I tried to write a short story in under 1,000 words... this is what I came up with. It's 919 words long, and I think I did a pretty good job, though I guess the ending isn't too glorious.
Soooo. Now that I have finished my story, I challenge YOU to write a short story in under 1,000 words--if you do, post it here so we can read?
Anyway, here's mine-----
“So let me get this straight,” Deirdre spoke suddenly, obviously very surprised by the confession she had just heard… which is saying a lot. It takes a lot to phase a therapist. “You only love one of your sons?”
Joy was fidgeting nervously in the plush armchair she was sitting in. She had been glancing at the clock every so often and had decided to reveal her secret closer to the end of her counseling session. Twisting one of her thumbs around in her other hand, she looked up at Deirdre sheepishly. “Well… yes, I guess that’s what I meant…” she spoke softly, quietly, nervously.
“I hope that’s what you meant,” the therapist responded sharply, unusual for someone who was so weathered to people’s odd confessions, “because that’s what you said. Pray tell, why do you only love one of your sons?” A mother of three herself, she was suddenly somewhat disgusted with this client that had seemed like a rather normal person up until now.
”Deirdre, you don’t understand—“ Joy began frantically, wanting desperately to amend the abrupt attitude change that her counselor had suddenly undergone. “Keith’s just so… well, he’s just stupid!” she burst out.
“You don’t love your son because he’s stupid?” Deirdre’s eyes narrowed, and she had to remind herself that her personal opinions weren’t supposed to come into her work. Remain neutral, she told herself.
”Yes!” Joy cried out. “Compared to his brother, Keith is a rock! Jason always got such good grades in school, was always home on time, never did any drugs… and well, look at Keith now! He used to hide his marijuana in his dresser drawer for Christ’s sake—I would find the stuff when I was putting his underwear into his drawer!” This sudden expression of emotions that had obviously been pent up for so long was taking a toll on the woman’s mental health, as she was sobbing into her hands.
”Take a tissue, Joy…” Deirdre nodded at the small end table next to the plush chair that Joy was sitting in. There was a large box of tissues on top of the table, and a wastebasket half-full of used tissues underneath it. After the distressed mother had wiped her face, smearing her once-perfect makeup badly, Deirdre glanced at her watch. “Unfortunately, it’s about time for this session to end… you are going to help Keith move into his apartment today, is that correct? Perhaps you could talk to him about this… issue then,” the therapist suggested, writing a note on her clipboard before standing up to open the door for Joy. “Will you be returning tomorrow? We can continue this conversation then,” she said, shaking Joy’s hand and shutting the door behind her as the still whimpering mother left the room.
Once the door was closed, Deirdre shook her hand as if she had touched something wet or sticky and she wanted it off of her hand.
The apartment building was old and dirty. Of course, the kind of place that Keith would live in… Joy thought to herself as she carried a box of dusty plates up the narrow stairs to his apartment on the third floor.
”Is this really where you want to live?” she wrinkled her nose as she set the box down on the counter. Keith was taking the newspaper off of some glasses and putting them into the cabinet that was barely hanging onto the wall.
”Mom, I would love to live somewhere else, but we both know I can’t afford that,” Keith responded sadly.
“If you hadn’t goofed off so much in high school—if you were more like your brother—” Joy began to lecture, but Keith broke in on her, laughing.
”You wish I was more like my brother?” Keith continued laughing.
His mother furrowed her brow. “Jason got straight A’s, and—“
Keith interrupted again. “You’re going to bring that shit on me? Didn’t you ever notice money going missing from your wallet? That was Jason.”
Joy put her hands on her hips, furrowing her brow even more. “He did well in school! If he needed money, he was welcome to take it.” Her voice was weak—she clearly knew this was not a good comeback, but it was the best she could do. Stronger, she added in angrily, “At least he didn’t do drugs.”
Again, Keith burst out laughing. “Jason didn’t do drugs? Mom, that’s why he took the money from you. He was buying all kinds of shit..”
Her mouth was gaping open now, and she tried to collect herself. “B-but… you hid it in your dresser…”
”Mom, I did that on purpose… You thought I was trying to keep the pot a secret? Hell no, I wouldn’t have left it in my underwear drawer… I thought that by cluing you in a little bit, it wasn’t like lying to you about what I was doing like Jason did.” He shrugged. “Maybe I should have been more secretive about it.”
Now seeing her son in a different light, Joy rushed forward to hug her son. “I need to go make a phone call.”
Rushing down the stairs and stepping outside, the mother of two pressed speed dial number two on her cell phone. “Deirdre? Did I say that it was Keith who I didn’t love? I think I told you the wrong son—see, Keith’s never lied to me about what he was doing, and Jason—well, he went behind my back all the time…”
I like the fact it would never work out that way, it's very hopeful. ^_^ Is it odd to be pessimistic and upbeat at the same time?