Short Stories – Saying Much In Few Words
A revolving selection from short stories I wrote in years past. They are mainly sci-fi or futuristic, some published and some not. I warn you that these were written twenty or more years ago, so be gentle in your criticism.
My Mother Never Said
My mother never said ‘I love you’ to my father. I knew she really did. Love him, that is. If he were even a few minutes late coming home from work, she would worry. It was a long drive and she would wonder aloud if he had been in an accident, nervously basting the roast to keep it from drying out or stirring the soup to keep it from sticking. But when he walked in the door, it was ‘What took you so long?’ and a glare rather than ‘I love you,’ and a kiss. When I did see her kiss him, like when my two sisters and I threw them a surprise party on their 40th wedding anniversary, it was quickly and self-consciously. And without the words, ‘I love you.’ Why was it so hard for her to say those three words to my father when she could say them to us children? Perhaps it was because my grandmother, widowed when my mother was an infant, never provided a role model. Maybe in her early, formative years, she never heard a woman say them to a man. I am no psychologist, so I can only speculate. Could anyone say why with certainty? At my father’s funeral, I thought I saw her mouth those three words to his body, lying cold and dead in the casket, as she rested her hand on the hard, varnished wood. Even then, she never said them aloud.