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Short Story Contest 2 - Spring Is The Hardest Time

The deadline for the second contest has already passed and the stories are available for reading. It had a Spring theme, and the winner got a $25 gift certificate. Stay tuned for information regarding another contest!
Are you an author, publisher or webmaster? Contact Scott if you would like to sponsor the next short story contest.

Short Story Contest 2 - Spring Is The Hardest Time

Post Number:#1 by Scott
» 18 Jun 2008, 11:48

[The following is a short story submission for the short story contest. The author of the story will be revealed after the judges have chosen a winner.]

Spring Is The Hardest Time

“Spring is the hardest time, you know?”

He didn’t reply. He never was much of a one for talking. More of the strong, silent-type bloke. It had driven me mad back then, and still drives me a little bit nuts now.

“I remember that holiday we took, down in Kent. Your mum insisted it was a wonderful place to go in April. Well, it probably was back in the fifties. I’m sure they didn’t have half the rain we do now. We nearly drowned going out to lunch at the pub on the corner!”

We had been too broke to go anywhere spectacular. All our friends were off to Barbados or Aruba, but we got the sunny garden of England. In April. If we got any colour that year, it certainly wasn’t tan, more likely to be rust! The pub on the corner had served good, honest meals for decent prices and hadn’t minded admitting a couple of drowned rats. Tents, mud, and April really didn’t mix, and we spent more than one meal gently steaming as the heating dried us out.

“I loved that holiday. It was who we were back then. We were free, just married, and so much in love. The April showers couldn’t hold us back. Bog us down a bit, but not hold us back! That was before Sarah, before things started to get dark for us. Do you remember? Sarah was born the very next spring. There were daffs all over the flower bed outside the hospital window. You brought me daffs the following Sunday as well. Our first Mothering Sunday together.”

I could see him smile at the memory. Those were good times. Strolling through the park with Sarah tucked snug in the pram, your mother’s scruffy terrier borrowed for the look of walking the dog in the park. Sarah was only a few weeks old, and the cherry trees were shedding blossom like we were in a snow storm. Tulips everywhere that year. The council must have spent a fortune on bulbs, there seemed to be millions of them, all laid out in rainbow blocks. Down by the pond, the ducks were making such a racket, trying to scare off their rivals.

Next door had this ornamental pond, huge thing, with all those great big gold fish in it. I remember that old woman getting so cross with the ducks! They would come down and dabble in all the muck on the bottom, clogging up the filter and making her clear water look like a mud bath. By the time Sarah was one, we would sit outside, and Sarah would giggle hysterically when the daft woman came out screeching at the ducks for messing up her pond. They only ever came in spring though. Must have been a mating thing.

“You couldn’t have done anything,” I tell him. “Even if you had been with us, there was nothing you could have done differently.”

We had been out shopping for Sarah’s second birthday cake. She was toddling along beside me, so proud of her little legs and clinging on tightly to my hand. The car had come from nowhere, mounting the pavement behind us and snatching her out of my grip.

The same daffodils that had greeted her two years ago now ushered her on to the next life. We could see them swaying gently out of the window as the doctor told us there was nothing else to be done. The machines had to be switched off.

“It's funny, you know. I don’t really remember much about that next year, apart from the obvious. Summer was warm, autumn was damp, and the winter was damn cold.”

So were we by then. The spring warmth had gone with Sarah. We talked even less than usual, and I could feel you slipping away. I never did know how far you had slipped though. Always the strong, silent type. I thought you were O.K. I thought we could get through this together.

The cherry blossom was out again the day you didn’t come home. I rang your mum. She finally admitted that you had spoken of leaving, in a round about way. I suppose, being your mum, she had learned to translate much better than I ever would. What you said and what you meant rarely had any relationship until the pressure valve finally blew. I phoned your mates. No one had seen you. Your sister called me. You had missed the Sunday evening drinks with the family, practically a hanging offence.

“I was all alone when they told me. How could you let me hear that all on my own?”

The policeman had come. Late one March evening, about a week after you had left me. I was all alone. I think your mum blamed me. I obviously hadn’t looked after you right. Not after Sarah. Neglected you terribly, apparently.

“Well, I don’t neglect you any more. You can tell her that when you see her. But right now, my knees are beginning to ache. March is never a good time to be kneeling on the grass, you know? I think I might be getting a touch of rheumatism.”

As I stood, I thought of what that copper had told me. A body found. In the park, by the big cherry trees with all the blossom snowing down. A suspected overdose.

I touched the headstone one last time.

“See you next week, my love. Take care of Sarah.”
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid
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Post Number:#2 by Scott
» 26 Jun 2008, 11:37

The author of that story is saracen77. The story is the winner! Saracen77 has been awarded a $25 gift certificate to Bookcloseouts!
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid
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Post Number:#3 by lagym888
» 21 Feb 2010, 09:07

I Think your right maybe IMMANUEL KANT into the hell of self-knowledge can pave the way to godliness... Good Luck!!!:)
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Post Number:#4 by soniakhan33
» 08 Apr 2010, 15:53

thanks man for the great story.......
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Post Number:#5 by Perrywinkle47
» 04 Sep 2010, 06:54

Awesome story, the end is specially very captivating.
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Post Number:#6 by Carla Hurst
» 06 Sep 2010, 20:28

Congratulations. Great short story!

So...when is the next contest?
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Post Number:#7 by Perrywinkle47
» 10 Sep 2010, 03:07

Quite deep!
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Post Number:#8 by Mellida02
» 20 Sep 2010, 06:06

long story ,but i am interesting.
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Post Number:#9 by Fran
» 20 Sep 2010, 08:34

Lovely story ... congrats.
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story

Post Number:#10 by Ayushiinfotech
» 30 Sep 2010, 04:36

i read this story it is really nice ..............

its really amazing......
:lol:

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Post Number:#11 by Aka.andee
» 27 Oct 2010, 19:08

wow...this is really good. I read this in class and couldn't stop thinking about it. :] Thanks for the read!
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Post Number:#12 by Fanlynne
» 10 Jan 2011, 05:33

Really a very nice story,thanks for sharing......... :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Post Number:#13 by Nigella
» 10 Jan 2011, 08:03

Congratulations Saracen77! I really enjoyed reading your story, it's very nice :D
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Post Number:#14 by Avitoflv
» 12 May 2011, 22:14

I was all alone when they told me. How could you let me hear that all on my own?
it's very nice Confessions
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Re: Short Story Contest 2 - Spring Is The Hardest Time

Post Number:#15 by matthewarnold
» 01 Oct 2011, 01:42

i also having same happened i my life. in my childhood i went to my grammy house with my mom same senario.take place with me .....i got it there.
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