This challenge for Write, Edit, Publish is titled: Utopian Dreams. Pretty picture.
To read what others have written go here.
Write, Edit Publish is a blog hop that challenges writers, poets and artistic members to post a story, poem or something other than that. Started by Denise Covey the two big wigs that run the show are Denise and Yolanda Renee. Both are talented authors. Denise writes Romance and Yolanda writes Mysteries. So it's time to let you all read my story.
Flash fiction is a form of writing to help authors tighten their prose without losing content, traditionally 1,000 words or less. Enjoy.
Beyond the Gate
Disappointment tailgated me like a road rage driver out for revenge. I’d had so much ambition when I was young. I would be a success. My plans included a thriving and well paid career. A loving husband. Brilliant and devoted children. I wanted to be, no, I needed to be more successful than my siblings. I needed to prove that I was somebody.
I have a career. I make good money, though not as much as my brother. But then, he is a man and I am woman. I have a husband who is faithful. He’s a yes man and doesn’t argue with me. I like that. He makes good money though he isn’t advancement material. Still…what is lacking? Romance. A girl shouldn’t complain, right?
My children. Well…one should accept what has been given I suppose. Still, I could want more. They both struggle. First in school and then in their choice of jobs. Neither attended college. I pushed them to, but they refused. Neither makes a third of what I earn. They value what I never did, the simple joys of life. My brother’s children both have degrees. They both have ambition. Where did I miss the mark?
I must face the fact. I’m a failure. With that thought I made a margarita, my third, and sat down to watch a thin and beautiful woman push a line of jewelry on the TV. I liked this jewelry. I often bought something, but tonight my mind wandered and I remembered the dream. In it there was an arched wrought iron gate and I could see a garden beyond. I’d had this dream every night for a week. It felt like a memory, yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. And why would I be attracted to that anyway?
I finished my drink and went to bed.
Thursday dawned as thousands of Thursdays had in my life. There was nothing unique. Nothing out of the ordinary. I drank a breakfast shake and headed out the door. Getting in my BMW I headed downtown. An hour later I was diverted from my usual parking spot by construction.
I found a spot five blocks away from my office building in a neighborhood, parked and locked my car. I didn’t wear walking shoes to the office. Dressed professionally, I wore high heels. I considered taking the shoes off, but I didn’t have a spare pair of panty hose, so the trudge in heels was necessary.
I wasn’t alone. Perhaps a dozen others were preparing to walk the side street as well. I eyed them, but they seemed as aggravated as I was. I slung my purse over one shoulder and prepared myself for the trip.
I allowed a number of people to get ahead of me. I didn’t need their company. I only knew one of them and I didn’t like him. His name was John, and he whined about every task I handed him. I went a different way even though it would take longer.
Two blocks later I came to the gate. The same gate in my dream. I was sure I’d never driven or walked along this street before.
The wrought iron was perfection. A filigree at the top of the arch, the gate was between two brick pillars and left open, beckoning. Beyond I could see a pathway that wound between trees and flowerbeds. It seemed separate from the house, a land to itself.
The scent of magnolias filled the air and one bush hugged the brick pillar and peeked between the iron bars. I felt pulled. I wanted to enter. I wanted to abandon my life, my disappointments. I took a step closer, than another one. I reached the gate and touched the cool iron. I could almost hear a chorus of voices calling, “Come…come…be welcome. Utopia awaits. Let your cares slip away. Dance with me under the moon.”
I must resist. I have responsibilities. I am a successful business woman, wife and mother. Yet the pull.
I had reached the top of my profession. There wouldn’t be another advancement, no more raises and I had to deal with men over me who could care less about my needs. Of course, I didn’t care about those below me.
My husband. Yes, I loved him. He loved me more as it should be. He also lived in his own world and never helped me with the housework, or cooking, or grocery shopping. He didn’t even attend any of our children’s after school functions. Of course, neither did I. My career was number one. Number One! And for what? To appease a group of people who didn’t give a rat’s ass about me. Well, I didn’t care about them either.
My children. Both are grown. They have their own life and they don’t have much time for me. I give them ample advice especially after downing several margaritas, but they roll their eyes and ignore me. Both have married sub-par humans. I’ve given up on them.
My thoughts wonder to my sister. I haven’t given her much thought and no time for years. She has very little in material goods and she has suffered. An abusive marriage. She once asked me for help and I denied her. The nerve. She never amounted to anything. Of course, I knew she never would. But, now, after years of hardship she was happy. She valued her children and she even stayed married and her husband has turned into a good man. Her family is close. Not like mine.
So…what is there for me?
I stepped beyond the gate.
Word count: 940
Note: I know people like this character, but this isn’t about any one person. Rather it is a story about our choices and how we value others. N. R. Williams
If you want to leave a critique you may. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your New Year fill you with Happiness. Nancy
I found this post and highly recommend it. The Hard Truth About Publishing: What Writers and Readers Need to Know.