Friday, December 19, 2008

Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday #83: Challenge for December 19, 2008:

Write a short scene, with exactly two characters that involves a terrible Christmas (or similar holiday) present.

The Beginning of the End

"You know you're ruining Christmas for the girls, don't you?" Libby stood with one hand on her hip and the other wiping the flood of tears from her eyes.

"I'm not ruining Christmas, Libby - stop being so dramatic. The girls are now going to have more Christmas than they used to." Ronnie continued to throw clothes from the dresser into his worn suitcase.

"More Christmas! They are going to be separated from both of their parents. I don't consider spending Christmas Eve with me and Christmas Day with you more Christmas!"

The confrontation had been brewing for almost a week, since the day Libby got the phone call from the other woman.

"I hope you know he's leaving you before Christmas. Ronnie and his girls will be spending Christmas Day we me." Libby learned several hours later the woman was Peggy, an older woman who worked with Ronnie. Apparently they had been carrying on an affair for the past 18-months; it started just before Libby gave birth to their second daughter.

Libby was beating herself up for not noticing the warning signs sooner, but with a new baby and a second child under the age of two, her days and nights were filled with childcare.

"Look, Libby, the girls are going to be fine. They will get some extra presents this year and they'll never know the difference." Ronnie closed the suitcase and headed into the living room.

"No, Ronnie, it's not going to be fine. What am I supposed to do?" Libby was trying hard not to get hysterical, but her world was falling down around her.

"Well, I guess you'll have to get a job, won't you!" Ronnie walked over to the gun cabinet he had built last year. Unlocking the door, he removed two rifles and a pistol, leaving behind the bow. He looked the door back and walked to the door.

"What about the girls? How am I supposed to get a job and watch the girls at the same time."

"Libby, grow up. Women can work and care for the kids - you'll just have to put them into daycare." He opened the door and walked the guns out to his truck.

"Daycare," Libby screamed from the front door. "You want me to but the girls in daycare! We've never even had a babysitter for them other than our mothers!"

Ronnie walked back to the door; Libby refused to move out of the way.

"Let me in Libby." He pushed his way past his petite wife.

"You can't do this, Ronnie. What can I do; I'll do anything to make it better." Libby hated the pleading tone of her voice. "Just tell me what to do. Think about the girls - this is going to effect them for the rest of their lives!"

"It's over Libby - there is no more trying. And the girls will be fine. I'll call you in a few days to make arrangements for Christmas Day." Picking up his suitcase, he walked out of the house for the last time.

"Where are you going? You're going to HER house, aren't you? You son of a bitch! I won't let another woman be a mother to MY children. Do you hear me? These are MY girls and she's going to stay away from them!" Libby knew she was screaming incoherently, but she couldn't stop herself. This couldn't be happening. After 6 years of marriage to her high school sweetheart, her would was crumbling down.

"You damn sucking mamma's boy! I hope you'll be happy together! You can both rot in hell!" Libby slammed the door and collapsed under the Christmas tree. The house was quiet. Praying out loud, Libby asked God to help her.

She was still on the floor under the tree when her almost 3 year old daughter came walking down the hall, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Libby picked herself up, forced a smile on her face and scooped her daughter into her arms.

Saying another prayer to God, she silently asked for strength to protect her children and make their lives better.


bella rum said...

Wow! Riveting.

Tammi said...

Sad gift, especially considering that the father sees the situation as "more Christmas" for the girls. Wah!

Anonymous said...

I really felt Libby's pain and anger and if the father really believes that this is a gift for his children, then, yeah, it's one of the worst gifts I've ever heard of.

Nice work.

~willow~ said...

oh wow, it never occurred to me to twist the "present" into something like this.. this was so realistic it was actually upsetting to read!

Jennifer said...

Very sad and yes, riveting.

You have a real gift for dialog! I am in awe.

paisley said...

that was a very personal piece of fiction... even if it didn't directly happen yo you made it sound as if it had... excellent