Focus

Father was a quiet man.  A particular man.  You could nearly call him fussy.  Even on Saturdays, he wore a white button down shirt with a blue tie.  Even on Saturdays, he wore a hat. 

Every morning at five o’clock, he would take the New York Times from our front porch and fan out the sections before him on the antique table dominating our kitchen.  “You have to know what’s going on in your world,” he would say.    
My mother would rise and measure coffee into the silver basket of the percolator, taking care not to spill a single grind into the pot.  Father would get the first cup of the day.

Father would read the sports.
My mother would fry the bacon to a perfect crisp and lay it to drain, as instructed, in neat north-south rows.



Father would read the business section.
My mother would crack eight eggs into the pan.

Father would read the world news.  State.  Local. 
My mother would make toast and place Father’s breakfast before him.

Like a scientist focusing closer…closer…closer in on his subject, my father dissected the newspaper. 
My mother, sister and I were to sit in silence at breakfast as Father read.  Occasionally, he would grunt and slide an article across the table towards my mother which she would dutifully snip out, neatly penning the date at the top in red ink.

The day my mother disappeared, my sister made the coffee and set a cup before Father.  My sister fried eggs and bacon.  I fed bread to the toaster.
Father grunted and slid a section of the paper across the table to where my mother ought to have been sitting.  My sister sniffled; stifled a sob. 

“Hey, now,” Father frowned and looked up.  “What’s with all the fireworks?”
“It’s nothing, Father,” she said.

He looked at the empty chair.  “Where’s your mother?”
“Mamma’s gone Father.”  My sister rose and retrieved the scissors from the kitchen.  “Shall I cut out that article for you?”

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.


Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Focus

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Focus

Father was a quiet man.  A particular man.  You could nearly call him fussy.  Even on Saturdays, he wore a white button down shirt with a blue tie.  Even on Saturdays, he wore a hat. 

Every morning at five o’clock, he would take the New York Times from our front porch and fan out the sections before him on the antique table dominating our kitchen.  “You have to know what’s going on in your world,” he would say.    
My mother would rise and measure coffee into the silver basket of the percolator, taking care not to spill a single grind into the pot.  Father would get the first cup of the day.

Father would read the sports.
My mother would fry the bacon to a perfect crisp and lay it to drain, as instructed, in neat north-south rows.



Father would read the business section.
My mother would crack eight eggs into the pan.

Father would read the world news.  State.  Local. 
My mother would make toast and place Father’s breakfast before him.

Like a scientist focusing closer…closer…closer in on his subject, my father dissected the newspaper. 
My mother, sister and I were to sit in silence at breakfast as Father read.  Occasionally, he would grunt and slide an article across the table towards my mother which she would dutifully snip out, neatly penning the date at the top in red ink.

The day my mother disappeared, my sister made the coffee and set a cup before Father.  My sister fried eggs and bacon.  I fed bread to the toaster.
Father grunted and slid a section of the paper across the table to where my mother ought to have been sitting.  My sister sniffled; stifled a sob. 

“Hey, now,” Father frowned and looked up.  “What’s with all the fireworks?”
“It’s nothing, Father,” she said.

He looked at the empty chair.  “Where’s your mother?”
“Mamma’s gone Father.”  My sister rose and retrieved the scissors from the kitchen.  “Shall I cut out that article for you?”

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.


Labels: ,

13 Comments:

At July 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous Olddognewtits said...

I really like how you organized this entry. And I hope it isn't non-fiction.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

Talk about an absentee father. This was powerful in what you left to the reader's imagination. Beautifully written.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous According To Mags said...

What a clueless man. Poor girls. Well written.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Wow! All of that silence and precision is ominous. I hope the mom left of her own free will -- the possibilities are terrifying.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM , Anonymous The Gal Herself said...

So much tension! Nicely done.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous Birdbren said...

Whoa.... this is good. I got so caught up in the story it drown out the loud voices of my family. LOL Sad and intense. I love this entry.

 
At July 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM , Anonymous Barefootedsemmie said...

The bacon line?...yeah. Very nice!

 
At July 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I like how you established the routine and how the girls maintained it even in their mother's absence. It speaks volumes that it took him so long to notice her missing.

 
At July 4, 2012 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous Jenna Farelyn said...

I loved the "as instructed" and "were to sit in silence". It shows the clear dominance and control by the father, yet he is really "not there".

This was very relatable to me, unfortunately. And my story had the same result.. with children taking over when I left. And it describes perfectly how the well trained children take over regardless of how they feel.

I'm glad to read your words, they actually make me feel sort of validated. Might inspire me to write about my experience anonymously one day.

 
At July 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM , Anonymous Jessie Powell said...

Ouch. Heartwrenching that she had to run to save her sanity. I can't decide whether he failed to value her or whether he was just so caught up in himself that he didn't understand how to do it.

 
At July 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

I love how hollow and empty you depicted their routine. Why wouldn't she leave? Thanks for playing with us again. Come on back Friday for the new challenge.

 
At July 5, 2012 at 9:22 AM , Anonymous Christine said...

The fact that Father calls a sniffle and a stifled sob "fireworks" is such a strong indicator of his personality. Fantastic use of the prompt there.

 
At July 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM , Anonymous Lexy3587 said...

wow, you really painted a picture of Father with just his breakfast routine - so routine he doesn't even notice that his wife is missing from it!

 

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