Struck twice

Evelyn and Joe built their dream house where land was cheap, then planted a garden. The ironbark was the only seedling that flourished in their rock-hard soil.

For the first few years things went well. Joe kept the place maintained. He joined the football team and volunteer fire brigade. Evelyn worked at the local kinder, hoping some day her own child would be there.

But Joe resented the grind of the daily commute. A time came when he started arriving home later and later. Fresh-mints could never hide the whiskey on his breath.

One night they fought and Joe struck her, a glancing blow but menacing. In the morning they let it pass, and, for a few months, Joe’s drinking moderated.

But by Christmas the late nights were back. Evelyn watched his approaching headlights through the sheeting rain of a thunderstorm. Water was cascading down the French windows.

The moment Joe rolled in they started fighting about the guttering he’d promised to clear. He raised his fist. There was an explosion of noise and blinding light.

Lightning had struck the ironbark the year before, but it had regrown. Not this time though. When Evelyn turned she saw it split along the trunk, the two lengths fallen in opposites directions across the yard.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (

2 thoughts on “Struck twice

  1. Richard—This ending could be taken as an Omen, premonition,or downright destiny! As I was reading it,I could see the barren landscape,except for the lone tree. I could feel the cold from the rain,washing down in sheets,across the panes of the French windows.I watched as the water washed ruts in the barren soil that ran across the yard.Joe was drunk again,and late,and Evelyn knew it. Richard–Not Criticizing,but see your story,feel your story,put yourself in the cold rain coming home to an angry wife,put yourself sitting at home,worring for a husband that’s late.Maybe he was hurt at work? I do this with everything I write,Not for the readers,but for me! I’m telling the story to myself,as I want to hear it! It just happens that the readers like it too! I contemplated sending this for a long time, I like your story,but I know you can do better! I know you like to write.Now learn to love to write. Don’t get upset,Only a True Friend would have the guts to be honest! Feel free to read my stuff,and comment.Please be honest with me.It may help me improve! Your friend,Terry

  2. Thanks Terry, It’s the risk I take with this project – limiting my word count to 220 words for each story. Actually I’m glad you could imagine so much – I must be doing something right. Your stories are densely textured, which is great. But I’m sticking to my limit, in the knowledge that within each of these very small stories are a whole lot of larger stories just trying to get out.

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