Thursday, January 15, 2009

Throw Away the Key

Search Engine Fiction is back for 2009 and the first prompt is - throw away the key. Here's my flash fiction story.
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Keeping the key safe and the goods locked up was the number one priority, at least according to her. “There’s nothing more sacred that a woman has,” was her mantra.

She’d handed her key to my grandfather, “the one special man”, and together they partook of the goods for three weeks until he was shipped off to the frontline and unceremoniously gunned down by a German with a stronger destiny. She locked the chest up tight after that because “the right man only comes along once”.

My mother fared no better. She met my father and within hours she’d given him her key. He stuck around a few days, and then said, “I need to get some cigarettes”; 35 years later he’s still looking for the right brand. My mother waited the nine months it took for me to find my way here, and then died in a bathtub of crimson water, her wrists slit open, evidence to my Gran once again of the sacredness of the goods. “She gave it away to easily.” A thinly veiled warning for me.

I waited patiently for 35 years for fear of making the wrong move; waiting for the special man created by destiny only for me. Gran’s gone now, but her words resonate in my head. Nevertheless, I gave her plan half my life and it didn’t produce much. Today is the day for a change.

Today’s my birthday, my true birth day, a day of transition. Time to see what is inside that sacred chest. It is time to throw away the key.

5 comments:

Selma said...

A day of transition but also of transformation.

I remember similar tales from my grandmother's generation. I believe some of my great aunts actually died with their virtue still intact.

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!!!

kayt said...

If this doesn't bring back memories...'why would he buy the cow if the milk is given away free' is the quote that comes most readily to mind

nice piece of flash - tight and nicely drawn - I really liked this!!

texasblu said...

I like your use of metaphors - very creative.

Very tight piece of flash fiction! The imagery works well and the story was quickly understood - nice!

Lauri said...

Selma, Kayt and Texasblu- thanks for your comments, you're always all too kind.

Anonymous said...

I,too, like your story. Thanks, DavidM