Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 51 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 24th December is ‘Party’:
This weeks attempt is based on the @FlashFicHive prompt from the 2nd December, where you had to pick story points from these options:
I’ve nearly written 52 short stories this year! On New Years Eve, my grand project will be complete, and I’ll start over in January. Look out for news of #sunscribbles 2018 soon!
The time Jim rang last night. The time he’d call again tonight, give or take a few minutes. Molly smiled as a small boy handed her a twenty, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She passed him his change and waved him and his mother off.
‘Thank you. Next,’ Molly said, and she stifled a yawn. They’d talked for hours last night, one of the most important conversations a couple could have, but despite it all he still loved her.
‘You’re off in five, Molly, I’m closing you.’
Molly ran a hand through her hair and turned to the last customer in her queue. Soon she’d be home. After a short call with Jim, she had a bottle of wine and take out on the couch to look forward to. She imagined curling up in warm blankets in front of the open fire, book in hand, and yawned again. The last customer glared at her as he left.
Molly ignored him. She didn’t care what customers thought. It was just a job. She left the shop floor and headed for her locker. Bag retrieved, she dug around inside for her phone. ‘That’s odd. Mindy, have you seen my phone?’
Mindy shook her head as she passed. Strange. Molly widened her search with increasingly wide eyes. It wasn’t in her locker. It wasn’t in her pocket. It wasn’t in the canteen. Where was it? She couldn’t miss Jim’s call. He’d worry. She tapped her chin and retraced her steps in her mind.
She’d woken late, tangled in a bundle of sheets and hair a mess. Her shower was rushed, breakfast a gulped scalding coffee, and she’d dashed out the door, bag in hand and keys stuffed beside her phone. The bus stop was a few streets over, and her pace had been brisk, but she’d stopped halfway, frozen in the street. Her nieces birthday was today! How could she forget?
Molly recalled the rushed conversation with her sister, a promise of a lift to work if she hurried, and the mad dash back to her place to grab the gift from under her bed behind a pile of dirty clothes. She’d run to her sisters after that, just in time to catch them before they left.
Did she leave her phone under her bed? No. She’d had it in her hand when she arrived to the delighted squeals of her sisters three children. She’d barely handed the present over before they’d rushed her out the door. In the car, to her sisters annoyance, she gave Lily her phone… Oh. Lily had it. Had been playing noisy games on it to drive Molly’s sister crazy.
She had to go to her sisters. Molly groaned. ‘I’m too tired for this!’ Still, she had little option.
Her sister opened the door when Molly arrived, and a scream of joy pierced the air from inside. ‘I didn’t think you were coming.’
Molly glanced past her sister, where her niece’s party was in full swing. Oh god. The party. How could she forget? ‘Neither did I.’ Her sister glared at her. ‘What? You know it’s hard for me to be around kids right now…’
‘I can’t understand why…’
Her sister huffed. ‘Why are you here then?’
‘Left my phone with Lily.’
‘Oh really?’ Her sister smirked and turned to yell, ‘Lily? Aunt Molly’s here!’
Molly waved her hands and backed away. ‘No, wait, I can’t stop. I just came for my…’
‘Aunt Molly! You said you had work!’
Molly blinked and stared at her niece. ‘I do… I did.’ She sucked in a deep breath and plastered a smile across her face. ‘They let me go early just for you.’
As Lily dragged her away, Molly glared at her sister.
Her sister grinned. ‘Go on, Mol, give me a break! You love kids!’
Molly sighed and glanced at her watch. She could stay a while. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt too much.
Lily dragged her into a room full of children, covered in paint and surrounded by toys. They looked angelic, full of life. Molly clutched her belly and covered her sadness with a bright smile.
‘This’s aunt, Molly.’
‘The cool one?’ one young boy asked. He shot to his feet and ran up to them.
‘Cool. Come play with us!’
He grabbed Molly’s hand and led her to the centre of the chaos. ‘Lily got a cash register! She said you’re an expert! We’ll be customers!’
Molly groaned. ‘Can’t we play something else?’
‘You’re really good! Please?’ Lily protested with pleading eyes.
Molly sighed through a sad smile. She could never say no to Lily. It was why she was in this mess in the first place. She settled down on a cushion behind the register and called them to attention. ‘All right, queue up. Next customer please! No, no, Lily first, she’s the birthday girl!’
It was so much like work, and so hard to watch them enjoying themselves, running around and gorging themselves on snacks. Her eyes watered. Her lip trembled.
‘Right, pass the parcel!’ Lily’s dad called out, a welcome reprieve.
The children dispersed and surrounded him. Molly wiped her eyes and stood. She needed a nap, to get away from the reminder of all she’d lost. Would her sister notice if she slipped away?
‘If you really want to leave, here’s your phone.’
Molly glanced between her sister and the bouncing children, now assembled on cushions playing pass the parcel. Lily waved. Molly waved back. ‘I’ll stay ’till you cut the cake.’ She took her phone. ‘Can I tag out for a second though?’
‘Go on, they won’t miss you. Wine’s in the kitchen.’
Molly crept away and sank onto a stool at the kitchen counter. She pulled the wine bottle closer with trembling hands and poured a glass. She’d just sit here for a moment or two, away from the reminder of the family she wanted so badly, a family she’d nearly had. Molly frowned and wiped her eyes. She’d watch them cut the cake, then get out of here. They wouldn’t miss her.
As she drank, her eyelids began to droop. She blinked and put the glass down. Stared at the cake in front of her. Her head began to nod. Her eyes closed. She slumped and felt her face hit something soft. Comfy. In seconds small snores left her mouth.
Her sisters screech woke her. ‘You ruined it!!’
Molly blinked and licked her lips. She tasted chocolate and shot upright. Turned to her sister. ‘I am so, so sorry! I was just so tired…’
‘You think you’re tired? Try having three kids!’
Well, that overstepped a line. Molly grabbed her phone and brushed past her.
‘Molly, wait! I’m sorry!’
She ignored her sisters cry. Left her coat and fled into the streets. Wiped at the tears which fell from her eyes. Why did her sister always have to spoil things? Christ, it’d barely been two weeks since the miscarriage stole her daughters. Triplets. Molly whimpered. ‘Try having three…’
She shuddered and her arms circled her waist. She couldn’t bear the thought of trying again, and Jim said he understood. Molly clutched her phone. Maybe they could talk about adoption? It looked like it was going to be another late night after all.
Thanks for reading!
I was going to write something happy this week, but apparently for me Christmas is a time for sad stories about children alone at Christmas, and mothers who lose a child. It’s Christmas tomorrow, so to all who celebrate it, I hope you have a good one!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 31st December is ‘Midnight.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your story on your blog on the 31st December and leave a link in the comments below so I can read it 🙂
You can also share lines under #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂