Waiting for Father to Return

Alice Westerly, aged six, placed a chair beneath the bedroom window, as she had seen her brother do when listening for Father’s train. But Alice climbed upon the sill and slipped into the night air, listening for airplanes, hoping for silver wings.

 

48 Comments Waiting for Father to Return

  1. karenspillingwords September 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Meg, you are a magician with words. Your pieces are always among my favorites. The last line in this short story is fantastic. And the name Alice Westerly – SO.GREAT. I wish my name was Alice Westerly. Karen.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      I’m so deeply honored — I feel the same way about your work, most especially today’s. I’m really glad you liked this. It has a bit of basis in reality. When we were little and my father had left us for a short time (I don’t know how long, but he intended to leave for good), my brother and I used to climb up to the window in the bathroom and listen for trains. I always thought we should listen for planes because we didn’t have a passenger train rail, and my dad was a pilot. Anyway, that was the genesis for this…and then it turned a bit darker. Oops. (I want to be named Alice Westerly.)

      Reply
  2. ywstacie September 1, 2014 at 9:50 am

    How horrible! Now Tears in Heaven is going through my head.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Awwww, sorry, Stacie! I forgot about Eric Clapton’s son. Heartbreaking.

      Reply
  3. angieinspired September 1, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Superb! A completely sweet story in four un-indented lines. Nice job.

    Reply
    1. angieinspired September 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Oh, I missed the word ‘slipping’! She fell OUT the window. And what came through?

      Reply
      1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        The sounds of trains and planes came through. 😉

        Reply
      2. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        Thanks for reading and commenting, Angie. It could still be seen as “sweet,” in that she wanted to see her dad. As I noted below, what came IN through the window were the sounds of trains and planes. What went out was Alice. I keep trying to write happy stuff but my mind somehow veers off into darkness.

        Reply
  4. mridubala September 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    What a tragedy, but loved your writing!

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words, Mridubala.

      Reply
  5. habibadanyal September 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Beautiful and sad. We love our dads, and our dreams, us daughters.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Yes, we do! So much that we lean a little too far to reach them sometimes. Thanks for your comments and for reading, Habibadanyal.

      Reply
  6. theinnerzone September 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    This is very good, Meg! Like Angie said, a full story coming in through the window. Great post.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks so much, TIZ. I was really trying to go for a story, rather than just imagery, which is what I usually do. Glad it worked.

      Reply
  7. KymmInBarcelona September 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Oh. No. Such a sad, yet sweet tale!

    Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you, Kymm! Appreciate your kind words.

      Reply
  8. my white picket life September 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Oh, man! “Slipped into the night air” is such a gentle phrase for a hard turn of events.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Yeah, it is! Thanks so much for commenting and reading.

      Reply
    1. Meg September 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      I think she does, LHN. Thanks, as always, for your generous reading.

      Reply
  9. Michelle Longo September 2, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Loved this. I find it very interesting that she comes through the window outside, changing the ultimate perspective of the question in the first place.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Thanks, Michelle! I was thinking about the sounds coming in the window and Alice going out. A little twist.

      Reply
  10. thewizardsword September 2, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Good, good writing. You managed to tell a tragic story in lovely words.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Appreciate your kind comments, Wizard Susan!

      Reply
  11. Jennifer G. Knoblock September 2, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Oh, no! Oh, no! See what you’ve done, clutched my heart in 42 words. Or maybe, after reading again, I will pretend it was a first-floor window…

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:13 am

      Awww. You clutch my heart with all your lovely poems, Jennifer. Thank you. <3

      Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Thank you, sweetie pie! Miss you. I’ve been lost in grant-land, gardening, cleaning, writing. xoxo

      Reply
  12. Silverleaf September 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Ah, Meg, you do it every time. This is wonderful! I know what you mean about writing the darker side of things; I keep trying to be positive too but somehow, the darkness always pokes through. It makes for a wonderful story, though, and I really enjoyed hearing about its genesis.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Maybe if we keep writing, the light will come through? Geez, I hope so. I’m always afraid people will see my blog name and think, “Oh, dear. Another dark story is ahead.” 😉 I’m grateful, as always, for your generous comments.

      Reply
      1. Silverleaf September 10, 2014 at 6:22 am

        No, never. People see your blog name and think, “ooh, I know this one will be great!” Always a pleasure 🙂

        Reply
  13. Jen September 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Sooo heartbreaking. I love, love your writing!

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Thanks so much, Jen. I love your writing too.

      Reply
  14. Suzanne September 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Beautiful and tragic. Or maybe beautiful because it’s tragic. Either way, I love everything about this.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:19 am

      Awww, thanks, Suzanne. Means a lot to me.

      Reply
  15. inNateJames September 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Oh, she couldn’t wait for her father to get home. She wanted to fly to him. That’s both sweet and incredibly heartbreaking. Poor Alice.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:20 am

      I keep thinking of that book, “Go Ask Alice,” and now wish I named her something different. Hah!

      Reply
  16. Sarah Ann September 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    So sad and yet so beautiful. I hope Alice found her silver wings.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:21 am

      I think she did, Sarah Ann. At least, let’s pretend so. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  17. Marcy September 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Yes, very dark indeed, but I felt it also had a magical quality. Slipping into the night air made me think of flying. So sad. I liked reading your personal connection to this in the comments.

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Thanks so much, Marcy. I’m glad you felt a bit of magic instead of just tragedy — I think that’s why I used “slipping” instead of “falling.” Made it a little more ambiguous.

      Reply
  18. GennaClaire September 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I agree with Tienne. You’ve done it again here. Heartbreaking story and flawless execution. If you ever decide to teach a class on micro-fiction, sign me up!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Hah! I’m still learning. Thank you for your kind, kind words, Genna. Muuahh.

      Reply
    1. Meg September 10, 2014 at 12:25 am

      Oh, thank you so much, Shailaja.

      Reply
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