Everlasting Love


His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke.  Of course it was no.  It would always be no.  He opened his mouth.  Spoke the one word. 
“Why?”  She felt her face redden.  “You make me feel like a child.”

“I don’t make you feel anything.”
She met his eye.  Crossed her own arms.  “About time you figured that out.”

“Oh, I figured that out years ago, Deb.  You make it obvious enough.”
“I do nothing of the sort.”

“Oh yeah?”  He gave her that lazy smile, revealing the tiny chip on his front tooth.  “You think I don’t see you looking around when you walk down the sidewalk, always three steps ahead of me?”
“You walk too slowly.”

“You would too, with one of these.”  He uncrossed his arm and jabbed a thumb at his cane hooked on the back of his chair.  He leaned forward.  “You have no idea, Deb.  None.  What it’s like to be old.”
She grinned.  “I don’t have to.  And neither do you.”  She looked out the window.  “They say Malibu is nice.” 

“I’m tired of moving.”
She whirled around.  “Moving’s an adventure!”

“We don’t move.  We run away.  As soon as someone starts to question, we pack up.  We can’t even see our own children, for God’s sake.”
“It upsets them.”

“It upsets me.”
 “Mrs. Dubinski asked me the other day why I married someone twice my age.”

“Did you tell her you’re my elder?”
She giggled.  “Didn’t want to give her a heart attack.”

He allowed himself a smile.  “This wasn’t the way I envisioned our marriage to be.  You were supposed to heal the sick.”
“Aging is a completely preventable disease.”

“What happens if someone gets hold of these pills?”
“I only made two.”  She held out her hand.  “One is all it takes.  I don’t want to be alone.”

The dog came up and nosed her in the crotch. 
She swatted at him.  “I hate your damn dog.”

He held out a hand. 
Her eyes widened.  “You mean it?”

He nodded.  He tucked the pill into his cheek and made a show of swallowing. 
She beamed.  “Tomorrow, you’ll be good as new.”

He smiled back.  “Malibu?”
She clapped her hands.  “Malibu.  Oh, I’ve got so much to do!”  She ran from the room, humming softly.

He extracted the pill from his cheek.  Fed it to the dog.
* * *

He woke to her screams.  “You fed the pill to the damn dog, Frederick?”

He grinned.  “Now you’ll never be alone.”  He eased himself up, reached for his cane.  “I want a divorce, Deb.”  He rose and shuffled into the kitchen and picked up the telephone to call his children.


This post was written in response to Write on Edge's prompt.






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

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Everlasting Love


His crossed arms answered her question before he spoke.  Of course it was no.  It would always be no.  He opened his mouth.  Spoke the one word. 
“Why?”  She felt her face redden.  “You make me feel like a child.”

“I don’t make you feel anything.”
She met his eye.  Crossed her own arms.  “About time you figured that out.”

“Oh, I figured that out years ago, Deb.  You make it obvious enough.”
“I do nothing of the sort.”

“Oh yeah?”  He gave her that lazy smile, revealing the tiny chip on his front tooth.  “You think I don’t see you looking around when you walk down the sidewalk, always three steps ahead of me?”
“You walk too slowly.”

“You would too, with one of these.”  He uncrossed his arm and jabbed a thumb at his cane hooked on the back of his chair.  He leaned forward.  “You have no idea, Deb.  None.  What it’s like to be old.”
She grinned.  “I don’t have to.  And neither do you.”  She looked out the window.  “They say Malibu is nice.” 

“I’m tired of moving.”
She whirled around.  “Moving’s an adventure!”

“We don’t move.  We run away.  As soon as someone starts to question, we pack up.  We can’t even see our own children, for God’s sake.”
“It upsets them.”

“It upsets me.”
 “Mrs. Dubinski asked me the other day why I married someone twice my age.”

“Did you tell her you’re my elder?”
She giggled.  “Didn’t want to give her a heart attack.”

He allowed himself a smile.  “This wasn’t the way I envisioned our marriage to be.  You were supposed to heal the sick.”
“Aging is a completely preventable disease.”

“What happens if someone gets hold of these pills?”
“I only made two.”  She held out her hand.  “One is all it takes.  I don’t want to be alone.”

The dog came up and nosed her in the crotch. 
She swatted at him.  “I hate your damn dog.”

He held out a hand. 
Her eyes widened.  “You mean it?”

He nodded.  He tucked the pill into his cheek and made a show of swallowing. 
She beamed.  “Tomorrow, you’ll be good as new.”

He smiled back.  “Malibu?”
She clapped her hands.  “Malibu.  Oh, I’ve got so much to do!”  She ran from the room, humming softly.

He extracted the pill from his cheek.  Fed it to the dog.
* * *

He woke to her screams.  “You fed the pill to the damn dog, Frederick?”

He grinned.  “Now you’ll never be alone.”  He eased himself up, reached for his cane.  “I want a divorce, Deb.”  He rose and shuffled into the kitchen and picked up the telephone to call his children.


This post was written in response to Write on Edge's prompt.






Labels: ,

17 Comments:

At May 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous MannahattaMamma said...

wicked - as in, what he did - wicked. in a kind of chilling sort of way. like shirley jackson would write - i love being dropped into this story and then just as suddenly pulled out of it. nicely done.

 
At May 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks! I think she deserved it.

 
At May 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM , Anonymous Amanda said...

Are you kidding me? I totally loved this. SO creative and ingenious.

 
At May 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks! I'm not sure I like the switching POVs, but I wanted to give it a try. I usually stick to one.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 5:47 AM , Blogger TMW Hickman said...

Wow--quite a play! I am curious as to their relationship before this, just to see what made him decide to leave.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 5:49 AM , Anonymous Angela Amman said...

This was unexpected and fun; you did a great job using the dialogue tags, and I could really see the scene unfold.

This part stuck out a bit: He gave her that lazy smile, revealing the tiny chip on his front tooth.

I don't know if I feel like it fit the rest of the image you built up. Lazy sounds a little young to me, like he has all the time in the world.

My favorite detail is that she mentions hating the dog. And now that's her partner forever.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 6:04 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

Great little story... these people come alive in your telling it. My thought at the end, "Be careful what you wish for" although I'm not sure that fits into the overall story.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

ALSO Great title

 
At May 4, 2012 at 6:28 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

TMW Hickman has left a new comment on your post "Everlasting Love":

Wow--quite a play! I am curious as to their relationship before this, just to see what made him decide to leave.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM , Anonymous Vodkacalling said...

Very well done! I read it twice. Is there more parts of this story anywhere on your blog or is this the first time you have written about these guys?

 
At May 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous AmyBethInverness said...

I absolutely love this! Some of my favorite stories are about Heinlein's "Howard Families" who are extremely long-lived. They, too, have to cease visiting their children at a certain point in their lives because society won't understand how the great-grandparents still look so young.

I was a bit confused at first about what it was he was saying "No" to, but I enjoyed seeing the details of their relationship unfold over the course of several paragraphs. You did an excellent job of letting us discover everything we know without having to have a narrator explain it all.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM , Anonymous Dana Talusani said...

Ack! Chilling! But the line that gave me goosebumps was, "We don't move. We run away." Whoa.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 2:54 PM , Anonymous Shelton Keys Dunning said...

Oh wow! Sooo did not expect this. I love the "matrix" meets "Tuck Everlasting" feel. Bonus points awarded!

 
At May 4, 2012 at 5:11 PM , Anonymous Wisper said...

Creepy but excellent. I love the ending where she's stuck with the dog! The only thing I'd suggest is look at changing "Spoke the one word." to "Spoke that one word." I think the emphasis added by changing it to "that" would add to the overall feeling she has.

 
At May 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM , Anonymous Julia said...

How creative- And eerie! Great use of descriptive dialog!

 
At May 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM , Anonymous Cameron (CDG) said...

His physical behaviors were great, reaching for the cane, shuffling, all good indicators that he's aged, but I didn't get a sense of youth necessarily from Deb, just derision (which seems apropos, though). I love the feeding the pill to the dog--revenge is very funny!

 
At May 6, 2012 at 7:54 AM , Anonymous Suzanne Earley said...

I really enjoyed this, it was very unexpected.

I wonder what it would be like without the 2 sentences "He extracted the pill from his cheek. Fed it to the dog." I'm not sure you need to actually TELL us that, when the first sentence of the next scene SHOWS us (quite vividly) that he fed it to the dog? Just an idea!

 

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