Friday, March 11, 2011

Introducing Fiction Friday

Today, I'm excited - and nervous - to share a piece of my own original fiction.


As the sun rises slowly above the horizon, she stirs. The sounds of the outside world drift to her ears. She hears the drone of car engines, the sounds of squeaking brakes, the wind blowing through a nearby patch of trees. She hears the world going by without her.

She sits up, brushes off her grimy blankets. She is not cold this morning, happy that spring is on the way. As she tries to run her fingers through her matted hair, she reflects on her day ahead. How slowly will the hours pass? Will the kindness of a stranger allow her to quiet her hungry stomach?

As the sun lifts higher in the morning sky, the traffic thickens on the roads. It is time to get moving… about nineteen more miles, if she remembers correctly. It is time to hold her head up high. It is time to give in to that glimmer of hope. Perhaps today will finally bring the miracle she so desperately needs.

She is taking a risk today. Bringing only what fits in her battered backpack and leaving the rest, hoping that she will not need these grungy things anymore. That, come tonight, she will have washed the harshness of the past two years from her hair, her body, and her heart. She has been traveling for nearly two weeks, but her long journey began in what feels like another lifetime.

She knows she screwed up. Her heart is burdened each day with guilt for the hurt she caused. Her tears have fallen night after night since she realized what she had done. She is thankful for the priest who cared enough to sit and talk with her. Who fed her when she was hungry. And who directed her to the clinic where she could finally free herself from the demons of addiction. She has put a lot of miles on her tired feet lately, but today she walks with an extra spring in her step. She is walking towards the hope of forgiveness, the promise of love, the comfort of home.

At the end of the long day, as the sun begins to sink again towards the horizon, she reaches the neighborhood she once knew so well. Her heart is pounding and her hands begin to shake. There is no turning back now. Turning back, she knows, would lead to disaster. This is where she should be. This is the place she never should have left. Never again will she take for granted the tangible love that resides in the house up ahead.

With a repentant heart and a trembling finger, she presses the doorbell. She hears the faint tune of the chime inside the home. She waits, staring down at her thin body. A sound at the door makes her look up. The lock clicks and the door is opened.

The older woman’s look of confusion is instantly washed over with astonishment as recognition dawns upon her.

“Mom…”, whispers the younger woman, “Mom… I’m home.”

A gasp, and the mother drops to her knees. The daughter drops down to her, they embrace. Tears flow freely. Healing tears, the kind that will begin to wash away the dirt of the past. As they cry and stare in wonder at each other, mother and daughter cautiously open the doors to a brand new day.

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