Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Words - #fridayflash

Three Gravol to make her sleepy and settle her stomach. 
A half an hour later, a 23 valium chaser. One pill at a time.
Was it enough?
“It better fecking be enough,” Deidre said.
She wanted a drink. Thought heavily about rooting around in Paddy’s workshop to see if she could find any more of his rum stash. Realized she’d probably puke if she did. Didn’t want to puke. Held her stomach like she was carrying a baby. 
Lit a smoke instead. 
Studied the liver spots on her shaking hands. Loose flesh, yellow fingers, thick fingernails. Leaned back against the headboard. Head too heavy to support. Thoughts dulling. Deidre reached over to the tape recorder on the bedside table and pressed the red record button.
“I’d like to apologize,” she began, “for being such a selfish bitch.”
She cackled, coughed, cleared her throat.
“I’m sorry for cheating on ya, Mike, sorry for fooling around with that redheaded sonoffabitch. Sorry for getting knocked up. Sorry for the drinking and the lying and the running around. You wasn’t so bad; I was just fecking loaded all the time. You was good to pretend Jilley was yours.”
She paused, gathered her thoughts. They were cottoning and muzzy.
“Jilley,” she said, “I’m sorry for not telling you who your real daddy was for so long. I was afraid you’d hate me. Your sister made me tell you. Said she’d tell herself if I didn’t. Fecking pushy bitch. I never liked your sister. Big mouth, self-righteous, goody-fecking-two-shoes.”
Deidre laughed. She was losing it. Getting dizzy. She took another long drag on the cigarette and tossed the butt on the bedroom carpet. It sat in the dull green pile smouldering. “Go ahead and burn, you sonoffabitch! I hate that fecking carpet!” 
She laughed. Her head spun. She started to feel nauseous. Held her stomach. Took a deep breath. Felt marginally better.
“It was supposed to be different,” she moaned. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I wasn’t much of a princess after all. Just a fat lazy fecking selfish bitch. Thanks for raising my kids, Mom. Thanks for being .... everything I could never be. Thanks for your fecking holier than thou Catholic shit and your guilt and being the one my kids, MY kids, looked up to more than their own fecking mother! 
“You bitch,” she said, tears filling the deep crevices of the hard lines in her face.
She was losing it, now. It was hard to keep her eyes open. She had one more thing to say.
“Paddy, the only thing I’m sorry about where you’re concerned is that I ever laid eyes on you. I’m definitely sorry I married you. Never marry your drinking buddy! That’s my big word of advice, people! Drink with ‘em but don’t marry them!”
Her laugh was low in her throat, bitter. Like the pills.
“It had to end this way. I couldn’t face another divorce. Divorce is for fecking losers.”
She slid down onto the bed, in a pool of dark blood. 
Touched her husband’s cold hand.
“I made my bed,” she said. “And now I’m fecking lying in it.”


  1. woAH! Haunting... I am going to be thinking about this all day.


  2. Cathy, I love, love, love the voice in this. You can feel her pain so deeply, and wow, what a load of last words.

  3. Oh, wow! So much captured in so few words--the massive deterioration of a human being. Incredibly powerful, Cathy.

  4. Wow. Cathy, you really pulled it out this time. How did you even find time to write anything, let alone something this good? Great voice all the way through, disturbing and raw. Excellent!

  5. O lordy Cathy. This is so intense and so real. Somehow I think it must have taken courage to let yourself fully into Deidre's head like that.

    Girl, this is MY idea of great short fiction. Congratulations, truly.

  6. Wow, excellent story. The whole thing is a punch in the gut, and then at the end you haul back and sock us in the face. Awesome!

  7. Wow Cathy! I was expecting happy fun time story. But this was nice. :)

  8. I agree with Eric, a full-on punch in the gut. And that last line is perfect.

    Outrageous, excellent piece, Cathy. Happy wedding!

  9. Excellent. I was not expecting the dead husband at all, I thought it was just a clearing the air suicide. Completely caught me with that change.

  10. Whoa, that is dark, girlie! You really hit your stride with this one. Such a delicious ending, if that's not a completely inconcruous word to use. Fantastic!

  11. Totally fecking awesome, girl! And on the eve of your wedding, no less! Dave must really, really love you...or be really, really scared right now. Hugs!

  12. what a voice! Fantastic. Lucky you're in a good mood right now with the imminent nuptials or you MC would be in real trouble!

    All the best for your big day


    Marc Nash

  13. Uh, you're really happy to be getting married, right? :D

    Yes, great voice to this piece. Laughed at "I hate that fecking carpet!”

    I know one I really hate... heh.

    Happy wedding day!

  14. You have her tell this tale with such intensity...a tremendous voice, Cathy. I'd have to say your best flash yet.

    PS. Have a wonderful day on Saturday! May the weather gods be with you.

  15. This had the voice of a chain smoking, hard drinking, used up woman. You nailed it.

    Best wishes for a long and happy marriage in the non-fictitious world!

  16. Fabulous character here, the voice rings true, true, true. Where you pulled this out, I don't know, but please, keep digging deep. After your wedding and honey moon, though.

    All my best thoughts and wishes winging north for your wedding day! Peace, friend...

  17. Very strong powerful story. I wasn't expecting the dead husband either. You hit a home run with this one.

  18. Dug the ending. Oliffe is gone. Long live Cathy. Here's to a bright, shiny and illness-free wedding!

  19. A lot of anger, a lot of self-pity for a life wasted. And what an ending! Wow!

  20. What a perfectly wretched character you've rendered here. I'm sure your soon to be husband has taken note of,"Divorce is for fecking losers.”

    Great #fridayflash!

  21. DEFINITELY NOT about Weddings. I am curious about your inspiration in this one. From a true story you encountered somewhere in your career as a reporter? Sad, tragic, Horrific. WOW!

  22. Ah, romance in the air. ;-) This is fecking excellent Cathy. It was so unsettling, I could feel the nausea, and the bitter.

  23. Last words, indeed, Cathy! All the best for today!

  24. I could taste those pills. Great work.

    Have a fecking awesome Saturday!!!

  25. Your stories are searing Cathy. Another fanjollytastic one. Hard/impossible to forget..:)

  26. Oh, and special wedding wishes. May your marriage be happier than your fictional one, hee hee..:)

  27. They all said it first. you amaze me.

    Happy, happy happy fecking day to you, ah, make that happy fecking new life!

  28. What they said. I esp liked "keep digging", there's a lot of incredible stuff you're tapping into, you're so right about where the creativity comes from - you inspire me. Have a wonderful wonderful wedding.

  29. Fantastic Cathy...Really powerful ending & I'm very glad the opposite of your life right now.

  30. Great read. Powerful. Is it weird that my favorite part was that she recorded her suicide note instead of writing one?


  31. How did I miss this? Fantastic, what a character. You laid out a whole sad, hard luck life in this short piece. Bang on, what an ending.


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