E.M.’s RWP~# 232 before and after- Rebirth

In one convulsive second, when the crying infant still tethered to her by an umbilical cord was placed on her stomach, all her ‘befores‘ dissolved.
The child catching grasshoppers in the tall grass at her grandmother’s farm, the teenager with a crush on one of her teachers, and the woman picking flowers for centerpieces on her wedding day, were gone.


When her brand-new daughter was brought to her, all clean, perfect, and ready to nurse, their eyes met.
“Hello, Ellen. I can’t wait to get to know you.” she whispered.
She had no doubt that a blessed transformation had taken place and her life, from that moment forward, would wholly be defined by ‘afters‘.

Random Word Story # 39~ Choose Wisely

I have a category called Random Word Stories. From an online random word generator, I grab a list and write a story. It’s my own way to find a prompt. Feel free to check out the others I’ve done over the years. Thanks!

  • nightmare
  • major
  • forge
  • mess
  • fold
  • obscure


  • It had just come to Marie’s attention in a news article, that Americans weren’t reproducing in sufficient numbers to maintain their own cultural future. Oh well, she thought, progress and changes happen. Women are more than ‘baby machines’.
    “Ugh.”
    Her life as a professional unmarried 28 year old was awesome! And, no stretch marks, baby.

    In college, the consensus about career vs family for young women wasn’t at all obscure. Life could only be fullfilling if women pursued their careers first with becoming a mother a ‘maybe’. In fact, the few who dropped out, opting for families, were banished from elite circles and were openly called ‘troglodytes’. She never hesistated to dismiss those women and pitied them for not belonging to the enlightened fold of feminism. Her once, best friend, Lynn was one of those misguided types.
    Marie was completely convinced having children was messy, expensive, and intrusive for women who wished to forge a bright future so running into Lynn, at her hometown bank (after not seeing her for a decade), was a good chance to flaunt her wiser choices.
    Lynn looked horrible. Her hair and wardrobe were a mess.
    “Sneakers. Really?” Marie mumbled.
    Marie almost considered avoiding her to save Lynn the inevitable embarrassment but, heck, she’d created her own nightmare. It wasn’t Marie’s fault. She’d even pleaded with her not to throw in the towel 10 years ago.
    “Lynn?”
    “Marie! How are you?”
    ” I’m great! I just got back from Europe on assignment and the vice president position isn’t too far off. The marketing firm may be setting up an office in Belguim! My expense account is unlimited and I get dibs on all the first fashion trends. See?” Marie twirled for emphasis.
    “Nice! You were always so talented. How’s your Mom?”
    “She’s okay. How’s your family?”
    With a twinkle in her eye, Lynn grabbed her phone and showed photos of her three daughters, two dogs, and a variety of camping excursions, softball games, and, what she called, ‘giggle fests’. Her husband still drove trucks, but now had his own company, and she was homeschooling her kids since Covid-19 shutdowns. Her home had a lovely yard with, of all things, a white picket fence!
    Lynn certainly didn’t look miserable. Marie thought she even beamed.
    The major letdown of their encounter was Lynn’s total lack of envy of Marie’s choices. She seemed content and chatted about her children with an energy and pride that Lynn didn’t even have for her own ‘projects’.
    As Marie unlocked her apartment that evening, she had an epiphany.
    That college feminist ‘concesus’ may not have been organic, or as altruistic, as it seemed.










Homeless

I felt peculiar this morning as I climbed from the box that had sheltered me from the rain. Dampness lay all around yet I was warm and dry. The breaking day made the sky a color that has no name…orangey,pinkish,purple, is all I can say. I had no idea if I were dreaming or if the world had tipped and started a new. There in the corner of the alley was my old companion. She lay so still that I may not have noticed her if not for the patch of white in her hair. As I approached her I could see the ever so slight heaving of her chest that indicates life still occupied her corner. A tiny infant lay sleeping beside her untouched and unaware of the harsh reality we call life.

Memories of such comfort flooded my body and I shivered quite violently for several moments. The new mother opened her eyes and purred. All was well for THAT moment. There would be shuffling feet, clanging garbage cans and traffic, as the story goes for the homeless. The infant would know hunger and cruelty all too soon.

Eyes still shut and innocence blanketing her, she suckled blissfully ignorant next to her mother. All was well…