Thursday, 14 October 2010

Short Story: The Giving

She gave and gave and gave until her children had grown, her husband had flown and she had only one thing left to give.

Leaving everything in order, she locked the door to her immaculate home and headed out through her manicured garden towards the woodland.

She looked straight ahead, without a backwards glance at what once was her reality. Bare feet crossed already dampening grass, the hem of her white robe skimming longer stems as she walked.

Faces turned towards her in the moonlight as she approached. Blank expressions evolved into barely-visible smiles.

She accepted that it was time. She would be leaving nothing and be missed by nobody, so she had no reason for doubt.

With the smallest hint of a final sigh, she made her final sacrifice.

13 comments:

  1. it's an interesting notion that if there's no one left to notice a sacrifice, whether it is in fact a sacrifice? There's a very wounding inevitability about her fate. Powerfully drawn.

    marc nash

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that's some rhythm. The first paragraph almost sounds like a nursery rhyme, obtusely fitting to the barrenness she creates in herself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are so many strands to this. Though it seems at first glance to be a woman on her way to end her life it could be almost anything you want it to be.

    Who are the others in the wood for example? Are they strange alien creatures ready to take her off to another world? The sacrifice could be that she has to leave everything behind.

    Or perhaps they are spirits of the woodland who granted her the children she could never have if she allowed her own spirit to join hers after they'd grown.

    As you can tell, I liked it. In fact the first two paragraphs could stand alone as a very short flash!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Mandy, I was hoping that people would notice the alternatives. I like stories that make me think, so this was an attempt at keeping it quite open to interpretation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "She gave and gave and gave until her children had grown, her husband had flown"

    Really set the tone. I like the enigmatic ending. Not everything has to be tied up in a pretty red bow.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Karen :0)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Strong writing Rebecca, it made me think of a woman reduced to a hollow shell, going like a willing lamb to the slaughter.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Quite beautiful, I found it sad and touching.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was expecting her to sprout wings and fly away, not destroy herself. But of course maybe she did in a sense. I agree with John about the lyrical quality of the first paragraph. This was a really beautiful read.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i found this really sad.
    All this giving and giving and giving - one must take every once in a while, no? Or else one becomes an empty shell

    ReplyDelete
  10. i too found it sad... surely she could have given to herself instead... however the reality is that so many women probably have felt this way.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sad, sad, sad, that once her purpose is done, so too is her will to live. Someone give that woman a Prozac! (kidding) Nice piece.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You really set this up well with the very first line. So, so sad. Beautifully done.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sad? Yes, but to me it feels like she is doing this thing for herself and no one else. Probably for the first time. So, I find it quite hopeFULL and affirming. Short, tidy and full of meaning. It is a beautiful read.

    ReplyDelete