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Literature by The-Tabby-Cat

Prose by BonesBleachedBare

Inspirational literature by AndThenYou

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Submitted on
January 5, 2010
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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
"What are you doing?"

She was already buried in a mountain of papers and typing madly onto her computer, eyes feverish from the light of the screen that cast a sickly pallor upon her skin.  Her lackluster hair hung limply from where she had tried to pull it back.  She waved her husband off, ignoring his question.

He stood there somewhat awkwardly, papers crackling beneath his feet in the tiny, dark, run-down room.   His dark eyes flitted from side to side.  He removed his cracked spectacles and tried cleaning them with the hem of his dirty shirt then replaced them on his nose, as dirty as ever.

"Obituaries."  She finally gasped, wasting precious breath.  She ripped open a new packet of paper, ignoring the sheets that spilled out, and stuffed it into the overworked printer which was spouting out page after page.  She had run out of black ink and had switched to pink.

"Um…"  He gnawed on his bottom lip.  "Okay.  Well, we need to go see the doctor now.  We have an appointment.  And traffic.  So much traffic."  His eyes darted back to the printer where another finished document swooped into the air, teetered there for a second, and drifted down to ever-growing pile on the floor.  "You sure bought a lot of paper.  Must have been expensive.  How are we going to pay for heat?  It's going to get cold.  So cold."  He chuckled nervously when she didn't turn.

He stooped down to pick up a sheet and brought it close to his face to discern letters in the poor lighting.  "David Matthew Howard."  He read aloud.  "Died at the age of 67 of a heart attack.  Lawyer, father, and son.  Loved by everyone."  He stopped.  "Who is this?  Why are you writing this?"  He picked up another and muttered the first few lines as well.  "David Matthew Howard.  Died at the age of 94.  A man with a heart-of-gold, loved by everyone.  Talented artist…"  He trailed off.  "We're going to be late.  So late.  Come on.  The doctor."

She shook her head and grunted.  "I'm not finished."

The printer spit out several more pages.  David Matthew Howard.  A mathematician on one, a pilot on another.  Writer, teacher, hobo, engineer, professional athlete, actor-all dying at different ages of different causes yet miraculously loved by everyone.

"Honey.  The doctor."  The husband was getting frantic now.  Sweat beaded on his nose and forehead.  He fiddled with his dirty glasses.  "We're going to be so late.  Traffic.  C'mon."

Her hands went limp against the keyboard and she turned.  "He could have been someone great."  Her hand trailed to her stomach, as flat as ever.  "In this world the possibilities are endless."

He blinked, taking one last look at the onslaught of paper with sudden disgust.  "The fetus can't be anything.  Now the doctor.  C'mon. So much traffic.  And the heating bill.  Ugh, so much paper."

The printer gave one last shudder, ejecting its last sheet, and went clumsily to sleep.  "Maybe he could.  But you won't give him a chance, will you."
Submitting to the current #RawEm0tion theme which is about shameless self promotion. (:

Inspired by the prompt "mother" from =DailyLitDeviations's 7 Day Prompt Contest.

Also inspired by the prompt "Obituary" from #quill-cafe

I killed two birds with one stone.


1) Do you understand what's happening in this piece?
2) What sort of atmosphere do you detect in this piece?
3) What can I do to improve this piece?
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Daily Deviation

Given 2011-03-08
In honor of International Women's Day, Mother by *vital-organs explores the dedication of a mother to her child in five hundred words. ( Featured by GwenavhyeurAnastasia )
skatergreene Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
all i can say is wow. one thing that really stood out to me, was the way you showed that the decision to abort isnt always JUST the mother's decision.
immortality-in-words Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
1. Woman is about to get an abortion that she doesn't want.
2. I can sense the tension. I sensed almost a dystopic atmosphere to it. It sort of made me wonder what period of time it was happening. The attitude of the husband, how nervous he was, sort of made me think of him as the victim for a bit though.
3. I think it was pretty good. I also like that you revealed the topic at the end. Let the tension build.

My five cents on this controversial issue: I'm not pro-life, but I think that abortion is the woman's choice, be it whether she wants an abortion, or if she doesn't want one.
latinocheater Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This here emotionally touched me. Rather endearing piece right here. I love how you made us deduct what really happened. Amazing. You deserve the DD. :)
gummyrabbit Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
oh, this is so sad... =(

to answer the questions:
1. Yes, it wasn't confusing at all. I was unsure of what was going on at the beginning, which is a good thing, but by the end I had figured it out.
2. I would describe the atmosphere as dark and slightly desperate. The mother's love for her son keeps it from being depressing, and makes it extremely sad instead. Again, I would say that this is an extremely good thing in terms of the writing.
3. I really can't see how you could improve it, except maybe changing the dialouge of the man a bit, because it seemed slightly unnatural when he repeated himself (i.e. it's going to get cold. so cold.) but that's hardly a problem at all, I had to wrack my brains to find anything wrong.

Anyway, this is a wonderful, touching piece of literature. Congratulations on the DD!
akaRoger Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Student Photographer
1. Yes, it is a wonderfully written piece about a woman whose husband is making her get an abortion and her peculiar way of dealing with it.
2. One of a desperate couple living in poverty with barely enough money to support themselves let alone a child.
3. Honestly, I would call this a a completed piece. I'm trying to look for nitpicky things at this point and I can't find anything that I would want changed.

Congrats on the DD!
Sachi-pon Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
1. not exactly... something about a dead fetus, that the woman is sad about. but i have to read the story over and over, and read the comments, to figure out what's happening. so, the woman really does do obituaries for a newspaper? or she's just writing them on her own to mourn the dead baby? does the man even care what the woman thinks?
2. frantic, under pressure
3. maybe at the end, make things clearer, reveal what's happening at the end. i mean you did but it's a little hard to understand!
Sachi-pon Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh and, did she have the abortion? about to have it? had it a while ago? might have it? might not?
Haiyun Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
1. Husband wants the wife to abort her child because they are too poor and cannot afford to support it. Wife thinks otherwise.
2. tense, lingering hope
3. I think it's fine as is, though saying 'fetus' as the word itself kind of makes the passage too direct. It kind of feels like everything is revealed in that one line instead of letting the reader figure it out.

Great piece though. I really like the flow and how you revealed the story little by little :]
mysticross Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
nice piece of story :)

but I think, the phrase "he could", it's ambiguous:
1. she already had the abortion...
2. she already gave up all her hope...
phantomdragons Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
1) they're going to go get a abortion, dad (possibly forcing her to do this) is getting insisting on going while Mom is writing obituaries for their unborn son. Father has a different view than the mother does.
2) frantic
3)I dunno it's pretty awesome
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