“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?”
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,
“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
“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: Fiction, Trifextra Writing Challenge