Short Story #20

Ok, I feel like I’ve gone all the way backwards and can’t put a story together anymore. I used a picture as inspiration and after two false starts this is what I’ve come up with and I’m still not happy. It has felt like pulling teeth for every sentence – and I don’t like the dentist. Almost like I’ve forgotten the English language and all the rules for writing. Maybe that is the problem – too many rules. Only 10 days left, and I’d like to make the most of them to motivate me to write. I enjoy writing most of the time. Hopefully (shouldn’t be using adverbs – another rule) I just need some good sleep.


Resurrecting Dreams
 
This is what it must feel like to be in an airplane she thought. She looked down at the top of the clouds covering her village from the mountain top. The rising sun was glistening against a few windows she could see far down below in the small gaps between the puffy white clumps.
 
She tried to get the bearings of the streets. The only school in the area stood in the distance, a reminder of a joyful childhood and memorable friendships. So many of them had left after graduation for big cities and bright lights. Their social media pages told of successful careers and glamorous lives that included marriage and beautiful children. She had never left this place of her birth, not even once.
 
This was the first time that she had climbed up here in her forty years of living. Strict parents had forbidden it and then an overbearing husband had done the same. She tried to see if their house was visible through the clouds – it wasn’t. Her sister would probably be getting her husband’s breakfast ready in her mysterious absence. Ethel always did prefer Carter to her own Adam.
 
Would any of them be looking for her? As the sun rose higher and the clouds dissipated, she tracked each place that her dreams had gone to die.
 
The end of school hadn’t meant further studies. She would get to practice nursing without qualifications for her mother and father, after serving many years in their grocery shop, but that would be as far as it would go for her. No career.
 
Love was not the promise her heart made in the little church, but rather obedience and loyalty to the suitable wealthy man her parents promised her to. Carter could provide for them in her their old age, and her siblings. That had to be enough.
 
Floating in a pool of tears, the clinic held the memories of her stillborn baby girl. It also shouted the news of her inability to become a mother. Now she was meant to take on the child of Carter’s lover as if it had been a planned surrogacy. She had been told to see this as a blessing that he had bestowed on her – and she was sure he would continue bestowing with the twenty-five-year old auburn-haired secretary for years to come, or somebody else willing.
 
The last resting place of her final dream was the library. Her secret book written in stolen moments over five years had been rejected with a scathing email.
…lack of talent.
…abandon any attempt at pursuing this hobby.
…uneducated.

These were just some of the comments that had been the last of any hope.
 
As she watched a bird gliding down toward the houses, she wondered what it would feel like floating on the air. How long would it take to reach the ground?
 
A hand touched her shoulder, jerking her from these thoughts.
 
“Adam, what are you doing here?”
 
Her sister’s husband took his hand back. “I’ve come to give you a birthday present.”
 
“How did you know I was here?” she asked.
 
“I’m sorry, but I followed you.”
 
“Why?”
 
“Because I didn’t want them to destroy what I have for you.”
 
“What is it?” she asked looking at the cellphone he pulled from his pocket.
 
“It is an email with an offer of a contract for your book.”
 
“But how…” her mouth gaped.
 
“Carter knows of your dream to publish and your book. He also knows the publisher that no doubt tore you down per his request.”
 
“What? How do you know?”
 
“He couldn’t help scoffing at what he views as your delusions of fame, and I presume expected my silence as gratitude for being allowed to stay in his house. I however didn’t comply and sent your manuscript to someone he has no influence over without his knowledge. You don’t have to stay here anymore. They are offering enough to find your own place and would like a sequel. I could come with you if you like and together we could afford it. It isn’t like I’m wanted here anyway.”
 
Emily closed her eyes and remembered her dreams. Maybe she could resurrect them in a different form. Was it possible at her age?

by Debbie Gravett © 2020.12.14

Image by Kohji Asakawa from Pixabay

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