Monday, July 26, 2010

Her Fair Share

Following is the piece I entered for the WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest. Since I haven't heard a response from them (and the winners were supposed to be contacted by now), I don't think I placed. But I thought I would share the story with my readers anyway.

Just so you know what the contest rules were, here is a brief description from their website:

"WOW! hosts a (quarterly) writing contest every three months. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. The contest is open globally; age is of no matter; and entries must be in English. We are open to all styles of writing, although we do encourage you to take a close look at our guest judge for the season (upper right hand corner) and the flavor of our sponsor, if you are serious about winning. We love creativity, originality, and light-hearted reads. That's not to say that our guest judge will feel the same... so go wild! Express yourself, and most of all, let's have some fun!"

The entries can be anywhere from 250 to 750 words, and the prompt is open. It's a fun contest, and the Summer deadline isn't until August 31 if ya'll would like to enter! For more information, click HERE.

Now, here's my flash fiction piece, which was originally written as an assignment for my Novel Writing class:


Her Fair Share

It was no big deal, really. That’s what I told myself. It was only a hat. I would never wear it again, would I? Tears stung my eyes as I saw what was left of our family, gathered in my mother’s house. My deceased mother’s house. That hat sat on a table behind the lawyer. Who would get that beautifully ugly hat? With its big ostrich feather and its bright purple color, I couldn’t really imagine my mother wearing it. She had never worn it any time I could remember. But she had let me wear it. I loved those memories of playing dress-up with my mother so long ago, parading around the bedroom like I was Audrey Hepburn. That’s who Mom said I looked like with my auburn hair, oval, innocent face, and thin frame. I was innocent then. With Mom gone, I felt the experience of her death made me old.

I glanced around the room. Surely, no one else would want that hat. No one would think it desirable. In fact, half of the ladies in the room would simply give it the Salvation Army. Of that I was certain. But when it came time to decide who would get that hat, seeing as how it was not important enough to be mentioned in the will, I was not the only one who expressed interest. My older sister, Barbara, wanted that hat, too.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Why in the name of Rex Harrison would my sister want that hat?! Lucille must have been too young to remember how Mama used to take me on picnics in the park. Mama had always let me wear that hat, and how I loved it! No one could convince me that I didn’t look like the queen bee when I wore that hat! And Mama always said I looked so stylish . . . But Lu was just a baby then. She couldn’t remember. She didn’t know how Mama would let me wear that hat as we sat and watched My Fair Lady together. That was before Lu was even born.

There was a spot on my night stand waiting for that hat. I would place it on a green pillow, and it would remind me of how caring my dear Mama was. She understood me.

I glanced over at my sister. Tears were in her eyes. I lowered my head. What did I know, really? What memories had Mama and Lucille made together when I left home to further my studies? I was the older sister, and I could see that while she couldn’t remember my memories with Mama, I could imagine hers.

It broke my heart, but before the lawyer could begin to settle what everyone was sure was a coming dispute (not the first one today), I went over, picked up that hat, and handed it to Lu. Surprise shone in her tears. I breathed deeply of Mama’s perfume that lingered in the room. And I shared a smile with Lu.

“She would have been proud to have you take that hat. Your daughters might want to wear it, too.”

She searched my eyes. I knew she understood. It was the memories that counted. And we both had equal share of those.

6 comments:

Amanda said...

AMBER!!!! That was BEAUTIFUL!! The last part made me cry! Thank you for sharing it with us :) You are so very talented, my friend, and whether you place or not in this contest, just know that the Lord has GREAT plans for you and be anxious for nothing!! I can't wait for the day I can add your books to my library! :D

Thanks again, Amber! Praying the Lord will bless, guide and inspire you on your writing journey!!!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

You are a such a wonderful encourager, do you know that? :) Thank you so much for reading my story, and thank you for the reminder that God is in control and His timing is always best! And I can't help but add that I hope someday if it's His will that you CAN add my books to your library! ;) It would be fantastic if someday I could read YOUR books, too, because your writing is beautiful, Amanda. If your comments and reviews are so good, I can only imagine how great your stories would be!

Thank you again for your prayers, and I'm saying a prayer for you, as well, my friend. :) God bless!

~Amber

Kav said...

I'm stunned by how much you could pack into such a short word count. And you managed to capture the emotions so well. You completely drew me in and when I started reading the other sister's viewpoint I kind of panicked because I couldn't figure out how you could resolve this. Well you did -- very touching with a truth that not everyone has a sound grasp of -- memories count. Brilliantly done. And I will definitely be seeing your books on the shelves in my bookstore in the near future.

Amber S. said...

Kav,

Oh, thank you so much, Kav! :D Your encouragement means a lot to me--you have no idea! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story and that it conveyed the message that it's not the things we have but the memories that we've made spending time with each other. That can be hard to remember sometimes! ;)

Thank you again, and I can tell you now that I've recently been getting some good research in for my work-in-progress...so hopefully I'll be getting closer to completion sometime! ;)

~Amber

Amanda said...

YOU are such a wonderful encourager, Amber!! I'm honored by your kind words and blessed by your friendship :) And just think, if we become author's one day, because of our last names our books will be right next to each other on the same shelf!!! :D

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

That would be so amazing! I never even thought of that, but I LOVE that idea. :D What a fun thought!

Thank you again, Amanda, for your friendship and support!

~Amber