And it’s time for another round of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge.
This week I am actually going to put what my prompt was after the story. The reason for this is because I fear that knowing the prompt might spoil what I have now dubbed “The Something or Another Trilogy.” (Part I and Part II) I will say that the story came together in my head almost instantly after reading my prompt.
It’s funny, I never intended to make this into a series. It basically started because I liked the sound of the title. My prompts for the past two weeks just worked as perfect continuations of a story that I didn’t plan to continue.
Police came to the door of The Mother the morning after the jump. The pounding at the door woke her up, hungover to the point where she wanted to perform a lobotomy on herself with a corkscrew. They told her that her son had died. Jumped off a building. When she asked if she was needed to go to the hospital to confirm that it was indeed her son’s body they told her no, there wasn’t any real body left to be identified that they had to go off the dental records and DNA found on the scene and that they were truly sorry for her loss. It was the first of The Man that The Mother had heard since the social worker took him away, all those years ago.
Preparations for the funeral began the next day. There was no coffin; there wasn’t enough of a body left to even be put into one. The Mother was forced to get The Man cremated, though she didn’t want her son to be burned. She wanted him to be buried next to The Father. Body by body.
The funeral itself had few guests. Three, to be precise. There was The Mother, of course, and she had a hidden flask full of vodka with her. The other guests were an older woman with a young child. A girl, crying uncontrollably. The Mother did not recognize either of them.
And the death of The Man is not to say that he actually had nothing to live for. He did. In the most important way imaginable, he still had something to live for. It caused him to delay the inevitable for as long as he did. A daughter. She is currently five years old.
The Man was barely out of the foster home by the time that he met The Wife. He was in the early stages of his alcoholic depression, and she was happy to oblige The Man. Drugs too, there were a lot of drugs at this point in The Man’s life. After The Daughter arrived, The Wife ran away, leaving The Man to raise the child on his own. There is still no trace of The Wife, she is believed to be on the run from the authorities.
After the funeral had completed the woman at the funeral walked up to The Mother and began speaking to her. She told The Mother that the young girl there across the room was The Man’s daughter, The Wife is not around and that she, The Mother, is The Daughter’s closest living relative. The Mother took a long drink from her flask as the woman continued. But given her ‘history’ the state has deemed The Mother unfit to care for The Daughter and that she would be placed into foster care.
She didn’t care, The Mother. The Man had run away years ago, called the social worker. It was he who severed all the ties between the two, not her. That girl is not her problem. Besides, with every single person she is close to, that person’s life turns to shit. The Father died in the snow after years of fighting, and now The Man…well, she didn’t even want to think about that. She was unfit to care for The Daughter and she knew it.
The Mother started drinking more. A lot more.
On the night of his suicide The Man had written two notes. The first note was held in an envelope and remained in his apartment. It stated that it was to be read by The Daughter when she was older. In it he wanted to explain himself. And he wanted to say he was sorry. Pain had won out against love. The second note was mailed and addressed to The Mother. It arrived about a week after the funeral.
When the letter arrived, The Mother was in a rare sober state. In truth it was early afternoon and she was nursing a massive hangover from the night before. She was surprised to see handwritten mail addressed to her, and it took her a few minutes before she realized who had written it. The letter sat on the kitchen table for quite some time, The Mother was afraid to read what was in it. She was sure that The Man was going to blame her for his suicide. She killed him. Even in death, he was going to find a way to ruin her life more.
The Mother took a shot before finally reaching for the letter with trembling hands. She found that it only contained one sentence:
Please take care of her, I know that you can do it.
For the first time since The Boy had been taken away all those years ago, The Mother cried. She cried for the fighting she and the Father did and how it affected The Boy. She cried for the day he tried to drain her vodka. She cried for the day he ran away and the day he was taken. She cried for the fact that she couldn’t have been there in The Man’s final days. She couldn’t save him. But what she cried the most for was that even though she had been such a horrible mother to him, he forgave her.
It has been 15 years since the sink in the bathroom smelled like fat black markers and the drain tasted vodka. Only this time it was The Mother, not The Boy, pouring it into oblivion. She finally decided she needed to make some changes to her life.
After all, she had a granddaughter to meet.
My prompt this week came from Bran and it was this:
Tell me something bitter, but then turn it sweet.
I took this prompt to mean “The Something or Another Trilogy” as a whole.