by | Jan 1, 2013 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 10 comments

My website is being revamped, and I haven’t had access to it for a while. The site isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, but I do have access to the Dashboard now, so here’s my first post of 2013. I hope you enjoy this story draft and look forward to your comments. I also hope creativity and happiness abound for all of us in the year ahead.

By Laura McHale Holland

She climbs out of her VW bug and walks down the block. Late afternoon light bathes the abandoned houses on either side of the street, houses where she and her childhood friends lived, where she skipped rope, played hide and seek, climbed trees, threw water balloons.

All the families. Gone. Paid off. No more barefoot babes running through the grass, no more parents weeding gardens, trimming hedges. Tomorrow demolition will begin so a high tech corporation can expand its campus. A local business success story.

She reaches the last home in the cul de sac, walks by the rusted camper her mom couldn’t sell in the driveway, sees her mom’s cat, Delilah, perched on the living room windowsill. She trudges up the porch steps, pulls a key from her pocket, unlocks the door. Inside she is greeted by the smell of pot roast, a dish her mom hasn’t cooked since her dad’s fatal heart attack four years prior.

“Here, Delilah, here kitty kitty,” she calls. She checks every room, every closet. No cat. “It’s your last chance, Delilah” she calls. “Mom’s going to be really unhappy living in that big old house without you, you silly old cat.”

She steps onto the front porch, closes the door, tosses the key onto the sun-scorched lawn. Soon she pulls her VW away from the curb, rounds the corner and heads toward her mom’s new home. Amid tufts of brittle grass, Delilah pounces and bats the old key back and forth between her front paws.

Note: When I first posted this, the story ended with Delilah in the back seat of the car, having climbed in undetected before the car pulled away.

Photo by Lilachd


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  1. Jerry Kohut

    progress, out with the old in with the new

  2. admin

    Thanks for your comment, Jerry. “Out with the old; in with the new” seems an appropriate thought for the start of a new year, huh.

  3. tony pires

    Delilah has her keepsake.

  4. admin

    I like seeing the key in that light, Tony. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  5. Susan Brien

    Me thinks that Delilah is unhappy with the move! She will use those keys ‘cuz she doesn’t like change. :) But, she knows where her meals are now. ‘Course, she could catch a few mice, or birds and be on her own. She’s crafty.

  6. admin

    She is crafty, isn’t she. I was thinking an alternative ending could be that instead of Delilah getting into the back seat of the car, the daughter could arrive at her mom’s new house and Delilah could be sitting on the living room windowsill, key to the old place in her mouth. … Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Sue!

  7. Barbara Toboni

    Nice Laura. Can’t wait to see the new site. I like this kitty story. Makes me wonder if Delilah is a ghost though at first. Glad she was in the car.

  8. admin

    Great to hear from you, Barbara, and I’m glad you like this story. The thought of Delilah being a ghost didn’t occur to me, but I did think she could have supernatural powers.

  9. Eve Trout

    Give me any kitty story. I was glad Delilah was in the back seat of the car. She was waiting for you.

  10. admin

    Thanks, Eve. I have two dogs and prefer them as pets overall, but cats come up in my stories more than dogs, I think. On some level I’m drawn to their reserve, their command, their air of mystery.

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