What Now?


Dazed, unseeing, she finally left the room, not knowing or caring where she was headed.  The axis of her world had shifted.  Forever after, it would be winter.

Whose arms are these?  she wondered, their stiff weight surprising her, their purpose now in question.  Not her arms!  They had never been this empty.

Was it only minutes since she’d held him, and brushed frenzied kisses against his cooling forehead?  Her impotent caresses had protested his leave-taking, knowing even then the remainder of her life would be a requiem to loss.

Her son.

How would she go on?
Author’s Note: Prompt to write 100 word flash fiction based on above photograph. Photo prompt courtesy of 100 Word Story, link here.

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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32 Responses to What Now?

  1. Heart breaking in its sparsity, and oh so moving.

  2. W. K. Tucker says:

    I empathize with your character. I have only one child, a son, and the worst thing that could happen to me is for something to happen to him. Very emotional…well told…

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, Kathy. Something about the tilt of the photo and the manner in which the woman’s arms hung at her sides steered me in the direction the story took. To me, her body posture seemed to indicate a great shock, and then I wondered what might provoke such a reaction. That’s when I came up the idea of the loss of a child.

  3. Lucy says:

    Excellent. So well done, my dear. What a horror for that woman. What an incredible response to that photo prompt. Bravo. Lucy

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, Lucy – that photo really caught my attention. The way it was tilted, the woman’s body posture. It spoke of a world (her world) gone haywire. I appreciate the compliment! 🙂

  4. This story reminds me of my sister so much. Tears..

    Well done, Kate. Beautiful emotion! Sad…

  5. Margaret Smith says:

    An emotional scene. I don’t know whether you had a particular age for the mothers son in this story, but to me it could actually apply to a son of any age, and I hope I have read this right in interpreting this was in fact your intention. Clever writing……Whatever, it is a great short story. depicting a mothers sorrow at the loss of her son…

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, Margaret. I had in mind a very young child, perhaps taken a fever, but you’re right – the story could work with the age of any child. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  6. I forgot to say ‘great work!’ 🙂

  7. Beautiful and heart-wrenching, especially considering that I spent the morning with a two beautiful children that are very special to me. To be able to spend time with them and hold them in my arms was a precious gift.

    There’s no greater love than that of a child, there is something so pure and wonderful about it.

  8. Mark Baron says:

    A complete story, beautifully wrapped in so few words. You continue to amaze and delight with your writing prowess!

  9. Melanie says:

    I got chills when I read it. I loved it!

  10. Linda Smith says:

    You have the ability to say soooo much with so few words. Very good.

  11. Great story, Kate. Emotional.

  12. Julia Lund says:

    I’ve been working on a piece of flash fiction, trying to get it from 200 to 100 words. Not easy! Great job.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi Julia, I feel your pain! The hardest thing I experience with flash fiction is editing down my story to the acceptable word count. I’m always over, and I wind up spending half my time trimming the stories so that the fluff is gone – but the meat is still there. Thank you for the compliment! 🙂

  13. orthodoxmom3 says:

    Wow…. I have this strong urge to hold my own son reading this…only he’s away for the weekend with his dad…gulp

  14. Topazshell says:

    It’s very emotional. Thank you.

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