Monday, November 15, 2010

This piece was written for an assignment in CW. The objective was to take the first line of any story from one of our texts and write our own flash stories from them. The line is extracted from Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Trip to Florida

The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. The salt in the air made her knees hurt. But the granddaughter pleaded, so the grandmother complied. The daughter was reluctant to bring the grandmother, knowing that her mother’s knees were bad, but she went along with it at the granddaughter’s behest.

The drive to Florida was long and cramped. The granddaughter grew antsy after seven hours. The grandmother’s butt growing irritated from the upholstery, and thus she grew irritable. The daughter continued to drive, becoming ever more flustered from all of the complaining and trying to maintain her patience as they threatened to try it.

They were in Georgia when it happened. Just south of Atlanta. At least they had made it out of the city, the daughter said. The grandmother was now completely irritable, swearing at the granddaughter and blaming her for the trouble. The granddaughter cried and clung to the daughter, detracting her from focusing on changing the tire.

The towman came because the spare tire was flat. The grandmother swore some more while the granddaughter clung to her mother and continued to implore the grandmother to stop. They were all cramped in the cab of the truck. The grandmother fussed because she had to hold the granddaughter in her lap and because her knees were aching. The daughter flirted with the attractive driver. The driver maintained his driving so well because he ignored the daughter.

One-hundred and seventy-five dollars, the grandmother exclaimed at the daughter. One-hundred and seventy-five dollars wasted because the granddaughter wanted to swim with some dolphins who did not care about her, anyway. The daughter cried. The granddaughter also cried, but at the sight of her mother crying. The clerk just wanted the money for the job.

The daughter continued to drive to Florida. The grandmother continued to gripe and show hostility toward the granddaughter. The granddaughter continued to cry and plead for her to stop and ask her for forgiveness. The grandmother ignored her and simultaneously insulted her. Five more hours, the daughter thought. Only five more hours.

It was five hours later. Their vehicle was stuck in traffic. It was the middle of summer. The grandmother nagged about the heat and about the skanky teenagers. The daughter’s eyes were affixed upon those skanky male teenagers. The granddaughter’s lips trembled as she tried to stop herself from crying.

Two more hours passed. They had finally reached their destination of Destin. The grandmother refused to leave the car. The granddaughter begged with her to come along. The daughter was distracted by teenage boys in trunks. The granddaughter grew fed up. She stormed away and into the souvenir shop. The daughter figured that she had better follow along.

The granddaughter skimmed and perused, looking for something specific. The daughter remained distracted. The granddaughter finally found what she was looking for, something she had remembered from their previous excursion without the grandmother. She approached the counter and asked for a price. She asked her mother to pay for it, but the daughter was short from paying for the tow and the tire. The granddaughter began to cry again. The clerk cut a deal out of sympathy. The granddaughter became giddy.

The granddaughter pulled some things from her pocket and set them into the souvenir. She raced back to their sedan. She asked the grandmother to roll her window down. “I got this necklace for you,” she said. It was a locket shaped as a heart and held within it two photographs cut to fit: one of the granddaughter and one of the grandmother.


djpr said...

Awww, Matt, this is simply adorable. I know odd, but trust me, I've been there. I'm the one in the middle though. Awesome story. I loved the very age appropriate distractions and the oh so touchingly sweet ending! Great job!

Matt Dimitroff said...

Why, thank you. :)

AubrieAnne said...

I certainly like the way you story ended, compared to the way Flannery O'Connor's story ended.

I also like how you didn't use any names, just grandmother, mother, daughter, granddaughter. That was an interesting touch.

Matt Dimitroff said...

I actually did not read past the first line of O'Connor's story, haha.

I'm glad that you liked it.