Thursday, July 28, 2011

Remorse - and forgiveness?

This week's Red Wrtiting Hood prompt (via the Red Dress Club) asked us to revisit a former post and give it an overhaul:

"Go back in the archives and pick a fiction or nonfiction piece. Perhaps something you posted on your blog, or an old Red Dress Club prompt? Find something that you're proud of, but something you haven't read for awhile. Do a complete overhaul. Change the point of view. Write it from a different perspective. Try dialogue. Make it a narrative. Play with tense or organizational structure. You know, kill those babies. Oh, and by the way? Trim it down to 400 words or less."

I revised my first blog fiction piece, titled "Runaway". It's a story of remorse and the hope for forgiveness. The original can be found HERE.

RUNAWAY (take two)

The sun emerges above the horizon; her aching body begins to wake. Her ears heed the cacophony of sounds: humming car engines, squeaking brakes, rubber tires hugging the bridge deck above. A groan from her own lips, as she wills her miserable body to a sitting position. Grimy blankets are tossed aside. She is thankful for the greening of the trees and the hearty sprouts of wild daffodils. Never again will she take for granted the warmth of spring. Struggling to run her fingers through her matted hair, she reflects on the path ahead. How slowly will the hours pass? Will her abused sneakers survive the - hopefully final - journey? Her stomach gurgles… will she get to eat?

Perhaps today will bring the miracle she so desperately needs.

She is taking a risk, bringing only what fits in her battered backpack and leaving the rest. Come tonight, if she is forgiven, she will wash away the evidence of a life gone wrong.

“I hope this nightmare ends today,” she mutters as her feet met the sidewalk for the nineteenth day in a row. She whispers to the sky, “Come on God, give me a break. I screwed up, I get it. I’m clean now. You know how much I need this.”

The widow wakes, as she has for the past two years, with a heart full of loneliness and a mind full of questions. Where is my daughter? Is she alive? How did it come to this? Her brain understands she is not to blame; she did everything in her power to pull her only child away from the demons of addiction. But with each passing day, guilt prevails over logic.

Determined, she locks away the hurt and pleads for strength. “Please, Lord, help me make it through today. Bless her, wherever she may be.”

The younger woman walks. Eats a lunch someone else deemed as trash. With each purposeful step, her future nears.

By the time the sky turns to dusk again, the widow is sunk into her 20-year-old easy chair. Television her only companion.

A noise breaks through the fog of loneliness. The doorbell. Startled, but starving for human interaction, the woman shuffles her slippered feet towards the door.

Two pairs of weary eyes meet over the threshold. The face outside, a dirt-covered image of remorse. The older woman, at first confused. Then recognition… trembling. She gasps.

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

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