Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling like I’ve been stuck in a Fiction Friday funk. Staring at the Write Anything prompt this week for “A Coming of Age Tale”, I was drawing an absolute blank. It was suggested a couple of weeks ago that I re-work Fiction Friday #156 – Failed Sunrise to fit, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
I toyed around with a couple of ideas before finally settling on one that I was happy with. I began writing last night and stopped half-way through the piece to get some much needed rest. When I re-approached the piece again today, I opted to take the basic idea and morph it into something a little more mature than what I started with.
Take a look at the story below and be sure to leave me some feedback in the comments section. For those of you that are new to WaltInPA.com, the comment section can be found at the head of each post. Just click the button for Comments which is located next to the button to toggle the Article.
To get some more eyes on this piece and some added feedback, I have also added this piece to the #FridayFlash Twitter group. For more information on that group, you can head over to J.M Strother’s Mad Utopia for information and huge collective of each weeks submissions.
Fiction Friday #158 – All Grown Up
“A Coming of Age Tale”
“I’ll leave you two alone. I’ll be just down the hall if you need anything.” Her voice was kind and smooth. It was painfully obvious that it was not the first time that she had been in this situation.
“Thank you.” The words were filled with exhaustion and weakness. The click of the door opening and the soft squeaking of soft soled shoes on a polished floor overpowered his tiny voice. When the heavy door suddenly thumped home, the only companionship in the sterile room was the rhythmic beeping of a monitor in the corner.
“Pop, I know that you probably can’t hear me but I’m going to talk anyway. The nurse says you’ve got very little time left and I’ve wasted far too much of it already.” Strength began to take shape in the sound of the boys voice but a variation in the rhythm of the monitor snatched it away.
“You were right you know, all these years I’ve been a dumb kid. I was too busy making sure I had a good time, never realizing that things would come to this. I thought you were invincible.” Tears no longer flowed from the boys eyes, but his head still pounded and his blood-shot eyes ached.
“Things wound up exactly like you said they would. You dead, or dying, and me with no one but the street corner thugs for me to turn to. I’ve wasted so much time making sure I had fun and didn’t prepare for the inevitable.” The boys body shook with a violent sob before he could regain his composure.
“I’m done with that life. I know Mrs. Shivets doesn’t trust me but I’m going to ask her to let me stay in our apartment for a few days. After all the arrangements have been made for you, I’m going to leave the city and find a place that will allow me to start over. I don’t know where I’m going to go, but I’ll make good by you, I have to.” He reached over and held his fathers cold, wrinkly hand gently as spoke.
“There is something else, something that you told me you’d kill me if you ever found out. This morning Molly told me that she is pregnant. Not even seventeen, a high school dropout, baby on the way, with no family support. You were right on every single count.” Despite the tension and fear in the boys chest, there was a slight smile on his face as he continued to speak.
“All these years I’ve been telling you that I hate you for your strict rules. The truth of the matter is that over these last few days it has all become clear. You weren’t trying to hold me back, you were trying to make me responsible. Truth be told, I hope that when the baby comes I can be at least half the father you were.” The boy rose from his bedside chair and kissed his father on the forehead.
“It’s time for me to go get the nurse. I just want you to know that I love you and I promise to do right with my life.” With a new strength a passion for life, the boy turned and crossed the room. The click of the door opening and the soft squeaking of soft soled shoes on a polished floor joined the rhythmic beeping of the monitor tucked away in the corner.
Please visit the comment section, located at the head of this post, and leave me some feedback. I would greatly appreciate it!
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19 thoughts on “Fiction Friday #158 – All Grown Up”
touching. This is an amazing example of one finding himself.
when you edit, you may want to check for word repition.
Thanks for the tip and the comment.
Your opening is a great hook. I love the way you tied in the monitor beeping at the beginning and the end. You give a real sense of your character, and you leave us hopeful that he will “grow up” and become the man his father always wanted him to be. Great job!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was a little worried tying the beginning and end together would overdo it but it seems to have worked out well.
Thanks for the comment.
Very heart felt. I love the way you used the end of one life and the beginning of another. Good story!
Despite the writing funk, Walt, this piece holds together nicely. The framing of the monitor gives closure. The characterisation is sketched in, but there needs to be a defining moment to instigate the change. Perhaps bringing the pregnancy in earlier, or another event, would give the character more reason for the change of heart.
Good stuff. Blessings.
I understand and will have to give it some thought. My thought was that seeing his fathers mortality would instigate the change, along with the loneliness of having no one left to stand by him in life.
You’ve got me thinking of a couple of small changes in a later edit to help strengthen the piece.
Thanks for the comment and the advice.
I think you did quite well despite the funk. Very emotional. I like it.
About the melting shoes; I pulled from my own personal experience for that one. Quite a funny story. I got up and had dirt, sticks, and rocks stuck to the bottoms of my boots. I didn’t know it until I realized it felt funny walking.
I’m glad you enjoyed the piece.
In regards to the shoes, I saw a little smoke and smelled burning rubber. When I leaped out of my chair to stomp them and make sure they were out, thats when I got all kinds of forest treats embedded in the rubber.
Great heat warming story. I really liked the monitor beeps being used for the end.
Hopefully he’ll stick by his promise and become a better man. Good story!
Wow. You totally got heart rendering there. So much emotion in such a short piece. This is definitely one of my favourite stories of yours.
I’m glad you enjoyed the story. It definitely takes alot more effort to condense the story into such a small number of words, but I think I’m getting better at it.
Practice, practice, practice, 🙂
waaaaaahhhhh! pulled all the heart strings just the right way without being over the top or gushy.
good use of monologuing – which is always hard to achieve. Enough description to build the scene without overindulging the reader
visitors can pop over and see mine here
Such a sad tale – but a moment of new birth for the son at the father’s deathbed.
touching, pull the heart strings – well written piece of flash.
The small details made this one come alive. Great use of senses. I heard, I felt, I saw.
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