I am part of some really grate writing groups on LinkedIn, one of them dose a monthly short story contest, the group is lively with lots of active members. I haven’t joined in on one of these monthly contest yet, (mind you its just for fun, and practice our righting, and righting outside our comfort zones.) but I figured it was worth a shot. All the competitions have a different set of parameters, but all are 600-715 words. This one was suspense, it had to start with someone on their day off, and end with them getting news that will change their life.
I have never written suspense before, and none of my other short stories are under 1,000 words, I thinks that’s why this one interested me. So here it is, my entry I didn’t get to enter.
The Rain Keeps Falling
She leaned against the island in the middle of the kitchen, a fresh cup of coffee in hand, staring out the big bay window, past the dirty glass and out into the gray damp morning. “Of course, it had to rain today. All I wanted to do was pull the weeds, my poor flowers look like they are lost in a jungle.”
Taking a sip from her cup, she nearly drops it as the freshly brewed coffee sears the tip of her tongue. Setting the cup down she slowly scans her home, the thick dust with little paw prints scattered through it, a sink full of coffee cups and spoons, a dead bouquet in a dry vase. “I really have let this place go haven’t I Storm? What am I to do when it’s just you and me?” She says scratching the little gray tiger striped cat under her uplifted chin.
Her cell phone breaks the silence ringing with Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 9. She let it play on for a moment before answering. “Good morning, Stacy Smitten speaking.”
“Good Morning Miss. Smitten. Mr. Cotter wanted more copies printed up for your presentation. You know the one he reassigned to Mike Garfield. Any way I need your password so I can get to the files. It’s right on your desktop right?” Stacy’s young and anxious intern Mandy asked in a slightly wavering voice, always the kiss up hiding behind a blocky pair of red plastic glasses, but full of potential, and Stacy’s favorite.
“You always sound like you think you’re in trouble Mandy, try calming down now and then would you. Yes on the desk top you cannot miss it, and the password, it’s ‘come home soon’, every other letter in caps starting with the first letter. I feel like I haven’t been home in ages, is there anything else?” She said sounding only a little aggravated, after all she had given the girl this information several times before she left the office for her week off.
“Right Miss. Smitten, sorry, I know I um… sorry. If I can ask ma’am… has there been any word yet?” The girl asked, more timidly than usual.
“No, nothing yet, but I know he is out there, he has to be. Thank you for asking Mandy, good bye.” she hung up her cell phone without waiting for the girl to respond. “She meant well at least.”
She took a long deep swallow of her coffee, taking in the quiet morning again. “Nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning.”
She looked out the cloudy window once again hoping to see the rain clouds broken and the sun shining bright, but beyond the dust-covered glass all she found was a wall of water. “Now what am I to do? Cleaning really doesn’t interest me, there’s no point when no one will be coming over. I’m talking to myself again. Let’s just say I was talking to you stormy, that sounds better.” She says giving the cat a little scratch between the ears.
“Maybe a little T.V. will help fill the quiet. Some day Max will fill that quiet with the pitter-patter of my grandchildren’s feet. He will make such a wonderful father and husband one day.” She said to the loudly purring bundle of fur as she pet her, flipping through the channels with her free hand. Disappointed she shut the T.V. off, and drank some more of her coffee.
A nock on the door made her jump, “Now who is could that possibly be?” She walked to the door slowly and peered out the tiny window, only the top of a soaked army green hat, and a wet pink cheek visible through the small glass pain.
Her heart jumping she says “Max.”
Taking a deep breath, she wipes a single tear from her cheek, and opens the door slowly.
Standing in the pouring rain she sees three somber faced youths, fully dressed in all there army finery, the one in front holding a folded American flag. Her heart drops like a stone to the bottom of her stomach, slowly she sinks to the floor, as she whispers “No”. Her tears flow and everything fades away, but the rain keeps falling as she sits alone.