Not Your Real Mother

Mother’s Day is over and you’ve just finished a nice dinner with your mom when you receive a phone call. An unfamiliar female voice is on the other end and says, “Stop celebrating with her! I’m your real mother.” Write this scene.

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

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12 thoughts on “Not Your Real Mother

  1. othome22

    Mothers Day Fake
    A Short Story

    I stepped out of the restaurant quietly, my mother squeezing my hand. She looks at me with a wild grin on her face, and she holds a brochure in her other hand. On the brochure is an ad for a free trip to Hawaii, and we were just about to leave for a mother daughter trip there. I am reaching for the brochure to browse all the exciting things we can do, when my phone begins to buzz. I reach for it and put it to my ear. “What in the world are you doing celebrating with that woman?! Come home and celebrate with me!” Said a voice in the phone.

    I looked at my mom, who had a worried expression on her face. I keep listening to what this woman had to say. “My name is Rosemary Wells, your REAL mother! I gave you to this woman when you were 2, since I was poor and needed someone to take care of you. But once I was all right, she had already grown on you and wouldn’t give you back! Meet me behind the movie theatre. See you there.” Then the phone clicked off.

    I looked at my “mom” with a look of anger on my face. I walked ahead and got in the passenger seat of the car, crossed my arms and looked out the window. When the car arrived at the theatre, I excused myself to the bathroom. Once I was in I hopped out the window, and head to the back. I glanced around, and out of the shadows a woman appeared. She had brown, frilly hair like mine, and freckles splattered across her face. She looked like me, but with wrinkles and more experience. “Mom?” I asked.

    She nodded her head toward a nice Subaru and motioned for me to come in. “We got a lot of catching up to do Bea.”

  2. kathleenmagner

    The smell of cashews and orange chicken melded with the roses, lilies, and tulips, mixing our savory dinner and my life in flowers into a surprisingly pleasant perfume. Collecting the last takeout container, I stuffed them into a plastic bag, and tied the handles into a knot.

    “I can take that to the trash.” My mother stood, offering her hand.

    “It’s Mother’s Day. You shouldn’t be taking out the garbage.”

    The phone rang and Mom beckoned the remains of our celebratory meal with a waggle of pudgy fingers. Giving up on my attempt at good daughter protocol, I handed over the bag before trotting through the plastic strips separating the public and workspace sides of my shop, and reached the counter before the answering machine could pick up what I guessed would be another last minute order.

    “Trent Flowers.”

    A woman on the other end cleared her throat. “Irene Trent?”

    “Yes.” I snagged a blank pad of paper and a pen, one I’d topped with a silk hibiscus. “What can I do for you?”

    “Open the front door.”

    I leaned over the counter, eyeing the darkened entrance through the menagerie of garden decorations and refrigerated cabinets. A shadowed figure stood on the other side of the glass, silhouetted in the parking lot’s lights. She had an elbow bent, holding what I assumed to be a phone to her ear.

    “Um…” I tipped behind my register. “I’m afraid we’re closed.”

    “Please. I’m asking as a mother. Your mother.”

    I flinched from the receiver and stared at the earpiece. The back door slammed and my mother returned from the garbage bin in the alley, her plodding steps taking her to the plastic strips.

    “Anything more I can do for you, Irene?”

    I turned to her, and whatever look I had on my face caused hers to go white as a daisy. I gazed into her blue eyes, ones so much brighter and rounder than my own. They hovered above plump cheeks and a plumper body. Mine had sprouted too tall, like a blade of grass never trimmed. My brown irises and figure had been from my father, Mom had explained when I’d first noted the difference, the father who’d left us behind before I’d entered the world. Her explanation had been enough for a while, but my mind had kept churning on the possibility of something else at the root, although I’d learned to stop asking.

    “Irene, please,” said the woman on the phone.

    I brought the receiver back to my lips and whispered, “Just a minute.”

    Cupping the speaking end of the phone, I faced my mother and angled my chin at an array of cut stems cluttering the floor and ribbons needing to be wound. “I have to finish cleaning up. Why don’t you head out and we’ll meet for coffee tomorrow?”

    Mom’s furrows deepened. “Honey? Are you alright?”

    … Click here to read the rest and feel free to leave a comment.

  3. risshaw

    “Not my mom, she is boring, let’s get your mom to take us to the movies.” I hung up and climbed into bed tomorrow was mother’s day and I promised mom I would have breakfast with her.
    The next morning after breakfast I received a phone call the voice on the other end was distorted. “Your mother is not who you think….If you want to know the truth meet me at the park fountain at noon….Brax do not let anyone follow you.” the phone went dead.
    It had to be some kind of joke but I had to check it out. It was 11:30am I scribbled a note to my mother,
    Happy Mother’s Day thanks for breakfast.
    Going to the library see you tonight.
    Love, Brax
    There was no one at the fountain when I arrived at 11:50am. I laughed at myself for buying into this for even a second. I decided to grab a lemonade from the park vendor. I was halfway done when I noticed a red balloon floating by the fountain.. Curios I ran over to check it out. A rock was tied to the balloon and under the rock a ticket to the park zoo.
    I took the ticket to the ticket master he smiled at the ticket then slid something across the counter. It was a map with circles around some of the exhibits. At each exhibit with a circle there was a card with a word written on it.
    I noticed someone watching me they were wearing a hooded sweatshirt covering her face. I panicked and took off running to the next spot on the map but the hooded person was following me. “Don’t let anyone follow you.” I remembered the phone call. For the rest of the time at the zoo ran around like a spy ducking into hiding places sneaking around my heart raced with adrenaline until I finally reached the last note.
    The last note instructed me to put the words in order and then destroy the message. Once I put the words together they read….
    I ripped up the message and flushed it in the bathroom. It was almost four so I ran all the way to the theater. When I finally reached the ticket booth and went up to the teller I realized I had no money. I looked at the kiosk theater six was showing a movie that I really wanted to see what a coincidence.
    I was deciding what to do when the teller whispered my name. “Psst, hey are you Brax?” He gestured for me to come close. He pulled out a ticket and slid it across to me. “Go on its already paid for she is inside waiting.”
    I took the ticket and went into theater six. There weren’t many people seated in the theater. I found the row and counted down the seats sitting in seat 13 was a woman wearing a hooded sweatshirt, the someone that had been following me. I thought about running away when she looked up and took off her hood and smiled at me.
    “MOM!!” Brax yelled.
    His mother just laughed, “Who is boring now Brax?”
    We stayed and watched the movie together and I told my mother this was the best day of my life.

  4. Spitten

    Scraping the remnants of my half eaten chicken, yucca and yellow rice into the trash, I sighed. In the mirror, I’d practiced telling her my big news – “Mom, I found my own place. I’m going to move out.” Simple enough, but even when I tucked her photo in the mirror frame, I began to jumble my words, stutter and shuffle my feet. Our conversations were awkward at best. Like two ships passing in the night, we didn’t know each other.
    Ring. Ring. Ring.
    I slid the plate onto the counter with one hand and grabbed the phone with my free hand, I answered.
    “Stop celebrating with her! I’m your real mother.”
    “Hanging up now.” I shoved the phone back into its cradle and flicked a wayward piece of rice off my wrist.
    Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.
    The phone continued to ring as I rinsed the plates, slid them in the dishwasher, wiped down the counter, dried my hands, found that flicked piece of rice and dropped it in the trash.
    The ringing stopped.
    I returned to the dining room where my mother still sat, cell phone in hand.
    I sat at the far end of the table.
    “Who called?”
    “Just a Mother’s day prank. Said she’s my real mother, then I hung up.” I lifted my knees and placed my hands palm down underneath my thighs.
    Mom’s eyes were squinting now. Her thin lips looked even thinner as they furled back, “That’s it?”
    “Yes. They called back but I didn’t answer.”
    The phone rang again and I flinched.
    “I’ll get it.” I rushed to the phone cradle, nearly knocking the phone to the ground. “Hello.”
    “Just listen.”
    I threw a nervous smile into the doorway of the dining room – she was looking.
    “You got 1 minute.” I hissed.
    “I’ve waited twenty three years for this moment. Before they took you, I saw you – you looked more like me than any of my girls, your sisters. I know you have a small birthmark on your belly. I remember.”
    “I do have a birthmark but — ”
    “But you don’t believe me.”
    “I think you –”
    “I’m not crazy. The woman you sat and ate dinner with tonight was just a stranger in a hospital bed across from mine twenty three years ago. I had her daughter…”
    “Her daughter passed away.”
    “I’m so sorry…” my voice trailed off.
    Mom looked up.
    “She needed a blood transfusion but I wasn’t a match. How could it be – that’s when we knew. After she passed, I called the hospital; I questioned the nurses and the doctors and anyone who would listen.”
    She sounded as though she would break now.
    “You are a very brave woman,” I finally said. I could hear her trying to muffle a sob. “I don’t know how else to say this, but to just say it.”
    “Please, please, please,” she was murmuring.
    “I was delivered in a home birth…there’s no way I could be yours. I’m so sorry.”
    As if the air was knocked from her lungs, she gasped. There was a noise, maybe the phone dropping.
    “Hello,” I asked, whispering almost. “Hello?”
    The line clicked. I looked at the receiver, wishing I had been born in a hospital, wishing I’d been taken by the wrong person, wishing, I laid the phone back in its cradle. A tear lingered on my chin and I wiped it, ashamed. How could I feel this way?
    I entered the living room, joining my mother at the dinner table. This time I folded my hands across my lap. I smiled at her. She looked up from her cell and smiled back.
    With time, I thought to myself. With time we’d be okay. By-PPitts

  5. Kathy

    Mom put down her fork and pushed her plate away. “That was great, Jennie,” she said, patting her stomach. “I’m stuffed.”
    I smiled, pleased. I’d only recently discovered a love of cooking. Making this meal for my mother on Mother’s Day had been a labor of love in more ways than one. I’d spent extra time and effort to make it perfect, with my best china and a vase of flowers flanked by candles as a centerpiece. “You’re welcome, Mom. I’m glad you liked it.”
    “I liked it so much, I’m going to have to put in some extra time at the gym,” she said with a reuful grin. She would, too. Mom was in great shape for 52, slim and shapely.
    The phone rang. I rose and picked up the receiver that sat on the antique sideboard in my dining room.
    A woman’s voice, raspy, whispering, said, “Stop celebrating with her! I’m your real mother.” Despite the fact that she was whispering, she was speaking in an urgent tone, with great emphasis.
    “What?” I asked, dumbfounded.
    “She doesn’t deserve you. You’re my child,” the voice said.
    I frowned, then asked, “Is this a prank? Did Lilly put you up to this?” I knew the voice wasn’t Lilly’s, but I wouldn’t put it past her to get someone else to do something like this. Lilly was a great friend, but sometimes her wacky sense of humor went a bit too far.
    “No!” the voice hissed. “I’m your real mother!” Her voice had risen to actual speech now. Her voice was still a bit raspy, but was obviously female, and had a southern twang to it.
    “This isn’t funny,” I told her angrily, and I slammed down the phone.
    “Jennie? Who was that? What’s wrong?” my mother asked, rising to her feet, her face full of concern.
    “I don’t know,” I said, frowning, “It was weird.” I thought for a moment, then shrugged. “A practical joke, I’m sure. Don’t worry about it.” I began to clear the table.
    Mom still looked worried, but she gave me a smile and picked up her plate.
    “No, you sit. I’ll bring in coffee,” I told her. “You can’t clear the table on Mother’s Day.”

    I was in the kitchen when the phone rang again. I was pouring coffee, so I didn’t immediately move to pick it up. It quit ringing after the second ring, and I forgot about it until I heard Mom’s voice, raised in alarm.
    When I reached the dining room, I saw her standing by the sideboard, clutching the phone to her ear so tightly her knuckles were white. She was trembling, her face was pale, her eyes enormous.
    “Mom?” I asked, and knew immediately it was the woman who’d called a couple of minutes ago.
    “Why are you doing this?” Mom asked in an anguished tone. “Leave us alone!”
    “Hang up!” I urged her, crossing to her side. “Hang up, Mom. Don’t give her the satisfaction.”
    With a shudder, she abruptly slammed the phone down.
    “Sit down,” I said gently, tugging Mom back towards the table.
    Mom sank down in her chair, and looked up at me. The look on her face made my stomach clench. “What did she say?” I asked.
    We both jumped when the phone rang again. I was there in two strides. I snatched it up, yelled, “Stop calling here!” and slammed it back down.
    Mom and I both stared at the phone, as if the phone itself might be dangerous, and we wanted to catch the first sign of lethal movement. It remained silent.
    With a shuddering sigh, Mom turned to look at me. “Jennie, I don’t think that was a prank.”
    “You don’t?” I asked, surprised. What else could it be? If someone thought telling me Mom wasn’t my real mom would be a shock, they didn’t know us very well. That I was adopted was no secret.
    Mom shook her head, her brown curls bouncing against her pale cheeks. She looked up at me, her eyes troubled. “No. I think…it really was your mom. Your birth mother.”
    I stared at her in shock. No one knew who my birth mother was! I was abandoned at a church. So how could my birth mother have found me?
    Mom took a deep breath, swallowed hard, and took my hands in hers. “Jennie, I have something to tell you. About you. And your mother.”
    I sat down, nearly missing the chair, as my legs turned to jelly and my world turned upside down.
    “We didn’t want to have to ever tell you the truth,” Mom said. She was looking at me in a pleading way, as if fearing she would lose me once she’d told me the truth. “Not because you didn’t have a right to know, but because it would serve no purpose but to upset you.”
    I couldn’t speak, could barely breathe. My parents had lied to me? My whole life? I couldn’t get beyond that yet, wasn’t ready to hear whatever she had to say. But the phone rang again.
    “Let it ring,” Mom said, holding tightly to my hands. “Jennie, please believe that what we did was done out of love. We just didn’t want to cause you pain.”
    I still couldn’t speak, and the ringing of the phone grated on my nerves. My skin felt like I was being stung by a thousand bees everytime it pealed again.
    Mom said, “You weren’t abandoned in a church. I know who your mother is, and where she’s supposed to be. And she shouldn’t have access to a phone.”
    I swallowed, trying to get some moisture into my dry mouth.
    “Your mother was committed to the state mental hospital when she was six months pregnant. She was put there because she…” Mom paused, then forced herself to finish. “She was a serial killer. She killed six people before they caught her.”
    My whole world cracked, and seemed to implode around me. My ears were ringing more loudly than the phone, and my heart felt as if it might gallop right out of my chest. I stared at Mom, the only mother I’d ever known, in silent horror.
    “I’m sorry, honey,” Mom whispered, and tears filled her eyes, then spilled over to track down her cheeks, glistening in the candlelight.

  6. alyssauseUrTelescope

    Hundreds of dirty diapers changed. Years of bracing through games of “pickup” , wiping mashed peas off of the kitchen floor, but allowing it to continue, just to see the giddy smile on my face. rocking me until every tear was done flowing out of my eyes, which would eventually find rest. being there to give me the push i needed to ride without training wheels. Lifting me up high enough to swing on the branch of my favorite tree behind our house. Making sure my hair was cute and my make up was pretty to woo that one boy at my first school dance. Doing the same thing before prom, while listening to me bitch about how nothing was going right. Hearing my bedroom door slam out of anger of not knowing how to handle her wisdom.
    19 years of care, and nurture. 3 seconds was all it took to slam the importance of that right into my heart. 3 seconds was all it took to change everything. I stared at the porcelin, italian doll-like framework of Amelia Duksta, my mother…or so I thought up to this point.
    “ready to leave, sweetie ? I think i’ve had enough spaghetti to last me a month. and that’s saying a lot. i’m 100% italian.” I brushed the bangs of my natural sunflower blonde hair away from my blue eyes, and stared at her…not knowing how to name any emotion i may have been feeling.
    “Alyssa ?” I couldn’t speak. The woman on the other line continued to ask if I was there, and if i was…to say something.
    “I…I….” I stammered, unable to come up with any sentence that would be coherent to the human ear.
    My mom, whose face was now painted fully with the colors of confusion and discern, took my phone from my grasp. “679….the area code of massachusetts.”, she murmered to no one.
    “I’m glad to hear you’re cured, Elizabeth.” With a click of a button, my mom stared blankly at me for a few moments.
    “That was your birth mother. She…had cancer that was supposed to be terminal. She fought to accept that, though. She was determined to make it. After 18 years, she finally did. Neither of us wanted you to grow up with a mother that you could lose at any time. But…she’s cured. She’s going to live a long time. I love

  7. Nicole778899

    We laughed at the table.”Honey I’m so glad we could spend this time together.” Then the phone rang. “I’ll get it mom” She nodded and continued eating her dinner.I grabbed the phone and before I could say “Hello” A woman on the other line yelled.”Stop celebrating with her!I’m your real mother!””Very funny Happy Mother’s Day.” I giggled. I was just about to hang up when I heard “Please, just hear me out!” I thought this woman was crazy ,but I listened.”I’m May Florm your real mother it’s a long story,” Just then my mom asked “How is it hon?” “Um, my friend Marcy. I’ll just be a second!” I rushed upstairs and the woman sighed “You were two and she stole you from me you have the power to save the world!” I rolled my eyes “You really want to mess with me don’t you?” “No I’m telling the truth tell your “mother ” You want to got sleep over at Marcy’s I will pick you up at the park.” “What in the world are you crazy!” “I’m sorry Abigail.I-I … just don’t let here take you to 237 Maine Street. I hung up and walked downstairs and sat down. “Hey tomorrow I want to take you to a friend of mine’s house okay?” I though about what that women said and answered “I can’t Marcy what’s me to sleepover and I need to meet here at the park.” “Okay, I guess I’ll let you go.” Then it was silent for a long time. “Tomorrow…” I thought.

  8. smokinggun5

    I looked to my left where my mom was placed in her chair perfectly. Her elbow on the side of her chair and hand dangling, relaxed. A look on her beautiful face, her distracting deep blue eyes, something was wrong, this made my body quiver . Concern. It was written all over her face, yet her body still on hold, frozen after being so happy and delighted of my pursuit to make her a thoughtful mothers day dinner.
    My mother, Antoinette and I had just finished eating a mothers day meal I had hand cooked for the occasion. My mom overwhelmed by my kindness to celebrate the holiday was standing up to clean our two dishes when we were both alarmed by how loud the phone seemed to ring. I picked it up, for I was the closest and gave the dialer a good ear. As soon as I seemed to pick the phone up, I put it down.
    Myself, just as startled as my mother seemed to be, turned around and gave a loving, mother to daughter stare. It almost brought tears to my eyes. How could someone so fast, with so much nerve believe they can approach a family without warning and drop heavy news on the weight of their shoulders. As frustrated and disquieted as I would, I was just as interested and concerned as well.
    The woman’s scratchy voice, in which seemed not in any way familiar, had just shocked my ears by telling me to quote on quote, ” Stop celebrating with her!” and insisted we were related by adding, ” I’m your real mother!”

    1. Spitten

      I like that you chose to describe the dinner and the mother/daughter relationship first, and leave the prompt as the catalyst. I especially liked the “distracting deep blue eyes” description, nice touch.

  9. RainbowSheltie

    Title: Code Word: Mother’s Day

    As I listened to the strange, feminine voice on the other end of the phone, Ran felt chills snake quickly down his back. He tried to suppress a shudder that, nonetheless took over his shoulders and arms. The lady’s voice was not familiar, but her alluringly stern words were: “Stop celebrating with her! I’m your real mother.”
    Jesse elbowed his brother in the ribs when he saw Ran’s stunned expression, combined with his mouth trying and failing to form speaking words. “What’s the matter, bro?” he prompted. “A pretty girl got your tongue?”

    Ran couldn’t respond to his brothers taunting, this message was too important to let his guard down, even for a second. “We knew…”

    His brother trailed off, lost inside his own mind. Jesse was stunned himself; his brother was acting stranger than normal. His was the straight-A high school student who loved following the rules, never at a loss for words and always trying to make Jesse a better then B-average student (mostly by nagging him about his homework and study habits).

    Yet, here Ran was, speechless and a deadpanned expression to boot. While Jesse would have liked nothing more than to rag on his brother some more, an instinct inside of him pulled him back. Restraint, it didn’t happen often, but Jesse usually listened to his instincts. He was a natural with people, his popularity at his high school attested to that.

    Then, something struck Jesse as odd. His brother, Ran, had said, “We knew…” instead of “He knew…”
    “We knew… what? What do I have to do with this, Ran? What’s wrong?” While Jesse held back the worry from his voice, he was suddenly curious what was going on in Ran’s mind.

    “We… she called us, bro. I had forgotten… today is our 18th Mother’s Day. The code we vowed to honor… our duties…” For the first time in Jesse’s life, his brother looked completely scared out of his mind. Yet, Jesse’s own face reflected sadness as he realized what Ran was talking about, what that phone call was about.

    Jesse placed his hand on his brother’s shoulders, while pulling the cordless phone out of a strong death-grip. Absently, Jesse placed the phone silently back on its receiver. Ran’s black eyes met the deep blue in Jesse’s, whose voice was strong yet kind as he spoke. A quick look around the living room told Jesse that their parents, specifically their mom, was nowhere in sight. “We knew this day was coming. The code words were spoken: Stop celebrating with her! I’m your real mother. Our mission is clear: Justice Be Done.”

    Tears rolled down Ran’s face; he was older then Jesse by a few months, supposed to be stronger and reliable but… Jesse snapped Ran out of his reverie, his voice low but stern. “You will always be the older brother I can rely on, and this break in your emotional mask will not change my opinion. Do you remember why we took this assignment? Why we let our new “mom” think her kids, who had been kidnapped almost ten years ago, think they were back from the dead that they had finally returned home because of some “miracle”?”

    Blue eyes bore deep into Ran, made him remember and calmed him down. “She made- she made a deal,” he started unevenly. “She kept… the- the ransom money and made a deal with the child smugglers.”

    Ran’s brother nodded encouragingly, motioning for him to go on. As Ran spoke, he found himself starting to finally detach himself from his undercover assignment, the role of son he played for a woman named Marian. “She became a social worker, a foster parent – the insider who has never left a shred of evidence to her involvement. No one would suspect kind, beautiful lady Marian of having a secret, illegal life on the side. Until-”

    “Until she was in an accident, two years ago.” Jesse finished. “A few foster parents found out about Marian, but there was nothing they could do. And after Marian’s accident, she never recovered her memory of her previous life.”

    “Miss. Yukiko was the only person to escape with her life after the gang started coming after the parents, and anyone, who found out about them. She was left for dead in a near-by field, but the old hermit found her and she survived, unbeknownst to anyone else.” Ran looked towards the kitchen where he could smell the apple pie baking in the oven. It was almost done, because the two brothers could smell the fresh scent of apple cinnamon.

    Jesse smiled; Ran was finally coming around. While their undercover story was that they were brothers, in real life, it was still true. Flesh and blood, and all that. Jesse pulled out the pair of Katara from his backpack sitting across the floor. They were a pair of ancient daggers used by holding the blades in a position above the knuckles on each hand.
    Ran crossed over to the fire place, taking his sword, a Katana, off the fireplace mantle. Miss. Yukiko wasn’t just a foster woman who knew too much – she one of the head honchos in a large Asian gang. Although she participated in many dubious activities in the past, selling children was never one of them. Yukiko had drawn the line when the attempt had been made on her life.

    Ran and Jesse were Yukiko’s children. Born and raised to be assassins, this one of their first set of assignments for Yukiko. Punishing those who the police could not. The brothers looked at one another; the pie would have to wait.

    Justice Be Done.