Friday, February 22, 2013

Story # 20: "Appearances Can Be Relieving"

For several hours, I couldn't sleep last night. So I started writing. Before I was done (and by then, thoroughly exhausted), I had written four brand-new short stories. I guess brainstorming for titles these past few days was all I needed to be be inspired. That, and insomnia. Here's the first of last night's feverish creative output.  ~  JH


Sheila couldn't remember how she'd ended up here, hanging off the edge of a steep cliff, literally clinging to her life with aching hands; but not remembering didn't change the reality of the situation.

It's often said that in the face of impending death the entirety of one's life passes before one's eyes in an instant. If that were the case, Sheila had washed, dried, folded, and put away a lot of laundry in her life, and apparently nothing more than that. Indeed, she inexplicably found herself reliving not fond memories of friends and family, but of mundane housework.

The whirling dervish of dull images began spinning faster and faster before her glazed-over eyes, and momentarily Sheila let one of her hands drop from the edge, sending her body lurching away from the cliff face.

Surely, this was the end of Sheila. She made her peace with God in the length of a breath and waited for the inevitable fall.

Having shut her eyes a moment before, Sheila never saw the face that peered over the edge of the cliff at that moment. A hand made contact with her flailing arm, and in an instant she felt herself being pulled up and over the edge of the cliff to apparent safety.

Lying on her back, Sheila opened her eyes only to find herself staring into the face of the most gorgeous senior citizen man she'd ever laid eyes upon. He smiled broadly at her, and Sheila returned the greeting. It was love at first sight.

They married sixteen days later. Nine days after that, he passed away. He left her millions. She promptly hired a maid and never folded another piece of clothing again.

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