What Matters


(100 word challenge)

“Well, shit.”

He’d forgotten Allison’s birthday again.

She joined him on the deck and handed him a fluted glass of champagne. They toasted.

“How could I forget?”

She laughed. “You always do. You’re just so busy paying attention to everything else that matters. There are no strikes against you, Rick.”

He kissed her. “I’m so glad you’re not the type that would pitch a fit.”

“I used to. Remember? We’ve both changed. We’re not who we were when we met.”

Once, that had pained him. He thought they had lost everything between them.

But love always remained.

The Dwelling



“What do you want in this marriage?”

The question came from an unassuming therapist with a kind smile. It was always difficult in the beginning, especially when you had to consciously make an effort to be vulnerable. Her husband would not do that. But, she was willing to step off the ledge into the abyss and be transformed in her self and in her life.

“I want to talk with him. I want to ask how he rates this marriage, what he feels and thinks about it. I want to know what he sees as weaknesses and strengths. I want to work out resolutions with him. I want him to put his arm around me again, to be in our marriage with me in a together sense.

“But I don’t want to hear how we don’t work, don’t fit, don’t match, don’t share all the same interests and that there are no ways to resolve our differences.

“We came together as soul mates. We’re soul mates still, but not in the same way. The stakes are higher. It’s more than dating and sharing interests. We’ve been through the hottest part of hell and we might be hanging from a twig on a cliff in that hell pit, but we’re moving forward. We share a history. We’re family. We weren’t that when we first started out. All we had was shared interests and attraction. That doesn’t last when the going gets tough. Our going got real tough and we are here together despite it. Our connection is stronger, if we don’t throw it away.”

Cancer of The Heart

Photo by Alex Andrews from Pexels

(100 word challenge)

Every time he snapped at her, or mimicked her as if she were an imbecile, or spoke to her with malicious contempt, she quickly slit his throat…in her mind.

Once, while driving, she indulged in a glance at his exposed throat while he slept. I couldn’t! She could never live with herself; could never be separated from her children; could not throw away the possibility of welcoming grandchildren into the world.

The feelings dulled in time, but remained her defense against a lover living in a hell that had metastasized and nearly consumed him completely. It would not consume her.

Meadow of Hope

Photo by Mina-Marie Michell from Pexels

(100 word challenge)

She often sat in her room in a rocking chair that she’d cuddled each baby in. The window revealed an expanse of meadow that contained a rainbow of flowers. Neighboring horses reached for the tender grass over the fence that enclosed their pasture.

“Mom, come have dinner,” her daughter said from the door.

“Will you save it for me?” She often felt hungrier after the sun set, after a day of having eaten nothing since breakfast. She’d lost sixty pounds.

“I’m worried about you.”

She didn’t hear. Beyond the meadow was a road. She awaited his return.

I Will Be Brave

Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst

The Shores of Loss

Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

(100 word challenge)

At sunset, pink cotton clouds stick to the fading blue sky and float toward an orange sun that gradually melts them into memories: her smile, her infectious laugh, those dancing blue eyes.

Rose takes her husband’s hand and they glance at the clock. Eleven past seven. He squeezes her hand.

Yesterday, in the pages of years gone by where their youngest daughter lives, there is the moment she died, when the sea slammed the shore and tore husband and wife apart.

Splintered wreckage floated uselessly, unable to rescue their broken hearts.

Now?  They float on a raft they made together.

Cloud Burst

Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

(100 word challenge)

Rain. Dark night presses on windowpanes. There is the soft glow of moon through dispersing clouds.

“Are you coming to bed?”

“Soon,” she tells him. “My thoughts are restless and I am enjoying the beauty outside.”

“Don’t be long. The cats won’t settle down if you don’t come to bed.”

Five slow, deep breaths and there is peace again. Leftover rain drops dot the window. Beyond, the wind begins to lull the neighborhood to sleep.

Beauty without. Beauty within. Come what may, she will not yield to ugliness and pain. She likes the person that she is.