Love Scene

 “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in the bedroom, Momma?”

Phyllis gives her head a stubborn shake.  She scowls.  “I was born in this kitchen.  I will die in this kitchen.” 
“Are you thirsty?”

“No.”  She shivers. 
Ellen tucks a blanket around her shoulders.  Lorraine stirs the coals and adds a log to the woodstove.  The kitchen is filled with crackles and sparks and heat, and Phyllis gives a thin smile.  She is reminded of the anger that filled the house for years: Her children have never gotten along.  The thought saddens her.

Thin wisps of smoke wend their way around the room, grasping and searching, searching and grasping.

 “You need anything, Momma?”

“Sing to me.”
Silence.  She can feel the children looking at each other; can sense the faint smiles they exchange.  She wonders if they like the feel of those smiles, shared with a sibling, or whether they still find them bitter and harsh.  She wonders if they still resent each other.

“Sing me to sleep.”
Tears rolling down their cheeks, they raise their voices in the old songs they know she enjoys.  She rolls on the waves of the sound: the crescendo and decrescendo; the tenor of her youngest son; Ellen’s thin soprano; Lorraine’s alto thick and smooth.  And that deep baritone of her first born son.

This final time, they come together in unison to sing Phyllis on her way.
Buoyed by their devotion, Phyllis allows herself to depart.  And as she takes flight on the songs of her past, she wonders whether—once their common bond is gone—they will ever speak to each another again.

She considers coming back.
But she decides against it. 

If they are to sing together again, they will have to learn to harmonize on their own.

***
This post was written in response to the Trifextra Writing Challenge in which we were to write a love scene without using specific listed words.

Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Love Scene

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love Scene

 “Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in the bedroom, Momma?”

Phyllis gives her head a stubborn shake.  She scowls.  “I was born in this kitchen.  I will die in this kitchen.” 
“Are you thirsty?”

“No.”  She shivers. 
Ellen tucks a blanket around her shoulders.  Lorraine stirs the coals and adds a log to the woodstove.  The kitchen is filled with crackles and sparks and heat, and Phyllis gives a thin smile.  She is reminded of the anger that filled the house for years: Her children have never gotten along.  The thought saddens her.

Thin wisps of smoke wend their way around the room, grasping and searching, searching and grasping.

 “You need anything, Momma?”

“Sing to me.”
Silence.  She can feel the children looking at each other; can sense the faint smiles they exchange.  She wonders if they like the feel of those smiles, shared with a sibling, or whether they still find them bitter and harsh.  She wonders if they still resent each other.

“Sing me to sleep.”
Tears rolling down their cheeks, they raise their voices in the old songs they know she enjoys.  She rolls on the waves of the sound: the crescendo and decrescendo; the tenor of her youngest son; Ellen’s thin soprano; Lorraine’s alto thick and smooth.  And that deep baritone of her first born son.

This final time, they come together in unison to sing Phyllis on her way.
Buoyed by their devotion, Phyllis allows herself to depart.  And as she takes flight on the songs of her past, she wonders whether—once their common bond is gone—they will ever speak to each another again.

She considers coming back.
But she decides against it. 

If they are to sing together again, they will have to learn to harmonize on their own.

***
This post was written in response to the Trifextra Writing Challenge in which we were to write a love scene without using specific listed words.

Labels: ,

26 Comments:

At February 10, 2012 at 9:45 PM , Anonymous Booguloo said...

Beautiful.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 5:02 AM , Anonymous Jaum said...

You certainly met the challenge on this one. Great food for thought. Loved the lines, "She considered coming back. Then decides against it" Sort of she has done all she can in the situation.. and now it's up to others.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 6:50 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At February 11, 2012 at 6:51 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At February 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Nancy MacMillan said...

Wonderful images of one dysfunctional family coming together for probably the last time. Good job.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM , Anonymous barbara said...

To go Home, surrounded by loved ones, whether they feel it or not, is a desire of many. This - is beautiful

 
At February 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading!

 
At February 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thank you, Barbara.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 4:59 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

This is a lovely piece -- and those last three sentences are just right.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 5:16 PM , Anonymous Lessa's Stuff said...

ooooooh this is lovely! Very beautifully written. Well done.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

This is beautiful, and exemplifies perfectly what all mothers know in their heart of hearts; it's up to the children to make their relationships work after a certain age. Awesome post!

 
At February 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM , Anonymous jesterqueen1 said...

I found "grasping and searching, searching and grasping" so lovely. And there was just a splash of humor in "She considers coming back", instantly quelled by the sad hope in the last line.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 6:32 AM , Anonymous Templeton's fury said...

touching.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous karen said...

This was absolutely divine, no pun intended. I love the way she got what she needed and was able to let go.

I once sat at the bedside and held the hand of a dying man who barely knew me, for a week. He was my husband's grandfather, someone he also barely knew. When the time came for him to die, he politely waited until I'd gone and his son (my husband's uncle) firmly within his grasp.

This reflected the feeling I had perfectly.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous The Gal Herself said...

Our first love is Momma. I love where you took this.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM , Anonymous Alison said...

Kelly, you are on a roll! Before this lovely piece, I read your creepily good Joseph story on Indie Ink.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Alison!

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading. I didn't want to go with the obvious and I've had this image in my head for a long time. I was glad I could use it.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Karen. I'm glad this rang true for you.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading - I had a fire in there--nearly missed the forbidden word.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

THanks for reading!.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thank you, Annabelle.

 
At February 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous jesterqueen1 said...

eek! I had a hard time. I kept checking the list.

 
At February 13, 2012 at 2:41 AM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thanks so much for linking up this weekend. Remember, this weekend’s entries are being judged by the Trifecta community so make sure you visit the site to register your vote! Hope you can join us for Monday’s prompt!

 

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