Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Neighbor And Secret Lives...A Short Story

hugo häring, siemensstadt housing, 1929

The Weekly Writing Prompt Returns!

It was a terrific Sunday so I thought I'd participate again in the writing prompt. This week the prompt was hosted by Carrie. You can access her site: HERE

The Rules: The short story must be less than 500 words, you need to write your story before next Tuesday evening (Halloween will be too late for this particular prompt...). Once you've written your story yo need to post it to Carrie's site. And, you must use the above picture and five randomly chosen words in your story. This week's words are:






Here's my latest story. Hope you like it!

The Neighbor And Secret Lives…

             “He’s at it again,” Mattie said to Sid, her husband of three months. The upstairs neighbor was drunk, of that there was no doubt.
            “How can you be so sure?” Sid asked with a smile as he tried for the umpteenth time to ignore the rants emanated from the apartment above theirs.
            “Well, he’s either drunk or learning how to be a preacher. I swear he just quoted something in the Bible.
            “What did he say?” Sid said lifting himself up from the couch.
            “I don’t know…something about rejoicing in God.”
            “I’ll bet he’s quoting St. Luke, Chapter 1, Verse 47: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
            Mattie turned and stared. “How did you know that?” In the three months of marriage and 28 months of courtship she had never heard her husband quote anything, the least of which, the Bible. Sid just shrugged his shoulders and returned to the couch.
            “No, I’m serious,” Mattie said as she came to stand before the relaxing Sid. “Where did that come from?”
            “Oh, there’s a lot you don’t know about me.” Sid said smiling.
            “Like what? You used to bullfight? You own your own island? You have super powers?”
            Sid knew he had to tell her and now was the time. “Listen, there’s something I never told you about me.”
            “Uh-oh,” Mattie said with obvious concern.
            “No, it’s nothing like that.” Sid sat up and Mattie joined him on the couch.
            “Back when I was a kid,” Sid began. He knew one day he would have to tell his new bride about his past. He just didn’t think today was that day. “I was part of a Christian Commune.”
            “A what?”
            “Right after my dad died, my mom hooked up with a traveling preacher.” The words sucked the oxygen from Mattie’s world. She had a million questions, but she let Sid continue.
            “He was traveling through Oklahoma where we used to live and my mom fell in love—instantly. We sold the house and joined them on the tour. For five years, from when I was 6-years old to 11, we basically lived on the road. I didn’t go to public school, but instead, when to Bible study, full-time.”
            “Sid,” Mattie finally said. “I can’t believe you never told me this.”
            “My mom eventually got sick of that preacher’s lying to her about marrying her and we left. She told me as we drove away to live in Chicago with her sister that we were to never talk about what happened to us, and we never did.”
            “And just when were you going to tell me about this part of your life?”
            “Honestly, I thought I might not have to. Since my mom died before we met, I wondered if it would ever come up.”
            Mattie smiled and shook her head as the neighbor upstairs screamed at the imaginary mouse that was scampering about his kitchen.

Word Count: 492


  1. I love this!! And I love the ending too. Ha ha...what an interesting story behind the character!!

    1. Thanks SO much Nicole! This was one where I had no idea where the story was going until it just came out...the husband's past surprised me as well ;). Thanks again! And thanks for hosting the writing prompt. It's been so much fun!

  2. Ah, the stories we wish to keep from our spouses. Not that I have any. No way. ;) It's funny how an innocent comment can lead to a deeper revelation. It's a great scene.

    1. Thanks Carrie! This was a fun one--you know how those are. They just flow and they make you smile when you re-read them just before posting! Thanks also for hosting the prompt! Like I told Nicole, they've been a lot of fun!

  3. You developed a very simple scene into something quite interesting. Nicely done!

    1. Thanks Anne! I've enjoyed your stories as well (even though I haven't commented on them as much as I should...). You know how it is--sometimes the stories are just a blast to write. Thanks again!