A long day in 225 words

A week ago the writing prompt of the day was that Christmas. I was tired and no memories immediately surfaced, so I dove into fiction and this is what came.


That Christmas she thought it would all come together, but it didn’t. The turkey breast dried up and the stuffing was too salty, and she forgot to make anything vegetarian for Robert’s latest girlfriend (even the vegetables had chicken broth in them). A light bulb burned out mid-meal and they didn’t have any replacements on hand. She got smears of chocolate ganache on her white cashmere sweater and found moth holes in the red one. And Charlotte’s mother, the one she had wanted so badly to impress, smiled politely through the whole meal and said very little before, during, or afterward.

After the guests had all gone she sat down on the loveseat and was too exhausted even to cry. While Mark emptied the wineglasses and scraped the plates into the trash, she lay back on the loveseat cushions and clung to Moopsie, who’d climbed onto her chest (shedding orange hairs all over her black cashmere shell, of course), and just stared at the wall. Mark was a dear man, certainly he was, and it was much better not to have anyone talkative around. She thought if she had to make one more meaningless bit of small talk she would just scream until the 26th rolled around, scream at the top of her lungs until every tiny colored bulb shattered on the tree.


This felt super-short for me (took me 10 minutes), but at 225 words it’s more than twice the length of the 100-word challenges Ré has been doing at Sparks in Shadow. Whew! Even more props to you, Ré!