The Time Left

“We’ve been out here for two hours, Doloris. For Christ’s sake, pick something and let’s go home.”

Doloris poked the map repeatedly with her arthritic finger. “We still have four more plots to see. Don’t rush me, Charlie Finn. You’ve been rushing me for fifty years. And quit pulling at my elbow. We’re going this way.”  She pointed up the hill.

“’I want it to have shade,’ she says.  ‘I don’t want it to be a corner,’ she says. I say we just need room enough for them to dig two holes to throw us into.” Charlie looked to the gray sky for sympathy.

“Mocking me. You’ve never understood that just because something isn’t important to you, doesn’t mean it’s not important to me.”  She had turned to glare but started walking again.

With a grunt, Charlie followed. “And you’ve never understood that you shouldn’t force me to abide everything you find important.”

“Two Saturdays, Charlie. Just two. What else have you got to do?” she said over her shoulder. Out of breath.

“I can think of a lot better than trudging back and forth across a cemetery in January. This is a ridiculous waste of time, woman.”

She turned to face him, her wrinkled hands balled defiantly on her broad hips. Her lower lip quivering, maybe from the cold, but the tears said otherwise. “I’ll tell you what’s ridiculous, Charlie.  That after last week and you filing those ridiculous papers, if your old heart seizes up and needs a kick start, nobody can touch it.  If I don’t have a say anymore in when I have to give you up, Charlie Finn, then I’ll damn sure have a say in where I’ll sit to mourn you.”

–Red Writing Hood prompt–Flash Fiction 300 word limit with inspiration word “LIFE”

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4 thoughts on “The Time Left

  1. reading this rubbed a raw spot … put some salt in an old wound. My grandfather refused to listen to my grandmother when it came to matters of details surrounding a pacemaker …

    i’m no expert, but i loved the way I could imagine what they both looked like, Charlie and Doloris …

  2. I don’t mean to be irreverant because this is a serious matter, and I can definitely see your characters, each set in their own ways, trying to negotiate their way to the end that makes sense to them individually. Still the stubborn-ness of each of them and their grudging acquiesence to the other’s desires is simultaneously touching and humorous. Wonderful!

  3. This was great! Sad and sort of funny at the same time. I imagined my husband and I bickering in a similar way. You described this sad landmark in a relationship perfectly. I love Charlie’s exasperation with Doloris, and vice versa…a very real couple. 🙂

    Stopping by from TRDC. Great job on the prompt!

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