#7 Daddy’s Girl

by Michael Robertson

Debbie pulled her aging Old's 88 to the curb across from the two story clapboard, once white, now a mottled, weathered, gray. She was assaulted by the familiar odor of rotting leaves masking the smell of garbage and rotting shingles. Her sister stepped down from the porch of the house they were raised in and walked across the street. "You gonna come in this time?"

"How is she?" Debbie spat the words.

Dark hair tumbling across Megan's face couldn't hide her expression. Mad. She had a right to be, Debbie knew. But she'd be damned if she'd admit that to her sister, or to her mother. She could see the glow of a cigarette just behind the screen door opposite. It was a standoff. Her mother wouldn't come out, and Debbie hated going in, to admit she'd chickened out. Ran away.

"Look, don't do this," Megan said. "It's dad all over again."

Debbie turned off the motor, gripped the steering wheel with both hands and lay her forehead on her knuckles. "I'm not like dad!" she said in a low growl. "I'm not!"

"Then come inside. She doesn't have any of the old bite left, I can tell you. She's mom, and she's tough and she won't be sweet. But dammit, she really needs us both right now."

Debbie sighed. She hesitated, then opened the door. "Shit," she said, climbing out. "Shit."

10 comments:

Marsha McKneely Ault said...

This flash fiction is filled with emotion to the very last word repeated.

Mike Robertson said...

Thank you. That's how I felt it. Sometimes the decisions we're forced to make just hurt.

Gregory S. Lamb PDX Author said...

Great job - It grabbed me from the first sentence and even though it was complete by itself, the questions raised open doors to all the back story. Well done!

Aniket Thakkar said...

This is my favorite so far and would be hard to beat.

Great writing, premise and pacing all over, but it's the pathos of the piece that does the trick.

Absolutely loved everything about it.

Jade said...

Excellent job with these characters. The dialog really grabs me at the end when Debbie opens the door and steps out---I smiled. Nicely done.

Sam Knight said...

I could feel the frustration, the defiance, the anger. I feel like I understand the personalities of four different characters, one who isn't even on stage at all. And you gave me just enough story to wonder what had happened. What more can I ask for out of Flash Fiction?

Rachel Green said...

Super pacing, super character. Really well done.

Gita Smith said...

You know how you know a story's good? When you want more. And this is GOOD.

Christopher Mitchell said...

I've been to this place. Maybe the resentment and anger will resolve. Maybe not. But this sounds like her last chance.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Lots of depth with the emotions. Also the imagery is so complete with visuals and smells. Great job.