He looks familiar

“Goddamn chores!” Sheila Robinson pushed the screen door, shooing flies, adjusting her violet hat and frumpy dress. Her eyes caught him standing against the ax cuts on the oak’s trunk.

“What’s that fella doing? He reminds me of this man I dated with curly hair, broad frame – Sam Taylor. Sex machine, that Sam… goddamn keys!”

“Mrs. Robinson, lemme help you Ma’am.”

“Thank you … who are you?” Her glasses wobbled as a fresh scent of mint touched her.

The stranger smiled as she settled and started the engine.

“Could he? Nah, mama said my baby was still-born.” She wiped a solitary tear and concentrated on the dusty road.


Word Count: 105

Above in response to Voice week 2103 – voice 2


18 thoughts on “He looks familiar

  1. Nice… very different perspective, and an interesting one. I have two questions, though. One is “oak’s trunk” sounds like she has named the oak “oak,” which could be an interesting personality detail, but then shouldn’t it be capitalized?
    The other is my own wondering of how one could give birth and not know if the child were living or not. It may well be possible, but it caused me to stop and think. Sad story, so far. I am really curious to see what is up next!

    1. Such a great eye! I believe when I try to stuff too much information, confusing words result. I should change it to tree trunk?
      Re: the second, yes it is possible; I have read stories in newspapers about villages/small towns in India where when girls were born to young mothers, they were moved immediately while the mother was too drowsy/tired to notice (after a painful labor) and either killed or given away. Later when the mother regained consciousness, she was told that the baby was still-born or died immediately after birth, due to several reasons. Yes, it is not possible today when modern science has made labor manageable and the mother is alert throughout the process. I took advantage of that fine truth, here. But, am really glad you asked, it shows you have such a fine observation :).

      1. I’m a little dyslexic, so I read slow and repeatedly to make sure I’ve read something right (which still doesn’t always work, but it helps!). That and being the daughter of a Literature teacher makes me a decent editor. 🙂 I think the distinction of it being an oak is good. Either add a “the” before oak’s or capitalize Oak’s and I think it would make perfect sense.

        Good to know, though gut-wrenching. Thank you for expounding!

      2. Done. Thanks a lot. (My word count grew, though 😦 )
        You are a great editor :). I have to often refer a grammar reference while writing. Yet, I keep making mistakes 😛

      3. No stress over the word count.
        Thank you! I try. Grammar, especially English grammar, is hard. Commas, for instance, are the most helpful and yet frustrating things I have ever encountered. I am never sure if I am using them right.

  2. I literally gasped at the end! I like how she notices he looks like her old boyfriend, and I’m glad for the tear at the end that makes her seem more caring than the previous apparent oblivious grouchiness.

  3. OK then…the plot just got a lot deeper, it seems. I like the innocence of the woman…I had a notion that she had given him up out of disdain or something, and I’m glad to see that disproven.

  4. Oh god, I know a guy called Sam Taylor. You’ve just made me feel a bit sick!
    Anyway, that’s my problem. Loved the story, loved the hints of niceness under the grumpy exterior, and more subtle bits of backstory.

  5. haha, this is a whole new picture about the woman from voice one. it’s totally different – i love the impression that her perception of her own reality is a lot less awesome than the first voice’s perception.

  6. Ah, I like the different perspective. It gives us so much more of the story. It makes me think to the first voice and the fact that last “Hi Mom” didn’t jive with the rest. If she’s driven off when he says it, I get it now but that’s not clear.

  7. Aww this is a heart-wrenching revelation, poor Mrs Robinson and her little boy, with this perspective, you’ve totally changed the story in my mind, that’s sneaky and clever all rolled in one. lol

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