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Sad Fiction

Day One

Edith picked up the album with her hands and set it on her knees, as if the weight grasped onto her shoulders and back. She took out the very first picture on the beginning page, examining it carefully. Her favorite memory splashed in her brain, and she could replay each part one by one.

β€œMama, a seahorse is in my pants!” Elijah shrieked, running back up to the sand. β€œI feel it, I feel it!”

Ruth, her husband, took a picture.

β€œAre you sure that’s a seahorse?” Edith said, laughing. β€œWe’re only a foot and a half in the water!”

Elijah paused. Ruth snapped picture after picture, smirking behind his sunglasses and his wife’s sun hat. Edith lifted him up as he squealed, hugging onto her tight like a joey. It was a deserted, cloudless Tuesday, and the scintillating sunset rustled like a finished painting. Their silhouettes were dark, but their smiles were clear and seen.


Day Two

On the next few pages, there was Edith, carrying Elijah in her arms, close to her chest in the middle of the sidewalk. Elijah’s lips and chin were stained with ketchup.

β€œYou want to go to the store?” Edith asked hopefully. They were out of onions.

β€œYeah. I want candy!” He licked his lips.

β€œI gave you a snack today.”

Ruth rubbed the top of Elijah’s hair lightly and turned to face Edith. They were still walking. β€œJust give him a Skittle or something. He deserves it. I never thought he would have walked this far from home!"

β€œOh for goodness sake, Ruth! He’s four, and he didn’t even eat lunch yet. I’ll get him strawberry milk.”

Elijah made a face, and Ruth imitated him. Edith pretended to be annoyed, walking ahead of them, but Elijah ran and jumped into her arms. She finally noticed the ketchup, and laughed, taking out a baby wipe with her free hand.


Day Three

A palm tree that was oddly shaped and tilted, stood doughtily behind Elijah. He stuck out his tongue, stretching forward as far as he could in the camera with his car seat.

Two years ago, Ruth suggested a trip to Oahu. It seemed like a dream when they got off the plane. Now, looking back, it was a memory. It was just a memory.

Ruth was on the wheel, driving home after getting smoothies from a nearby cafΓ©. Elijah, who decided strawberry milk wasn’t at all horrible, slurped loudly with his straw. He spilled milk on the ground and all over his seatbelt. Edith groaned.

β€œI just got a car wash,” Ruth complained. He was smiling.

Elijah pointed out the window. There were small waves and crowded people surfing, swimming, and rolling about in the sand. The sign read Waikiki Beach.

β€œI wanna go!” he cried, tapping on his window.

Edith turned toward the beach. β€œIt looks fun, doesn’t it Ruth?”

He snorted. β€œAs I mentioned, I just got a car wash. There’s no heck of a way we’re going to come back and drown this car in sand.”

Edith rolled her eyes. β€œWe don’t even have our bathing suits. It’s just a little while. Please?”

β€œPlease?” Elijah added.

Ruth sighed dramatically and turned the car around.


Day Four

Elijah was six years old when the family moved to Los Angeles. Edith stared at the picture. Everyone was smiling.

Most importantly, Elijah was smiling.

Ruth honked the horn. β€œThe driver isn’t even moving!” he grumbled. He shot a dirty look at the driver next to him, who cranked up the music and rolled his windows down.

β€œHe’s having fun. So should you,” Edith said.

Elijah yawned. He wasn’t used to big cities and traffic. Also, it was seven PM, which meant it was dinnertime.

β€œWe’re almost home, El,” she assured him.

β€œYou didn’t bring any snacks?” Ruth asked.

β€œI didn’t know we would get home this late.”

β€œIt’s LA, hon.”

Elijah squirmed in his booster seat that had black and blue stripes. He wanted to say something too, but he just let out a yawn. He tried to sleep, but every now and then the car would make a small jump, and his father would complain about the traffic. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but the seatbelt annoyed him in his position. Finally, he decided to lean against the car door while Ruth’s voice dissolved from his ears.


Day Five

There it was. A picture of a waterfall, surrounded by shamrock shades and lush colors. The family crowded near the leafy vines. Elijah was too heavy to fall in her arms.

β€œSmile!” Ruth gave the camera to a young woman to take a few pictures. When they were done, she handed the camera back to Ruth. β€œThat young boy over there surely knows how to smile. He ought to have a bright future.”

Edith thanked her and patted Elijah on the shoulder. He was now eleven years old.


Day Six

Edith stood up with the album facing the wrong way. Two pictures slid out, and she sighed, bending over to grasp them. One of the pictures took her back to the day Elijah was born, when he cried nonstop for an hour before drifting to sleep in a baby blue blanket. He was so smooth and skinny, but at the same time, weak and pale.

She would never have imagined him suggesting going to the military.

Day Seven

The next picture was Elijah in his military uniform. He was grown up. He wasn’t a kid anymore, but he was too young to die in the darkness.

Day Eight

She looked outside the window; the sun was orange and beaming at the clouds. She looked past the sun and looked out the mountains, green and brown, maybe even some white that looked like clouds of salt.

Day Nine

The trees faded and were black silhouettes when the moon arose. Not one star shone in the sky. Not even an airplane.

If Elijah was there, he would have marked every single airplane as a star. He would say they were stars that moved, stars that were free to roam in the indigo sky.


ο»ΏDay Ten

She thought about it for a moment. Who Elijah might have become, where he is now. Maybe he was there, watching. Maybe he was replaying those memories like a movie. Maybe he was there when she mourned on that day, sending her a message that he was okay. She looked at a white wall in the living room. He was there. He was smiling.


ο»ΏHe was now twenty-two years old.





December 28, 2020 18:48

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88 comments

Kylie Rudolf
22:54 Jan 06, 2021

Awww!!! This made my heart hurt! Beautfiul!

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I'm great! I'm actually working on a new story right now for the prompt "top ten list". Might submit it in a few days! How was your Christmas?

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Great!!!!!! CANT WAIT TO READ ITTTTTTTTT My Christmas was AWESOME! Yours?

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Ahhhh thank youuuuu :3 My Christmas was awesome too!! I think it was the best one I've ever had lol

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Ahhhh, another story by Kendra. This one is no different. Just the same, old, beautiful and magnificent work she always puts in each of her stories. What can I say? She is the real deal, with talent, passion, and determination. Great job Kendra, loved this one. 😁

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Thanks Haripriya!! So, so, SO glad you enjoyed this one!

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No problem!! By the way (or BTW) I love your name so much...I know it's kind of random to say that, but I thought it was time I told this to you!

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Aw thanks!! Love yours too :) Really pretty font also lol

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No problem, also thank you! You mean on my name? Thanks! I like the way yours looks too!

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Im so bored let's TALKKKKKKKKKKKKK

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Amaya .
20:17 Dec 30, 2020

hiiiiii

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haiiiiii btw I just put it on my bio!

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Amaya .
20:29 Dec 30, 2020

yay! are you a harry potter fann???

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Kinda! I read few of the books long ago and enjoyed them, but stopped reading,

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Amaya .
20:47 Dec 30, 2020

ohhh i get that! yeah makes sense i love ur profile pic, it's gorgeous!

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Hey, Kendra! I decided to read this since you liked one of my stories, and I'm so glad that I did. I predicted that something bad would happen to Elijah, but I still didn't expect that. It made me cry. I'm not kidding. I loved the names you used, too. But seriously, your writing is way above my skill. And kudos to you for doing the flashback in almost all of the days. At the end when Edith sees the ghost (?) of Elijah, that was so sweet that she remembered how old he would be. But sad. Magnificent job! A Reedsy friend (I hope), Brooke D. <3

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I will read this in a minute, Kendra, but please go read my new story!

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Oh, my gosh, Kendra! Thank you so much for putting me in your bio! What you said, literally brought a tear to my eye. I am grateful for you forever!

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You're sooo welcome! Awhh, you're so nice!!!! Ahh, that's amazing to hear :))πŸ₯°βœ¨πŸ’•

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:DDDDD <333333

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Writers Block
22:54 Dec 28, 2020

Wow

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B. W.
23:51 Mar 14, 2021

?

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B. W.
05:25 Jan 09, 2021

Could ya check out my new story and then leave some feedback on it? It's called "An Overdue Reunion"

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B. W.
19:34 Jan 01, 2021

New story is out ^^ could you check it out and leave some feedback?

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B. W.
19:03 Jan 03, 2021

thanks ^^

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B. W.
11:35 Jan 01, 2021

hey

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Amaya .
20:33 Dec 30, 2020

could you include in ur bio that they are going to start drilling for oil in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge? and many animals could be killed and harassed due to it?

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Amaya .
20:48 Dec 30, 2020

haha sorry i asked it sorta rudely im sorry ab thatttt

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Amaya .
20:50 Dec 30, 2020

i love it!

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Amaya .
20:00 Dec 30, 2020

hey could u read my bio?

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Amaya .
20:07 Dec 30, 2020

soo.....???

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Amaya .
20:13 Dec 30, 2020

ah you did?!?! THANK YOUUUU

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Yeeee!!! I'll put it on my bio if you'd like me to!!

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