Monday, January 26, 2009

"Weren't My Wish"

Kathryn Magendie, whose debut novel Tender Graces will be released this spring, is hosting a contest over on her blog. The idea is to write a 200 word (or less) short, based on a photo she provided.

I love exercises like this (even when there's not a prize available!), because it's fun to shift my perspective and try on different characters' hats.

So, here we go! The photo and where it led me...
`

It weren’t what I wisht fer my wife. I wanted ‘er taked care of. But I got sick, ya know. And things, theys happened so fast. I lost my job at th’ mill. And the insurance done run out ‘fore th’ medical bills finished comin’. An’ then I’s gone.

Suri got left wit’ a lot when I died. Left wit’ too much. Our’n son, th’ no good bugger, God love ‘im, said he’d help ‘er. But all he did was help ‘er clean out th’ bank account. Only he didn’t give ‘er nothin’. She ain’t seen 'im since.

An’ now, when I looks down from th’ Great Glory Above, I sees ‘er. She huddles on th’ walk, lookin’ old ‘n’ frail. My Suri. She’s wore down, I knows. But she keeps tryin’ to sell them newspape’s o’ hers. It’s all she got. Th’ only way to earn ‘n’ eat.

I pray she join me soon. I wait fer ‘er here in Paradise.

(162 words)

21 comments:

Janet said...

Nice. Interesting perspective. In a piece of flash you can get away with using the dialectal forms snf the non-standard spelling too; it's not long enough to wear on the nerves.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

You're a wonderful writer! Thanks for sharing the story you wrote in response to the picture. It touched my heart with great sadness. I love the dialect too.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna, great stuff! I can't participate in Kat's contest, 'cause that picture is me in 2 years selling papers in Santa Fe. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Janet - It's not where I thought I'd go! I was having trouble getting inspired, and then a snippet of this popped into my head. Had to run with it! (And Hubby said it was hard for him to read, what with the dialect.)

Donna - Thank you so much! You're so sweet.

Angie - *snort* LOL

spyscribbler said...

Man. That is sad.

I liked the dialect!

Melissa Marsh said...

Very nice, Janna. I can "hear" the husband talking.

Terri Tiffany said...

I love these contests too--makes you really wonder where your brain will take you and you and I both went in similar but different directions:) Good job!

Kathryn Magendie said...

And you know I told everyone I wouldn't comment on the stories until after the contest was over...so I can say "Thank you..."

it's REALLY hard not to comment on the stories *laugh* -- gawd....

Janna Qualman said...

Spy - Oy! It's a good thing all my writing doesn't come out this sad. Talk about depressing!

Melissa - Thanks, I'm so glad to hear that! He "talks" to me, too. :)

Terri - I love how one single picture can take us each different directions.

Kat - Why, you're welcome! ;)

Joanne said...

I always enjoy your short fiction, you have a great way with it. You seem to write flash with such ease!

Debbie said...

I came over from Kathryn's to read your post. You are such a talented writer. This was great.

Janna Qualman said...

Joanne - Thank you! I often worry my longer fiction doesn't work out the same.

Debbie - What an amazing thing to hear! Thank you very much, both for coming by and for the sweet words. :)

Ang said...

Very interesting perspective. I have a problem with flash fiction...I tend to ramble. An exercise like this will do me some good. I'm headed that way. Thanks Janna.

kimmirich said...

Great share, Janna, and I left you an award on my blog,
hugs

thedomesticfringe said...

A thought provoking picture and a really good piece you wrote.

-FringeGirl

Turkey Lurkey said...

Very good. A interesting perspective. Nicely done!

Jessica said...

OOhhh! That is SO good. Just heartbreaking.

Janna Qualman said...

Ang - Good luck!

Kimmi - Thanks for the award!

FringeGirl - Provoking, indeed. And thank you! :)

Turkey - Thanks, ma'am.

Jessica - Thank you so much!

Melanie Avila said...

Very nice. I should really start doing these.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Lovely. Just lovely. Isnt it great when the idea pops up and you can let the pen go... or the keyboard!

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie - Yes. You should. :)

Ladybird - Thank you!