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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Fearful Heart ~ Romantic Friday Writers entry

Challenge No: 20 Fearful Heart
Based on the given theme we can post up snippets from novels, ongoing WIPs, a piece of bespoke flash-ficton or poetry. Maximum word count is 400.

My contribution this week is a Flash-Fiction piece in 410 words. (MPA)

Feeling the Fear by Madeleine Maddocks

Luke was more than ready to leave his childhood home as he stepped into the tiny kitchen.

“She’s gone!” his mother announced with a gleam in her eye and a triumphant twist to her mouth; even before he’d stepped over the threshold onto the stained linoleum.

“Gone? Who?” Luke replied, feigning confusion, though fearful cracks had begun to fill his heart at the words.

“That simpering Bonnie, the neighbour’s daughter” his mother confirmed, her beady eyes reading his face with such an unmaternal coldness that froze his heart even further.

“Oh” he said, as casually as he could “Well I’d best be off, I’ve got a train to catch”

“Must you go so far away? What if I’m taken ill or something?” She had an uncanny knack of making him feel guilt like a creeping cold through his entire body.

“Then I’ll come home again” he lied, thinking about her  now. His Bonnie, the light of his entire existence. The woman he intended to marry. The woman he hoped had arrived at their rendezvous. The woman he feared would see him as a failure and a dead loss and be nowhere in sight when he arrived at the railway station to meet her. Yet her kindness, warmth and love had been the antithesis of his mother’s cold, cruel indifference.
Believe in yourself” he heard Bonnie’s mantra as though she were whispering in his ear. “Believe in us, I love you” she had said to him time and time again when his mother had threatened to thwart their plans for a future together. They had finally agreed to make it look as though they were not together anymore, that she had lost interest and gone. Yet even though it was their plan, Luke was still fearful that this beautiful, compassionate woman would have found someone else, someone better and really have left.
“That’s your mother’s voice you’re hearing. Don’t listen to it!” Bonnie’s mantra whispered through his consciousness.

“Bye then” he said with renewed determination. A hint of rose water made contact with his lips as he kissed his mother’s cheek for what would be the last time. He felt sorry for her, but he must be strong. His life with Bonnie was all that mattered. His future was not this stifling hell-hole where emotional manipulation and unfair culpability were his constant bed-fellows.

“You’re better off without her!” were his mother's parting words.

He turned away smiling. I’m better with her.