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June 12, 2007



It was just a vow...words really...but James swore he could that vow shatter as the glass vase would if slammed against a wall. The room, though silent, still resonated from the shrill vibration of it. His brown eyes locked on the vase of flowers he had purchased on the way to the cabin. His hands still held the pen which had recorded his secret intentions on the gift card. That same hand wore his wedding ring. Throwing down the pen, he covered his eyes to try and block racing images of Laurie's face, her eyes, and those of their children. James thought he hadn't loved her for years, but now he slumped under the heavy weight of their years together...the dreams they had once fought for. It was more than just a vow he heard splinter into a million pieces. That vow represented all he had worked for, his family's future...and what was left of his hope.
Fumbling for the pen and wiping at the tears tumbling down his cheeks, James took the card once again. Scratching out the previous lines, he wrote, "I'm sorry. I can't."
Without a glance back, James bolted from the cabin and found himself speeding though winding, golden roads, into the setting sun, on his way back home.


This seems to be the only post - are the others doing it on your email? Maybe I should have done that!!! Anyway, I dove in. Unfortunately I typoed on line one. It should read 'James swore he could hear that vow shatter..'

Madeleine Beresford

Eva ironing, steam rising, hot on a sweat-filled face. Ironing her best, her only evening dress, to go out with her friends. An evening out. A bright yellow taffeta dress to stun those who would look upon her. But it must show no wrinkles.
Myriam into the room. The room, with the ironing board, kitchen table set bowls of pea soup, Eva, and their father. Their father, tired, dust-filled feathers flying on his shirt, back from the feather factory where he worked.
A charged air suddenly turned red hot. Searing words filled the small room. The father telling Myriam that she could not go out with her friends. That she stayed out too late the night before. Partying with boys he did not know. Breaking his rules.
Myriam, working during the day as a Kelly Girl, shouted back. Eva in the middle, stared deeply into the yellow of her dress. Her evening lay ahead, away from this hot anger.
"You are a whore" the father yelled at his Myriam.
"Who are you to talk?" replied Myriam. With that, Myriam lifted a bowl of still warm pea soup and flung it at her father. Green soup flying through the air. A bowl cracked into broken shards. Green pea soup all over Eva's taffeta dress.
A complete silence.
Myriam crying.
Eva knew that she could not go out that night. Her evening ruined.
Myriam knew she could no longer live with her father. She would find a rented room to live.
Their father, still standing, could not understand how his position as father, head of household, had shattered into fargments of a family he once had.


I might not be getting my comments on the posts in the right order--forgive me.
On Madeleine's:
Excellent, lovely sense of language--so clean, the verbs mostly implied (the spareness, the fragments work well), but when they are there, they're often eloquently specfic--lifted, flung--stared deeply into the yellow of her dress (have you read "The Yellow Wallpaper"?)
Thank you so much for sharing this excellent start with us!


This is for mommyart--
first of all, thank you for being brave and posting! I hope it felt good to write--and I really love the idea that one might physically break a vow, something you've started very well here, and which you might want to explore even more...of course it's a wonderful turn--that he returns to his family--I also wondered a lot what the card originally said (a good sign--you've captured interest).
You've really got me thinking about the physical breaking of a vow. Would it crack? Would you need to spindle and fold and tug at it like one of those horrible plastic-bound toy-containers that give you plastic cuts? Could you cut it?
Thanks again, and come back soon, okay? Hooray for you!


A broken heart is something worth fixing, especially when it belongs to your own Mother and she is lying in an operating room with her chest cracked wide open.

The idea of being in two places at once may not be physically possible but is emotionally probable. I tried not to think about the mechanics of it all and said a special prayer for all people present. May they be wide awake and fresh. May their hands and fingers work "extra good" during this particular surgery.

Watching the second hand move slowly around the big face of the waiting room clock...tick tick tick while mentally wishing the red phone to ring ring ring never seemed like a good way to spend a Tuesday night until now.

My best friend rushed in with a bag packed full of possible ways to keep me occupied. Uno? Trivial Pursuit questions, anyone? Was there a cute doctor or intern or nurse anywhere within a two floor radius that could handle the flirting I needed? She would've found him for me, no doubt.

I had to stop there in hopes of being able to continue at a future point.



stopping because it's emotional writing is, well, write on. That is, you obviously tapped into something important and real to you, so go back there when you're ready (tomorrow, twenty years from now, whichever)
Thanks again for posting!
New topic coming at you later today!


Assignment: Broken

In my family, you came home for one of three reasons: to celebrate the holy holidays, to attend a family event, or because there was trouble. Big trouble -- something in the “awful” category.

I learned this at a young age when Aunt Mary Margaret returned to grams and pa’s house. I remember her slowly sinking into the house with red, blown-up eyes and living like a zombie for close to three months -- her husband had been killed in Viet Nam and left behind his shell-shocked-child-bride-widow. They were both 19. Grams said she “needed to snap out of it!”

And then there was Uncle Leland who returned home to lick his wounds and mend his heart, in a manly way, after his beloved Linda decided she wanted to hang up those 14K gold loops for a pair of cowboy boots -- Houston didn’t work out for Leland. Divorce just didn’t happen in our family -- until now. And Leland never found love again.

And here was I -- returning home for the big “awful.” As I lay in bed thinking about these things...I could hear my big brother clanking, chopping, cussing as he made coffee and breakfast for his baby sister. He inherited mom and dad’s house, by choice, and lived here with his soft velvet wife and daughters and their menagerie of animals.

I was in my old room. Nothing much had changed which I thought odd. Why hadn’t my brother painted over these lilac colored walls adorned with all my high school achievements and graduation certificates. He was an artist for God’s sake...

“’Jackson P’ get your skinny ass down here and have some coffee and chow...” His voice boomeranged off my forehead and nearly made me blind. He still called me that -- his way of poking fun at my feeble attempts at painting as a child...some things never change. I slowly raised my extremely heavy “skinny ass” up and looked through the tiny crack in the venetian blinds -- yes, there was sun.

I tried to make my legs move, shift, stand, slide...but it was of no use. The centrifugal energy and mighty force that binds agony to a broken heart was holding me to my bed. A broken heart. What a stupid description for a love lost. Hearts are not made of glass or clay or plastic -- at least not mine. Mine was made of warm, red and delicate tissue that might be stretched and pulled but not broken. My big “awful” was that my heart had been dissected -- sliced -- with a well sharpened knife -- into three uneven and mis-shapened pieces. One piece for a life lost, one for a life that will never be, and one for the life left behind.


Sherry, this is really an amazing start. If it were a story or a first chapter, I would definitely keep reading! You have a few stories in those first few paragraphs, and then you settle into something highly compelling. Kudos, and please, keep going!


So you think you’re the only one
With a broken heart, bleeding
Memories to fall asleep to
And tears that never stop.

So you think you’re the only one
With words left unspoken, needing
Arms that hold a ghost
And a bed that remains empty.

I’m just as hurt as you are
But you chose to be cold, aloof
To turn your back on all we had
And of what could have been.

You didn’t want me to change
But you couldn’t accept whom I was, suppressing
And what was red turned green
Words wounding and not forgotten.

So you think you’re the only one
Who could carry hate, demeaning?
Transfer the love we had
And make it blue and black.

So you think you’re the only one
Who could over look me, pretending?
But I will always be yours
And our love can’t be taken back

Well perhaps you could
But I cannot be that way, forsaken
A part of me is you
And closing your eyes doesn’t change it.

I may have been someone
To help you forget the one you loved, distraction
But I’d never change it
Even though it seems you would.

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