Friday, May 17, 2013

Please help me make this story better :)

If you have a chance, please read my flash fiction story and let me know what you think.  I'm a bit stuck and I'm not terribly please with the writing.  I'd like to submit it to a flash fiction magazine, so any input would be great!

Also, if you're interested in writing flash fiction for a magazine check out

Oh, and if you don't know what flash fiction is, it's simply a short story that ranges from 500 - 1000 words.  If you want to try writing some and like some critique, I'd be happy to do that for you!  Feel free to send it privately to me, or post in the comment section.

Also, no names in this story relate to actual people :)  They were just the first names that came to mind.

Here's my story:

               Jennifer aimed and then fired the ketchup bottle.  Her husband reacted quickly, ducking his head just in time.  The bottle exploded onto their floral wall paper.  Neither person cared.  Robert reached for the closest object, a glass pickle jar, and clutched it in his large hand.  A small growl escaped Jennifer’s clutched lips.  His eyes narrowed, his brows furrowed and in one swift motion, he hurled the glass jar toward her body.
                Jennifer dropped to the floor with a thud.  The jar sailed through the air and plummeted to the granite floor.  Shards of glass rained down on her curled up body.  For a moment, she didn’t move.  She just kneed on the kitchen floor with her arms shielding her head, breathing deeply. 
                “How did it get this bad?” she asked quietly in a voice only she could hear. 
                A grunt of curse words escaped Robert’s lips.  His heavy footsteps echoed as he headed toward the garage door.  Jennifer looked up and for a moment, she thought she saw regret, even guilt, in his tired expression.  But it must have just been an illusion. 
                “It’s over.  You win,” he said then slammed the door on his way out.
                With those words, her stomach relaxed.  It’s finally over.  Seven years of screaming, cursing, and epic fights are finally over.  Her let out the breath she forgot she was holding.
                She took a moment to finally evaluate the damage.  Ketchup on the wall, glass on the floor, the turkey burgers she made for dinner still sat untouched in the center of the table.  She got the trash can and started throwing everything away, even the cream plates and silverware they received for their wedding.  She didn’t want anything left to remind her of their past.
                Upstairs, she found a few old duffle bags and started shoving all of Robert’s clothes inside.  She figured she’d put them on the front porch.  He can stay in a hotel for all she cared. 
                “What else, what else?”
                She smiled wickedly as she entered the bathroom and reached for his toothbrush.  Oh the things she could do with this.  Maybe dunk it in the toilet?  He’d never know.  Jennifer laughed.  No, even she wasn’t that evil.  She put his toiletries in the bag then went into his study.  Piles of paperwork lined the floors.  Well, she couldn’t very well pack all his work.  He’d have to come back, while she was out of course, and do it himself.  But she figured she could at least give him some of his current work.  After all, the more money he made, the more she could get in alimony. 
                As she shoved the files into the already stuffed bag, a small white envelope dropped to the floor.  She would have just tossed it in with the rest of Robert’s junk but it had her name written on the outside.
                She let out a sigh. 
                “Probably my birthday card he forgot to give me,” she said remembering her thirty-fifth birthday that came and when without so much as a verbal acknowledgement.
                She picked it up and tore the seal.  She pulled out a blue card with a black butterfly in the center.  She always liked butterflies, even as she got older.  Robert used to decorate paper butterflies and leave them on her shoes so she’d find them before her morning run.  That was years ago.
                “Whoa,” she said when she opened the card and saw solid writing.  Not a single speck of white was left.
                Suddenly the card seemed too heavy to bear.  She sat on the edge of the bed.
                “Dear Jenny,” she read out loud.  He hadn’t called her Jenny since college.
                She kept reading.  It started with an apology.  He wrote he shouldn’t have focused so much on his job.  He wrote that he should have realized that spending so much time away would have made her lonely.
                He forgave her for the affair.
                Her heart stopped pounding.  Even though she thought about coming clean, she had never actually told her husband about the affair.  How had he known?
                He wrote that he never thought he deserved her, especially after he got kicked out of college junior year for poor grades.  When he got himself back on track, he just wanted to prove that he’d never let her down again.  Then he wrote that he’d give up his job, the money, everything if she’d just give him one more chance.  He wrote that he loved her, always will.
                The black ink on the paper started to run.  She hadn’t even felt the tears come out. 
                “Am I moving out?”
                Jennifer quickly raised to her feet, startled to see Robert standing in the door way, his hands in his pockets, his eyes on the duffle bags.
                “When did you write this?”
                He took a deep breath and joined her on the bed, leaving a large space between them.
                “About six months ago.”
                “Why didn’t you give it to me?”
                He smiled sheepishly and shrugged.  “I guess I thought it was too late.”
                Jennifer ran her fingers along the edge of the card.  He had a point.  One note wouldn’t erase almost a decade of a terrible marriage.  But maybe, maybe it could be the start of something new, if he really meant what he wrote.  Of course, she had some apologizing to do as well…
                A lump formed in her throat. 
                “No, no it’s too late,” Jennifer said.  “We’ve done too much to each other to just forget.”
                Robert nodded, trying to hide the moisture in his eyes by looking down at the white carpet.
                “I know.  I understand,” he said.  He rose to his feet and reached for the duffle bags.  Jennifer watched as he swung them over his shoulders and slowly walked toward the door.
                “We made vows,” he whispered just loud enough for the words to reach Jennifer’s ears then fade.
                Suddenly, the relief of divorce was replaced with a heaviness she’d never experienced.  Maybe they were making a big mistake. 
                He looked back to her, searching her blue eyes, but when she said nothing he nodded and turned.
                “Good bye Jennifer,” he said softly.
                “Stay, please,” she said but the words never made it to her lips.  She just sat there, frozen in time, watching the only man she ever loved walk away.

1 comment:

  1. I've been getting amazingly useful feedback about my story! Wow, I've made many mistakes!

    I can't wait to show everyone the finished product! Thank you for taking the time to help me out and please keep the comments coming (either on my blog or sent privately)!