara whispered confused as she stared at Gabby.

    ” You said my Mother would be here” Gabby accused

    Gabby this is your Mother!”

    No! That’s not my Mother! She was crying now.

    “Charles” Sara implored “That’s not my Gabby, where it my Gabby?”

    A hysterical laugh could be heard coming toward the study. It got louder with each step. It almost sounded mad. As his wife reached the open door,he could see the hatred in her eyes. She continued to laugh that evil laugh as she said…..

    “Did you really think I would raise your bastard child? I sold that one when she was two years old, all these years and you knew knew! ” She laughed harder and longer at their stunned expressions.

    1. Observer Tim

      Apparently there’s a fourth Bronte sister. This is a wonderful tale in the gothic style, NC (assuming “Horse Mama” is an honorific). I was all set to comment on how your beautiful imagery captured this wonderfully optimistic tale, but then the last two paragraphs turned the whole thing on its head. I can easily see this as the start of a nineteenth-century novel about Gabby’s search for her birth mother, and about Charles and Sara’s search for their birth daughter. Bravo!

      1. nchorsemama

        Thank you so very much for your kind words, this was my first go at this, so I was out of my comfort zone. Sorry about the typos I found your site late last night and decided to be brave. lol Looking forward to trying another.

        1. Observer Tim

          Congratulations on being brave; showing your creativity to the world is like opening up a tiny piece of your soul to others. Now you’ve had your first taste of the “rush” of positive and/or constructive review, I hope you’re hooked. Look forward to seeing you around. 🙂

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Good job setting the scene and mood of the piece. Your characters are well done, especially Colin, who is only seen for a moment. Enjoyable read.

  25. MoiraiTQ

    Mother’s Day 2017.

    This will be a year to remember. This is the year that I found out I had two mothers. My dad wasn’t a bigamist, but we found out Aunt Josie is really our mom. We all already loved Aunt Josie, but this sheds a new light onto our family. We’re all adults, so there shouldn’t be any tantrums.

    Anyway, I digress. As dad and Aunt Josie/mom walk further into the living room, we were all stunned and silent. It’s a good thing that Mom, or at least the woman we called mom our whole lives was dead and not able to see this.

    Then there was a cacophony of voices. Everyone was trying to talk at once. Poor Aunt Josie and dad just stood there. My brother Frank has the loudest voice and he yelled for everyone’s attention.

    “Dad? Aunt Josie? Would you please explain?”

    “Well, your mom and I loved each other, but she couldn’t have any children.” Dad said. “With your Aunt Josie being you mom’s twin, we thought she would be a good donor. We won’t go into details about how you all were conceived…”

    Silence – picturing the Allstate commercial where the man and woman are sitting in the restaurant eating and she says “Silence” in Dennis Haysbert’s voice.

    “Your mom wore a pillow under her clothes to make it look like she was pregnant. Aunt Josie was able to hide it with her weight. This is one reason why you all were born so close together. We didn’t want to have to explain it to you children when you got older and before you could understand. Your Uncle Fred wasn’t able to have children either, so he was happy to see Josie be pregnant and help your mom. So when we were done having children, I had a vasectomy and Josie went on a diet.”

    “After your Uncle Fred died and your mom was sick, your father and I talked about telling you three and how best to do that. We probably should’ve waited for another day.” Aunt Josie said this in her calm and reassuring voice. “We wanted to honor your mom, as usual, on Mother’s Day, but also wanted you all to know that I am part of your lives, too.”

    While we were no longer silent, we were subdued. Frank’s wife, Andrea, spoke up first, “Well, Josie, welcome to the family as our mom. You know we do love you. We’re so happy that we still have another mom to love and wish a happy Mother’s Day to. Let’s eat!”

    We all stood behind our chairs for our traditional Mother’s Day toast. Dad started. “Here’s to the wonderful woman who was Mom to all three of our children. She will never be forgotten or unloved. She loved you all as if she gave birth to you herself. She will be missed.”

    Frank continued, as dad’s voice started to crack. “And to Aunt Josie, who did give birth to us, was always there for us, and always loved us. We love you, too and always will. As Andrea said, ‘Let’s eat!’”

    Everyone sat down and passed the serving bowls. What no one saw was that dad and Aunt Josie were holding hands under the table.

    1. Observer Tim

      Ooh, I wonder how long that’s been going on… Why do I have the sense that, after a couple of estates are cleared up and several lawyers and at least one judge have been consulted, this family is going to become even more close-knit. This is a lovely story, MoiraiTQ. It reads like the sort of thing that the siblings will be telling their kids, about how Grandpa and Great Aunt Josie (a.k.a. Grandma the Second) came together. It’s a lovely take on the prompt and an enjoyable read in its own right.

      1. RafTriesToWrite

        I agree with Reatha. It wasn’t too sad as I was expecting based on the last few stories that I’ve read below. Well done Moirai! Definitely satisfying.

  26. dustymayjane

    The Evergreens was their mom’s favorite place. Tim and Cara looked forward to the annual get together to honor their mother. This year was bittersweet because it would be Pat’s last Mother’s Day. She was dying of cancer. The Lee’s considered themselves blessed to have her with them this one last holiday.

    Tim and Cara Lee waited at the white clothed table set for four. The lovely bouquet of roses would certainly bring joy to their mother. With a smile in place they stood as Pat was wheeled towards them. Tim and Cara were stricken by their mother’s frailty. She was a thin veil of herself and it made their hearts break to see her in such decline.

    “Hello darlings.” She breathed. The always present, coral lipstick in place on an otherwise gray complexion.

    They each kissed her cheek and sat on either side of her wheelchair pushed to the table by their father Donald.

    “Hello children.” Donald said. His face tight with apprehension.

    “Father.”

    “Dad. How are you?” Cara asked, guessing at what his response would be. Instead he directed his attentions to a woman standing nearby.

    “I’m well considering.” He looked at his wife and then as if deciding things were of an urgent nature, he added quickly. “Cara, Tim. Your mother and I thought it was time to introduce you to someone. This is Claudia. You might remember her.”

    Tim looked at Claudia perplexed. “Aren’t you Mom’s cousin? Am I mistaken? It’s been a long time since we’ve been to any family functions.” He was disappointed that the family tradition had been altered but shook Claudia’s hand politely.

    “What is she doing here Dad?” Cara turned a darker shade of pink when her mother tsk..tsked her.

    “I’m sorry Mother.” Cara looked to her father for a response even though she’d been admonished.

    “Let’s all sit down.” Donald led Claudia to the fourth chair.

    Tim and Cara shared a questioning look before Pat commented on the flowers.

    “Oh, look at the roses! Yellow, my favorite.”

    Her children’s hearts warmed and were once again reminded of the few remaining moments they would share with the woman they loved.

    Donald cleared his throat. “Like I said, we wanted you to learn the truth…about your parentage.”

    “Our parentage? Spoken in unison.

    “Your mother and I thought this would be a good time to tell you that Claudia is your biological mother.”

    Cara shouted. “What? Today?”

    Pat interrupted and quickly shushed her children’s gasps. “Shh darlings. It’s certainly an odd thing to hear, but please listen with an open mind.”

    “Odd? That’s not quite what I’d call it.” This from Tim.

    Pat’s smile was filled with love and patience, quieting her son. “Claudia isn’t only my cousin, she was my best friend. After learning I was unable to conceive, Claudia selflessly offered to give us the children we wanted so badly. Now that I’m dying, I wanted to gift you back to her. I know that you both have generous hearts, like hers, and will look at this as a gift to you as well.”

    Cara held her mother’s hand and allowed her tears to fall. Tim’s Adam’s apple jumped in his throat as he swallowed emotion.

    Claudia finally spoke. “Children, I have watched you grow from afar and have loved you as if you were mine to keep. Tim, the reason you didn’t come to family events is because of the strain your presence put on me. Your mother knew how I suffered and she loved me enough to spare me that. Cara, I watched you become a beautiful young woman only through the cards and letters I received over the years. I haven’t been blessed with my own children and have so much love to give. I hope you’ll allow me to be a part of your lives, now and especially later.”

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Patricia Ann Lee died later that week with her loved ones by her side. Claudia held her children’s hands and though it’s difficult to lose your mother, it helped to have a new mother there to hold on to.

    1. Observer Tim

      And this is the story of some folks who did it right. I love the bittersweet atmosphere you created here and the gentle way that things are worked out at the correct time, and it’s a lovely touch that Claudia’s long wait can come to an end. I love a well-written passing-of-the-torch story. Nicely done, Dusty May.

  27. ReathaThomasOakley

    Horace visits his daughter on Mother’s Day
    1909

    Laurel clutched her doll and listened to the voices, her aunts’ and a man’s, from the other room.

    “I gotta see her, gotta show her, gotta tell her…” That man’s crying, Laurel thought, mens don’t cry.

    She pulled the doll to her face to better inhale the vanilla-smelling deer tongue stuffing.

    “Horace, you been drinkin’,” her aunt Mildred said, “you don’t want yore girl to see you this way.”

    That’s my daddy, Laurel thought, my daddy’s in the kitchen.

    “But, I read ’bout it in the newspaper, how we all gotta honor our mamas, thank ’em, do things for ’em,” the man let out a great sigh. “Call it Mother’s Day, they do.”

    “We know, Horace, that we do,” her aunt Edna said.

    “I gotta tell my girl ’bout her mama, ’bout Sarah, my sweet lovely Sarah.” Horace sobbed. “She didn’t run off with no railroad man. I gotta tell Laurel.”

    “But, Laurel’s still asleep, maybe you come back later today.”

    “No, can’t, Sue Ann ain’t gonna let me, I gotta sneak out, gotta sneak, gotta…” Laurel strained to hear more. Finally her aunt Mildred spoke.

    “What we gonna do with him, Laurel can’t see him this way.”

    “Come on, we gotta get him out to that hiflautin’ car of his, come on, grab that arm, we’re strong ole women, we can do this,” Edna laughed.

    In her cot Laurel turned to the wall, pulled up her quilt, and closed her eyes as she breathed the scent of vanilla.

    “Night, Mama,” she whispered into the dark. “Happy Mother’s Day.”

    (It’s been a while, but some might recall, Laurel grows up to be Granny. I had to check an earlier story, below, for aunts’ names, thought I’d give it another run.)

    Horace Visits His Daughter
    1907

    “She don’t look much like Sarah,” Horace said as he watched the sturdy child toddle across the porch, a soft cloth doll clutched in one small fist.

    “Ain’t got her nature, neither,” Mildred, the taller of the two women, said as she lifted the little girl, who struggled to get away before she was carried down the steps and set on the sandy ground.

    “She’s a fiery one, this girl is,” the other woman, Edna, said with an indulgent smile. “‘Bout all we can do to keep her from hurtin’ herself, so busy she is from time she wakes up ’til second dark.”

    “But, you can keep her, can’t you?” Horace asked from the straight chair he’d propped against the wall of the house. “I ain’t got no way…”

    “Horace, she been ours since you left her. We tended to her, loved her, and we ain’t never gonna do no different.” Edna sat back in the rocking chair. “We ‘preciate you sendin’ out groceries and goods with Desi’s daughter, but this girl’s ours.” Edna watched as Mildred guided the child to the garden.

    “Horace, you know Sarah didn’t run out on you. You know she was a good girl, no matter what folks been sayin’,” Edna paused. “It was you what went after her, if you hadn’t…”

    “You think I don’t know that, ain’t one day goes by I don’t wish I could go back,” Horace let out a sob. “That day, that day, there I was, wore out workin’ on that house, that battle ship of a house,” Horace laughed. “I ain’t never thought it that way. Not a battle ship, no, one a them big boats what comes down the St. Johns, Northern tourists, all dressed up, standin’ up high, lookin’ down on common folks, on fools wishin’ they was up there.” Horace stood.

    “Even ‘fore I saw Sarah I knowed Sue Ann didn’t really want me, just wanted what I could give her,” he looked out to the pines as if he was back in time.

    “There I was, up high in my big boat, lookin’ down, prideful, but somethin’ not right, then I seen her. Little slip of a thing, draggin’ that bag, lookin’ lost. But, when I called down to her, she straightened right up, put down her bag, righted that little hat she was wearin’,” Horace pulled himself back from the past.

    “But, if I could, I don’t know, even with everthing’s happened, even with my ship sinkin’, I don’t know what I’d change.” He went down the steps toward his daughter. “Don’t know, just don’t know.”

    1. Observer Tim

      Poor Horace, lost and drifting on a sea of not understanding the women in his life. This brought back a lot of memories, Reatha; and once again raised Horace as a man to be pitied for letting his circumstances run roughshod over him. Not a word is wasted or out of place, and the power of the situation sits like a rumbling storm that’s run its course. Beautiful.

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Thank you, Tim. I continue to feel empathy for Horace, a very weak, conflicted man.

        I should have added the 1907 story was originally posted 7/6/16. I’ve needed to get back to a Girl story.

      2. RafTriesToWrite

        I agree with Tim. Beautifully written indeed! I found myself empathizing for Horace and his situation with his daughter and everything else in his life.

        There are more sad stories than happy ones in this week’s prompt that I’ve read. I’m a little bit concerned, but mostly eager and excited to read the other stories now.

        1. ReathaThomasOakley

          Thanks, Raf. I should have explained I’ve been writing about a family of women since my very first posting February, 2015, these are two “chapters”.

  28. JRSimmang

    THE LOVE OF A CHILD

    He’s funny, my neighbor, pacing back and forth on his phone, day in and day out, right on his patio in between the flower pots that housed, what, crocus, or belladonna, or maybe marigolds. I wondered what he was talking about and who he was talking to, but I don’t any more. Now, I just watch, wait. He’s bound to change at some point. We all do, right?

    “Did you hear me?” my dad asked as he moved his face in front of mine.

    “Yeah,” but something was off. “Where’s mom?”

    “Right here.” He motioned to the woman on his left.

    “That’s not mom.”

    He sighed. He’s always sighing. Sighing about breakfast. Sighing about the low fuel light. Sighing about leaving and coming and going and breathing and drinking. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

    “Herman,” he sighed again. “I thought-”

    “You thought, what, that I wouldn’t notice?”

    “Herman,” she spoke. “Why don’t you let us in?”

    “Why would I do that. You’re not my mom, and it’s Mother’s Day.” I turned to my dad. “Where’s mom, dad?”

    “Son, look. We’ve been through this before. Several times already. Just let us in.”

    I tensed my jaw and crossed my arms. “Answer the question, dad. Where. Is. Mom?”

    He reached his hand out to me, to comfort me I suppose, but I slapped it out of the way.

    “Dad. Answer the question.” My heart started to pound against my chest, and I could feel the hot sting of tears welling in the corners of my eyes. “Where is she?”

    “Herman.” He reached out again, and I hit his hands out of the way so I could grab at his collar.

    “Careful, Rufus. You know how he can get,” she spoke.

    “How I can get?” I lunged at my dad. “What’s she talking about, dad? Why does she think she knows me?” I grasped for his throat as he pulled me close into a bear hug.

    My dad was strong. But I supposed you had to be strong to break the will of a child.

    His hands, calloused and thick, pinched my shoulder and side, and my breath slowly eked from me in one long whisper. He fought me, and I thrashed and wiggled, and tried to work my arms free. He was an anchor’s chain, wrapped around the pier so that to move would rend it from the shore. I was a minnow, and he was the weight of the ocean. I heard my blood banging in my ears.

    “Sh, Herman.”

    In my periphery, I noticed a single tear from her eye, and something tugged at me, right in my solar plexus, before the edges of my vision slipped into clouds. Across the way, my neighbor hanged up his phone and shouted just to where I could hear him, “Mr Rembrandt, do you need help?”

    “Not this time, Grant. Thanks,” dad murmured over his shoulder.

    He nodded and went back to his patio and sat down like he always does after he gets off his phone, and pulled out his all too familiar notepad. I wondered what he scribbled onto his notepad, right there on his patio in between his potted plants. What were they? Crocus? Belladonna? Marigold? I don’t wonder anymore. Now, they’re comforting to me. An encouraging splash of color.

    “Thanks for coming dad,” I whispered and hugged him back. “We don’t see each other enough any more.”

    “I agree,” he said, and hugged me back.

    “Oh, and tell mom I love her. When you visit her grave.”

    He sighed. He’s always sighing. Sighing about lunch. Sighing about the distance between cities. Sighing about love and loss and the wind. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

    “You always sigh when I talk about her.”

    “It’s hard to hear, son.” He held me at arm’s length. “But I’ll tell her.”

    He turned to walk away, and waved back at me. Some lady joined him several paces out. Maybe they knew each other.

    Oh well. Happy Mother’s Day, mom.

    -JR Simmang

    1. Observer Tim

      JR, you have an incredible way of writing about mentally damaged people. I find myself empathizing with Herman, who seems to be suffering from some form of juvenile dementia. I can’t quite read whether the woman is his mother (whom he doesn’t recognize for some reason) or his father’s new wife who Herman cannot accept (or possibly even comprehend). It’s an intense story and one that leaves me on the edge of tears. Great job.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      The opening scene with the neighbor, and mixing marigolds with belladonna, had me wondering what was going on and eager to keep reading. I really liked the anchor/pier description. Then, as the neighbor got off the phone it all started to make some sense. Wonderfully done.

    3. RafTriesToWrite

      That actually made me tear up JR. You got me hooked on the first line that it made me want to read more. It makes me wonder now whether Herman will ever know who was the woman his father was with.

      Very moving indeed! Wonderful job.

  29. RafTriesToWrite

    I felt the cold breeze push me back away from something that I may later regret. For a moment I thought, even after all that smell of the grease on my shirt, the times that the hot coffee dripped on my hands, the heat of the flames that always bursts to my face whenever I turn on that awful stove, the increasingly annoying number of customer complaints and the sh*tty pay that I had to endure at that diner, I thought I could keep it together.

    I did, for a moment, but sadly it didn’t last long enough. I know it may seem silly to some people but, what happened a few hours ago was what set me off running to the rooftop of my ten story apartment and contemplate on the ledge of the building whether to cry my eyes out or to see how it would feel to go sky diving without the parachute and the minimum required distance from the ground to do it.

    I nearly starved myself to death just to save the money I earned in that ghastly old diner to buy things for mother’s day. Dandelions, because my mom told me herself that this was her favorite, some chocolates because I know she loves them good ‘ol Ferrero Rocher and to cook her favorite dish which was the all time family Skye favorite spaghetti and meatballs, but more precisely mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. Although I couldn’t quite replicate the taste of my mom’s spaghetti and meatballs, I tried to do the best that I could – it turned out awful as expected.

    Given the dreadful track record that I have with my life ever since I moved out of my parents’ house, why did I even thought – just for a second – that I could have one measly moment in my 5 years of being an independent woman to have everything not be so overwhelmingly horrible?

    I was wrong and naive to believe it.

    Maybe I still am – even right now – given the fact that I’m still standing on this ledge regardless of what the freezing cold air says, I didn’t listened to it. As I stepped forward, slowly nearing the edge, my mind went back to that moment, the moment when everything went south in just a span of twenty seconds.

    It was on cue – the first time actually – when my parents arrived at my apartment for dinner. I really wish I hadn’t opened that blasted door, I never wanted the drama. I’ve had enough of those in the last five years.

    If they just told me, maybe when I was like nine years old, that my parents got a surrogate mother just to have me, I would’ve probably understood it, but only now my dad has decided to tell me this big information that apparently my legal mother and father have been keeping from me.

    Why now?

    Her name was Sherry. The name was enough to make me yell at my dad after he explained the surrogacy thing. I couldn’t bear to look at them any longer so I ended the evening short, we never even ate dinner. I just shut the door behind them and sat quietly on my old rustic beige couch, staring blankly at the carefully set dining table. ‘What was he thinking?’ I thought to myself.

    I couldn’t believe what just happened.

    My dad managed to destroy – forever – what was supposed to be a happy memory for me, by introducing me to my biological mother.

    It was all too much by then, so I ran up here, hoping I would find the answers that I’m looking for. Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on how you look at it – I found an answer.

    “It has to end” I whispered under my breath, as the final teardrop slid across my cheek and the smell of the freshly brewed coffee carried by the wind met my senses, I did what I thought was necessary.

    1. Observer Tim

      Your character has some pretty serious issues here, Raf; it seems like she’s having a total emotional breakdown. You did a great job portraying her shattered self-worth and showing us the dark road it was taking her down. This is intense and riveting and leaves me worrying about what she’s going to do next: will she jump or will she cry?

      Though I am a tad curious about where her ‘legal’ mother has got to in all this…

      1. RafTriesToWrite

        Thanks for the feedback OT! Honestly, this work was greatly influenced by the sadness I felt when I read Pete’s work below, then I remembered the feeling when I read RTO’s work on Finish This Sentence #4. It really got me worked up.

        I’d like to thank them as well, that I was able to write this one.

      1. RafTriesToWrite

        Thanks Reatha! I was struggling to keep myself from writing a dialogue in this one because I was so used to making them. I’m glad that this turned out well than I expected.

  30. chandra_wd_writer

    “Did you hear the doorbell first or the gunshot?” asked the detective as if it was the last piece of the puzzle.

    How on earth what we heard first would help him?

    “I think we heard the gunshot first. Probably a few seconds before the doorbell rang,” I said hiding my frustration.

    “So you heard the gunshot, and then you heard the doorbell, and then you opened the door.”

    “Yes. And my wife called 911.”

    “Why would you open the door when you just heard a gunshot?”

    “We were expecting my father and mother.”

    “Were you not scared when you heard the gunshot?”

    “Scared. Hell, we were. Sorry. I need sleep. My wife took our daughter and ran upstairs. And I opened the door. I just opened it, you know. Probably my brain froze for a moment. It’s not every day you deal with gunshots here.”

    “And you found your father standing on the doorsteps…”

    “Yes. And I saw this strange woman lying on the ground, a few feet behind him. And a thick streak of blood was finding its way onto the street from our walkway. She was dead. You don’t need doctors to say that. You can just tell she was dead from the look of her eyes.”

    “What’s the first thing you asked your father after that?” He asked as if he never cared about that dead woman.

    “I asked him about Mom. She was supposed to come with him.”

    “What did your father say?”

    “He hugged me and pointed his finger at the dead stranger in front of our house and said ‘she is your Mom.’ And then the sirens became louder, and I could barely hear what he said after that.”

    “Wait, this sounds like a plot straight out of Hollywood,” he said and looked straight into my eyes as if he could penetrate through them and read my thoughts.

    “I need to get a lawyer. I am not going to speak further without a lawyer,” I said without taking away my gaze from him.

    “You have a history of drug abuse, gambling, and served a year in the prison.”

    “That’s fifteen years ago. I had been clear ever since I walked out of that prison. I have a family now. I need to get my lawyer. I need to get my lawyer right now.”

    “Alright. We will get to the bottom of it. Like we always do,” he said and stood up.

    “I am sure you will, sir,” I said as I got up from my chair and pushed it back with my left leg.

    “Oh yes, I forgot, sorry for your loss,” the detective said as he held the door half opened.

    “Thank you! I am not sure what I should grieve about? The death of a stranger? Or the false life I lived? Or the death of my ‘real’ mother?”

    “You, and we, will soon find that out. Very soon,” he said and shut the door behind him.

    I dragged myself out of the room and waited outside for my father. He was being interrogated in a different room. I have no idea what this crazy old man was telling the detectives.

    I probably had more questions to ask than what that young detective had. Who the hell was that dead woman? And why did my father say she was my mother? And where was my other mother?

    To say, ‘life is stranger than fiction,’ is a cliche. But I have no better way to summarize what unfolded that evening.

    But more than anything else, I was thinking how was I going to get away with this murder? I had a plan to get away with the murder of my mother; no, not this stranger who suddenly showed up as a fallen angel in front of my house and took a bullet that was not meant for her. That’s confusing, even for me. But you got it, right? I am a murderer, and you can count on me for a lousy prose style. First, I need to find a way to get away from this murder. And then plan another one. I know that’s a lot for you to take in now. But what can we do? Life indeed is stranger than fiction. Do you have more questions now or do I have more? Maybe, the detectives have more. But it’s not the questions that matter so much, it’s the answers that matter. False answers matter more than the real ones.

    1. Observer Tim

      Okay, this one twisted like a snake held by the tail. You did a great job subtly giving the impression that the MC was lying. It sounds like the detective didn’t believe him either. The whole take is an interesting view into the mind of a killer. And why did he want to kill his mother? And is he somehow in collusion with his father (who would have seen the shooting)?

      1. chandra_wd_writer

        Thanks, Reatha. I am really glad you liked it. In retrospect, I think my last paragraph should have had a few more lines to clarify how the MC hired a hitman to do this job.

  31. Michele

    I always wondered why my mother and I seemed worlds apart, until one Mothers Day, a few years ago, my father brought this woman to our annual MD picnic. I remember at first thinking that maybe she was just a friend, or even a co-worker, but when I came upon them in a deep conversation, and noticed how nervous she was, I knew her being there was more then just a casual visit. I tried to sneak away and in doing so I accidently knocked over a watering can that had been carelessly left by some bushes. My father looked up, and for a brief second it seemed as though he wanted to sink into the ground. “Amy?” I recall him saying, startled that I was there. “Uh, hi dad”, I replied, feeling nervous myself. “Is my father having an affair”, I wondered, as they both seemed guilty about something. He asked me what I was doing there and when I told him I wasn’t spying on them, and that I didn’t even know that they were there, he beckoned me over. I decided to just come out and ask them both why were they huddled together like that, even asking bluntly if something was going on between the two of them, and by the way, “Where was mom?” My father looked so serious when he took my hand, and giving it a gentle squeeze, replied that my mother was there. I remember him looking so fondly at this other woman, and pulling her toward me said, “Amy, this is your biological mother.” I stared at the both of them, my jaw dropping, and when I glanced back at the woman who stood before me, I sensed a familiarity about her. Had I met her before, I wondered? “What’s going on, ‘ I asked. My father draped his arm through mine and said he wanted us to go back to the house so that we could talk. In was the most emotional day of my life as he explained that this woman, Nancy, was my biological mother. He quickly explained how they were in a relationship years ago, and that when she wanted to pursue her doctorate degree, and realizing that I deserved a mother who could be more to me then what she could be, Nancy had given me up for adoption to the woman who raised me. My father allowed the adoption, marrying my ‘mother’ so that we could be a family. My father explained that the reason he was telling me this now was because Nancy was dying of cancer, and it was crucial that before she passed away, that we get to know each other and spend time together. I turned my attention back toward the woman who stood before me with, not only tears in her eyes, but with the warmest smile that I had ever seen, and I knew at that moment that what my father was telling me was the truth. I realized then why she seemed familiar to me. Her eyes were my eyes. Her smile, my smile. We resembled each other, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that this woman, Nancy, was indeed my mother.

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a powerfully emotional tale you’re telling, Michele. I felt totally caught up in the MC’s emotions regarding this strange turn of events. It sounds like her father had to convince Nancy to come, and I’m left with the impression that she’ll bolt if she gets the chance. The whole tale is powerful, and sounds like it will lead to some serious soul-searching on the MC’s part.

      From a structural standpoint, paragraph breaks would really come in handy to allow the reader (i.e. me) to take the time to read slowly and process the story as it happens.

        1. Michele

          Thank you, Reatha & Tim, for the feedback. I did try to separate the sentences into smaller paragraphs, but since the guideline said to write no more then 500 words I didn’t know if it would cut me off after a certain point, and then i wouldn’t be able to continue writing. When I tried to break it up after I was done writing, for some reason it wouldn’t let me. I think I may have clicked on submit first and that’s why it wouldn’t allow me to.

          1. Observer Tim

            Hi Michele;

            The 500 words is a guideline enforced on the honour system, so the site isn’t going to go spare on you if you exceed it. And carriage returns don’t count, so that’s a saving grace too. Keep on writing, and keep on posting! I love your work. 😀

          2. ReathaThomasOakley

            Michele, to add a bit more to what Tim wrote, trying to keep close to 500 words has forced me to think about every one. I’ve certainly exceeded that length a number of times, but, for me, rereading and editing has been a great learning experience. However, please don’t ever let the word limit keep you from telling your story.

  32. Kaboosh

    “Who the hell is this?” I ask, glaring at the girl at my door.

    “That’s no way to talk to your new mother. I’d like to introduce you to Poppy.” My father says all this as if it was normal to get a new girlfriend without telling your kid.

    “Poppy? Sounds like a stripper name,” I retort.

    “Good to know you’ve been hanging out at strip clubs instead of looking for a real job.”

    “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” We glare at each other for a few seconds while Poppy stands at the door uncomfortably.

    “It’s fine, really. If you don’t want us here, we’ll be happy to go,” Poppy says. Her voice is smooth, yet high-pitched, like a child’s, and her face matches her voice, young and beautiful. Her outfit catches my eye as she speaks. She wears a pink dress which becomes transparent at her waist. Underneath it, she wears pants with a Japanese floral style stitched in. My dad looks at her as if he’s in a trance, hypnotized by her delicate looks. No matter her beauty, this is not my mother.

    “Can we talk upstairs?” I tell my dad, more of an order than a question. I step out from the doorway and let Poppy sit down. Once I walk up the stairs with my dad, I turn towards him. “What is going on?”

    “Your mom and I were having some problems, so we separated. Soon after, I found Poppy.”

    “Problems? What problems? I visited last week and you guys seemed fine. How did you get a divorce and find some skank in a week?”

    “Don’t call her that. She is an intelligent woman and she makes a steady source of income, unlike you.”

    Of course she does. Prostitution can make you a ton. And you need to stop yelling at me because I make millions in the stock market. Jealousy will not make you any more successful.”

    “Jealous? You think I’m jealous of your big house and fancy car? Jordan, you’re a sixteen-year-old high school drop-out. You could have done so much with your life, but you decided to give up before exerting an ounce of effort. But right now I don’t want to point out your flaws, I want you to accept mine. Just let me try something out for once.” He pleads with his eyes, but I still can’t forgive him for throwing my mom out like trash. I just nod my head and walk back downstairs. Poppy sits at a stool chair around the island in my kitchen. As I sit across from her and my dad, I try to make it feel like a normal Mother’s Day. I tune out their voices and watch Poppy swing her legs in a hypnotizing motion. I look towards my dad and try to accept the fact that things change and I can’t help that, but everything still felt off. My eyes drift back to Poppy in front of me, who wears a fragile smile. Why did you enter my life, I wonder. Who are you? I hear a voice in my head. A voice that is smooth yet high-pitched. Young and beautiful, like a child’s. A voice that matches the face in front of me. A voice that places three words into my mind and leaves as suddenly as it appears. Three words that would change my entire life.

    “I am yours.”

    1. Observer Tim

      In my world, this would be start of a story about mind control, with Poppy as the unlikely villain. The whole setting screams questions at me which I would love to get the answers for… What happened to the MC’s actual mother that she couldn’t show up? Why does the father think his millionaire son is a failure? How did the MC learn any kind of family values (probably from his mother)? You have me intrigued, Kaboosh. It’s a nicely crafted opener to a much longer (and I’m sure more sordid) tale.

      1. Kaboosh

        Thank you! I tried to drop subtle hints about mind control to see if anyone could catch it. I was questioning whether or not to continue the series and if I should delve into the supernatural and it’s a yes for both. Hope you enjoy.

  33. Observer Tim

    The story so far: Derryn 417 is on the Moon running from the authorities in a vacation gone totally wrong. He and his guide Rina dodged their pursuers, only to be taken captive by a pair of crooked workmen and locked in a storage closet.

    1. Observer Tim

      ORIGIN

      Rina

      “Ryn, what possessed you to tell them about Yonatan 001?”

      At least our captors were treating us well, or as well as you can call it when your hands are tied behind your back and you’re sitting with a total nubb in a rusty storage closet that smells of industrial cleaner. At least we hadn’t been beaten or shot, though ‘Morti’ had taken the liberty of feeling me up while patting me down.

      “I thought they would let us go when they found out.”

      “That we were valuable to a man who owns ten percent of the Moon. Now we have to wait while Morti and Hana negotiate a ransom.”

      “I’m sorry.”

      “Do they not have petty criminals on Earth?”

      “I didn’t run in to any before I came here.”

      “I guess down there the little crooks get squeezed out by the big crooks. Next time let me do the talking.”

      He got that thoughtful look –one part innocent and two parts clueless– that said another stupid question was coming. Whatever; at least I was getting ten creds an hour for being held hostage.

      “Rina, how did you end up here?”

      “I was escorting a clueless nubb who blabbed to some petty hostage-takers.”

      “That’s not what I mean; I mean, why are you on the Moon? Even I can recognize a spacer when I see one. You must have an interesting story.”

      “It’s a long one.”

      “We have time.”

      I was about to start one of the standard lies when it caught in my throat. This nubb would believe what I told him, and was too clueless to tell a fairy tale from the truth. A part of my brain I hadn’t listened to in years said what the heck?

      “Here’s the short form: I’m from Gernsbeck Space Colony. I left my family there when I was twelve cycles old.”

      “Why would you do that?”

      “We have a holiday on Gernsbeck called Mother’s Day; you don’t need to know the details, just that my father decided to celebrate it by bringing home a new mother.”

      “I didn’t know you could do that; there are times I would have really liked to replace my mother.”

      “You can’t do that! And especially not with a doxy who was only four years older than my big brother! Mother was no saint, but she didn’t deserve that. I ran away from home to find her.”

      “Did you?”

      “Yeah; her DNA was in the starboard Waste Recycling Unit. I stowed away on the first ship out. I was a useless nubb kid at the time, but they put me to work cleaning cabins. In the years since I got my engineer and navigator tickets.”

      “Wow, really? Why aren’t you still out there?”

      “Because I sniffed stardust one too many times. Nobody wants a junkie steering their ship or maintaining life support. I got unceremoniously dumped here and have been trying to get out since. And that’s my life; welcome aboard.”

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Rina’s history is so moving. I suspect if any of this becomes a reality there will be lots of folks like these, trying to escape, but with too much stardust. A very entertaining saga with this bittersweet ending(?).

  34. Pete

    We were on the side patio. The sun fighting with the passing clouds. I’d just set the burgers on the grille as Lani and Heather sat with the kids, in the thick of negotiations over the usage of the Radio Flyer. I kept glancing back, smiling, at Heather’s kids, with my kids. Still hard to believe we were the parents now.

    A shiny Buick slid up close, until the tires rubbed the curb just behind Heather’s Rogue. Heather glanced up, her sunglasses perched on her head, the color draining from her face before her smile could drop.

    I shut the grill as she got to her feet. Heather swallowed, her voice cracking. “What the hell’s he doing?”

    “Heather, please,” I said, looking over to Lani with the kids. “It’s…Mother’s Day.”

    “She’s not our mother. She’s a goddamned monster.”

    Heather’s three years older than me, which gives her a much more detailed picture of what happened. Dad stepped out of the car, weak but smiling, tossing us a parade wave. Ready to play the role of grandfather.

    “Hey kids.”

    Heather groaned. I moved from one foot to the other, wearing a silly chef’s apron like an idiot. Behind us, Lani approached, pulling the wagon, all four kids piled in. Jake, my oldest, pointed to the car, “Who’s that?”

    Heather and I seldom spoke about what put her through ten years of therapy. One for every tremulous finger now covering her face. She let out a gasp and ran in the house, leaving Lani torn between going after her, looking over the kids, or standing with me and gawking at the old bastard as he helped a murderer out of the Buick.

    She went after Heather and stood in the yard. This was supposed to be their day.

    Jake asked again who the man was and I shushed him, then felt bad about it, so I snapped at Dad. “What are you doing here?”
    The woman took a wobbly gaze at the kids. Dad stood there, incredulous. “Happy Mother’s Day.”

    I shook my head. The woman at his side stood hunched over in the shade, her lips moving, afraid of the curb, her hand in my father’s.

    “What’s she doing here?”

    “Hell of way to talk to your mother.”

    “I’m talking to you.”

    He ducked carefully to help the old woman. She was creased, her movements brittle. She looked twenty years older than him, maybe that’s what prison did to a person. As for Dad, he looked over the yard, casual as ever. Innocent. But the old man had balls, he took a step in my yard. “We’d like to spend some time with our grandchildren.”

    I took a step back, guarding the kids. “I’d like to spend time with my brother.”

    Dad flinched at that. Jake looked at me, then to his grandparents, his blue eyes open wide. “Daddy, you have a brother?”

    The old man stood there, my son stared up at me. The other kids were back to bickering about the wagon again. The grill was smoking.

    “She’s not welcome here, Dad.”

    “She’s your mother.”

    “No, she’s not.”

    “Who’s not your mommy, Daddy?”

    I knelt by Jake, kept my back to the monsters. I opened my mouth, about to explain the inexplicable to a four-year-old, when Heather came tearing out of the door.

    She was a blur of tears and shrieks. “You killed him. You deranged bitch. You killed him in his sleep.”

    I got an arm around Heather just in time, trying to harness her rage, but struggling to get a hold on her flailing arms and molten hatred. I smelled the bourbon on her breath, as her hair flew and Lani corralled the kids as they began to cry. Finally, I wrestled her to the ground in a heap of sobs, lifted my head from her hair and saw my father watching us. I pointed up the street, anywhere, “Go.”

    His mouth opened, shut, and maybe he finally realized he couldn’t rewrite history. He shook his head slowly, got turned around and opened the door. Helped set the murder back in the passenger seat.

    Heather convulsed in my arms. I shook my head. “It’s not your fault.”

    She crumpled in my arms, her eyes rolling back thirty years back in her head, seeing Jacob lifeless in the bed where she found him, choked to death by the demon staring out from the the car as it pulled up the street. Once it was gone, I got Heather off the grass and to her feet. She pulled her hair back and stared at the clouds, let out a wet breath.

    “Come on,” I said, heading for the smoke, “Let’s go hug our kids.”

    1. dustymayjane

      SHIVERS!!! Such a good read and I literally have gooseflesh. Family tragedies never forgiven…I would love to read more about it.

    2. Observer Tim

      Talk about a dysfunctional family! There is a reason families tend to break up when things like this are in their past. I’m surprised the father didn’t warn his kids that he was bringing their mother over, and that they didn’t get a notification that she was out of jail. However, that all pales against the intensity of the scene and the implications of what is going to happen afterward. It’s a dark and tragic situation and you did a great job of capturing the horror of it.

  35. randi100

    I’m not a big holiday person but Mother’s Day was always different. I loved making my mom cards and those dreaded macaroni necklaces. My gifts to her always made her eyes light up. She would then shower me in hugs and kisses.
    This year Mother’s Day was going to be extra special. I moved into my first post college apartment two weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to show off my place to my parents. Even though I still had some boxes to unpack the apartment didn’t look too bad. I dressed up my thrift store kitchen table with more thrift store finds. Tablecloth, candlesticks, and vases made it look quite festive. It had that whole “shabby chic” look to it. All pastels, the favorite pallet of my mom.
    I even cooked, another mind-boggling accomplishment. I felt so grown up. Everything was perfect! I took a fast shower. I wanted to be ready when my parents arrived. I planned to meet mom at the door with a bouquet of sunflowers, her favorite.
    Right at 3 the doorbell rang, they are never late for anything. I opened the door, held out the sunflowers but something was wrong. My dad was standing there with a woman I had never seen before. Dad and a strange woman walked in and complimented me on the beauty of the flowers.
    I felt the room spin, actually I think I could feel the earth tilting just a little more on it’s axis.
    “ummmm… dad? What’s going on? Who is this? Where’s mom?” I finally managed to stammer out.
    “Beatrice, I think you need to sit down.” Said my dad
    I managed to find my way to my new eggshell white sofa. It was my only big splurge, a graduation gift to myself.
    Dad started talking but I know I didn’t hear all of his prepared speech. The only words that stuck with me were “This is Margaret, she’s your biological mother.”
    I couldn’t get a word out; no noise would come out of my mouth no matter how hard I tried.

    “CUT!!!!”

    “Janice, did you forget your line again???” The director yelled.
    I had in fact forgotten my next line. I thought for sure I would get fired from my very first movie. I had whole 4 lines and I couldn’t keep them straight, my nerves were getting the best of me. I was in this lousy, low budget, low talent film and I couldn’t remember my damn lines.

    The director came over to me and whispered my next line in my ear, “Dad, what the hell are you talking about?”

    “Is that so hard to remember????” Yelled the very angry and very bald director.

    I went back to my mark and got ready to start the scene over. This time I did it! I got all my lines and that scene was a wrap. Thank goodness. I got in my car and headed to my parents house. One day I will make enough money to move out on my own.

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a clever twist on the prompt, Randi. You caught me by surprise here, though I would hope for some resolution of the movie scene, and more about Janice’s home life. But that said it’s an enjoyable read with a nice surprise. Good job!

COMMENT