Short Fiction by benning
The ceaseless ticking drew her eyes once more to the old clock hung upon the wall, its glass face reflecting the upside down image of herself.
"6:30," it read in the dim, fading, orange light from the kitchen window. She turned her attention to her ironing, the hiss of the steam roiling around the bright white shirt, rising to tickle her nostrils with the fragrance of detergent and starch.
"Where is he?" she thought for the thousandth time, her strokes nearly in time with the clock's sound.
Her eyes were drawn again to the clock. Shadow cast in the dying light lengthening across the wall; gleaming silver needle of the second hand sweeping around inexorably. The black numbers seemed to dance as the second hand swept past them, as if mocking her. "He's gone. He's gone. He's gone," they seemed to say, mocking her. "Your fault. Your fault. Your fault." She tasted salt at the corner of her mouth and realized she was crying. She could scarcely see the clock now, the light so dim; the tears blurring all. Still it ticked away the accusation. "He's gone. He's gone. He's gone."
She rested the iron on its tail and dabbed at her eyes. She closed them tightly against the memory of the fierce, slashing argument of the morning.
"Your fault. Your fault. Your fault," the clock intoned. She didn't see the flash of bright whiteness that crossed the clock's round face; didn't hear the crump from the driveway; heard no tap of shoes coming to the door.
"He's gone. He's gone. He's gone," the clock screamed.
Strong hands grasped her shoulders and gently pulled her into a deep embrace, as she wept. The familiar tang of aftershave filled her head; scratch of beard along her cheek as he kissed her, saying, "My fault. All my fault. My fault."
"He's back," the clock chirped. "He's back. He's back. He's back."
Copyright 2001 by benning
More of benning's short stories, as well as a lot of great writing, can be found at: T-Zero: The Writer's Ezine
If you enjoyed my short story, you may enjoy my novel, as well! "Benning's War" is an Historical Novel about a few months during the American Revolution. Follow the adventures of a young Virginian from the Battle of The Waxhaws to the Battle of Kings Mountain and beyond. Click on the book cover to take a look!
Laura at The Wide Awake Cafe takes us one a journey into the Revolt of the Generals a few months ago, in "Fiasco? Grabbing Defeat from the Jaws of Victory". Inside information that makes them look even worse than they did then!
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The Anchoress has quite a round-up of her own going with "Catching up on reading…".
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Always On Watch looks at the London Bombing, "One Year Ago".
Anna at "A Rose By Any Other Name" has some fun and interesting posts. Why pick only one to highlight? The first three will get you started nicely!
Angel at "Woman Honor Thyself" has an "Friendship Open Trackbacks all Weekend" going. Check her posts while you're checking the links of the folks who have trackbacked!
Lots of reading in your future, so get to it! And don't forget the Red Shirt Fridays!