Friday, June 10, 2011

Romantic Friday Writers: Forgotten

 Featured writer winner. Thank you, thank you. Nancy

Romantic Friday Writers is a blog fest every Friday. The creative genius behind this is L'Aussie and Francine Howarth. You can click on the link at the end of my story to check out all the other great writers participating in this fun event or join and add your talents to the blog fest. There is a winner (the prize is recognition). If you are a member of RWA then they are following this too but you don't have to be.

Today's challenge is 'Forgotten' in 400 words or less. Forgotten implies back story.  A no, no in writing. Let's see if I can meet the challenge.


I've lived my life as a bull charging forward, head down, anger my support. I have no regrets. I achieved my goals while stepping on a few toes. What are toes to a bull?

Oh, you think you know better? I have children to support. It's not my fault that I needed to feed and clothe them on my own. I refuse to even think of the reason for this. I have slapped on my business attire like a soldier in the field of battle. No looking back, the enemy is straight ahead.

What you say, a soldier relies on others? So does a business woman. Yes, I have many at my back. Fulfilling the orders I promised our clients. I took care of them. I complied with all the Federal rules. Many have been with me from the beginning.

Did I thank them? They got a paycheck. They had a Christmas bonus. We held holiday parties. What more thanks could I give?

I refuse to cry. Don't even ask. I refuse to shed tears. Even now, holding the notice that you died. Who were you to me? You promised to love me, to cherish me, to hold our marriage as a treasure. I believed you. We had three children together. Don't you know how much they missed their father? One day you were gone. A note mailed to me a week later. "I've had enough," you said. Enough? What is enough? You missed all the moments that a father should prize.

At night now I dream. I dream of your black hair and the stubble from your beard that tickled me when we kissed. I remember the spicy cologne you preferred. My heart soared in your embrace. I loved you beyond words. We waited until you had your law degree before we had children. Don't you remember how we held our son when he was born and then the twin girls three years later? They were only six months old when you left. Six months!

I am tortured by the memory of our love making. I never tired of you. Why did you tire of me? Am I free to remarry? I have always been free. I don't trust any man. I must deal with men every working day. I have experienced their lies. I have watched their betrayals. No, I will never forgive you. 

Word count: 397

Just so you know. This is not my life. I'm still married with grand kids. I hope you enjoyed it. To read more Romantic Friday Writers post go here.


Margo Benson said...

Wow, Nancy - what a great energy in this piece. Tough, resigned, practical and so sad when she lets her memories come in.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Margo.

andymac89 said...

Brilliant. You say this is not you yet it sounds like it really comes from the heart. To create an emotional piece when you have little or no emotions connected to the piece is difficult and emotion resonates from this piece. Well done.

Joanne said...

I like your disclaimer at the end! And even that adds another layer to the story, knowing that a vivid imagination is at work here.

Jules said...

Well, just DANG! What a challenge meeting entry. If that don't say forgotten I don't know what does. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

N. R. Williams said...

I'm blushing Andy, thanks.

Hi praise Joanne, thanks.

Hey Jules, I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks everyone for dropping by and reading my little flash fiction entry.

Francine Howarth said...


Touching piece, Nancy. All that true grit, yet vulnerability there for the seeing of. Nicely done piece of flash fiction. ;)


N. R. Williams said...

That means a lot Francine, thank you.

Beverly Diehl said...

This is a great piece, I love the passion in it, and the anger (which is often hurt in drag) comes through loud & clear.

Second to last paragraph, I would rearrange. Previous paragraph ends with "that a father should prize," so I think continuing that thought, start with "We waited until you had your law degree." I would cut "twins" from the sentence that ends "three years later, and move it to the next: "...and then the girls when he was three? The twins were only..." Then I would do a paragraph break, and start with "At night now I dream..."

In the very last paragraph, I would cut "I don't trust any man." You don't need it, it's better implied (IMO.) And perhaps, for dramatic impact, move "No, I will never forgive you," into its own one-line paragraph.

A lot of times a piece like this starts off strong and then loses steam near the end - this doesn't. Kudos to you!

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Beverly for the critique and the praise. I appreciate both.

Andy said...

Hello Nancy.
It's strong, powerful & full of emotion...hard to believe it's not a portrayal of your own life!

Written like a true pro.

Well done!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi praise Andy...thank you so much.

li said...

Raw, and sad. So many of us wear emotional armour for one reason or another, and you capture the essence of that - a manufactured shell hiding hurt and betrayal underneath.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Li.

L'Aussie said...

Hi Nancy. I'm sorry that commitments mean we're not having as much too-ing and fro-ing as we once did, but when I come back from globe trotting I hope to visit your wonderful blog more often, my friend.

I adore this. I refused to read any other comments so I wouldn't be swayed. I'll read them afterwards.

I love the no nonsense lady you start the story with, then move through the story to show her vulnerability. I was afraid it was auto-biographical for awhile and was relieved when you added a disclaimer at the end. Thanks for that. I was getting more and more worried as I read on, as I could hear your no-nonsense voice coming through the story.

Great stuff. I'm so pleased you are posting for RFWers and encouraging others to do so. Thanks.


L'Aussie said...

Well after reading others' comments I see they mostly felt the same. You made such an emotional impact here Nancy! Go you!

D x

Anonymous said...

Whew! Glad to hear this is not your life story. Thanks for the clarification at the end!

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you so much Denise. I appreciate your comments. Not to worry, I'm not making many rounds right now either.

Hi Stephen, yes it isn't my life. I have experienced many of the same emotions that a woman would have if it were so transposing those emotions from my own life makes the character come to life.

Thank you both for stopping by and leaving a comment after reading. I appreciate it.

tarunima said...

this is wonderful!
i just loved reading it,its brimming with emotions,you have really touched my heart with your post nancy!
well done

Madeleine said...

Goodness what a sad and final last line, quite a chilling was to give a sense of her grief, anger and loss. Very poignant. Great topic for the theme.
As far as critiquing goes, imho your piece seems quite heavy on the telling, e.g. We waited until you had your law degree before we had children.(though generally the style adds to the punchy delivery), however, adding more memories through the senses would make this piece less like a catalogue of recalled information :O)

Not So Simply Single said...

Good job Nancy... I was wondering as I read it, what is going on?

Have a nice weekend!


Helen Ginger said...

I could feel both her strength and her bitterness. Both are equally strong, but it also makes me hope that she has love in her future.

Ms. Queenly said...

You paint the psyche of the kind of woman most people criticize as being cold and do not emphathize with. Very good first person narrative, running through her thoughts and feelings like that. I got the sense that you were trying to humanize her a little and also diassociate from her ~ MsQ

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you traunima.

I do tend to do a lot of telling with first person Madeliene. I don't write in first person often.

Glad you enjoyed is Lisa.

Hope is good Helen.

Hi Queenly...yes she is the type of women we criticize, I wanted to show her weakness against her strengths.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment.

J.L. Campbell said...

This is intense. Clearly, she tried to forget him as she moved on with her life but I sense her pain and disappointment that have turned into bitterness. Hard when you have to turn off all the precious memories and stuff them somewhere in order to survive. Again, intense. said...

This is very powerful and well written. I'm impressed you were able to get into the mind of a divorced woman (e.g., me). I can relate.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you J. L and Robyn. I appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...

I did enjoy it, Nancy. A subject that needs an understated tone and clear and concise writing to work. In your hands, it works beautifully (I knew this wasn't you).

I'm so glad you found me at my WordPress blog. I don't intend to lose my favorite Blogger friends. I'm right now putting up links on my blogroll to your blog and others.
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Ann.

Laura said...

This piece pulsed with such a strong undercurrent of sorrow, I have a huge lump in my throat. Great write

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Laura, such praise.

Kittie Howard said...

I don't know how I missed your entry, Nancy. Sorry! This is a powerful piece that transmits energy. In truth, I know a woman who lived your piece...she rented a house we owned. Her husband desperately wanted a second child. He left her for another woman two weeks after the baby was born. You capturesd so much of what she said. (She eventually re-married.

N. R. Williams said...

Wow, that's amazing. I didn't realize I was so right. Thanks Kittie for sharing.