Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Write On Edge Prompt: Doorbell

Here was our challenge this week:

We’d like you to craft a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction around the holiday season, keeping in mind that for some people “the holiday season” begins around Halloween and doesn’t end until well after the New Year is underway.

The piece should begin with “The doorbell rang” and end with “snow began to fall.”
The middle is up to you, and the entire thing should be under 300 words.

Here is my take on it.  I do have to say that, though it is fiction, the idea is based on personal and very real stuff.  Please enjoy and, as always, any constructive criticism is always appreciated!

The doorbell rang.  Her heart pounded.  It had been so long since she’d last seen him.  They had agreed on this.  But they never expected her to be gone for so long.  Would he remember her?  She knew he might not.  But, what if he did and was angry at her for this?  She knew there was so much he didn’t understand, so much he couldn’t understand.  She also knew this was for the best.  But it didn’t help.  The butterflies in her stomach felt more like dinosaurs in a mosh pit.
She heard the lock click open, watched the door knob twist.  The Christmas wreath’s bells jingled softly as the door opened.  Thankfully, or maybe not, her father opened the door which let her put that moment off a little longer.  But it also kept the dinosaurs in the mosh pit.
Her father hugged her, “Welcome home, honey.  He’s in the living room.”
“Does he remember me?  Is he mad at me?” her nerves clear in her voice.
She hated that.  She’d been through so much already and never let her emotions show.
“You know what you’re doing is for the best.  Never forget that.  He’ll thank you some day.  Drop your bag by the stairs and come in.  Your mother is with him.”
She did as her father instructed.  Then she took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.  She wouldn’t disgrace the uniform and all it meant to her.  Her father led her into the living room.  The Christmas tree, with its lights and ornaments, was the centerpiece.  Her eyes were all for him.  He looked up from the truck in his hand.
“Mommy!” he screamed, the truck forgotten.
She grabbed him up, uniform forgotten, tears falling silently into his hair.  Outside the snow began to fall.


  1. Oh, what a tender moment. At first I was a bit confused, thinking she was on the inside of the house when the doorbell rang, but it was quickly clarified for me.

    I like the way you showed us why she'd been gone, talking about the uniform and not just telling us she was in the service.

  2. Intriguing, there seems like there's a lot of back story just asking to be told. To me, the second mosh pit reference seemed awkward, maybe that could be rephrased slightly? Nice to have the story told by the person coming through the door, rather than the one answering it. :)

  3. Oh this is heart-achingly beautiful. You captured this so very well. Thank you for sharing! Great job!

  4. Ohhhh! That is seriously a tear jerker. Love it!

  5. So beautiful, sometimes we forget the sacrifices that are made on our behalf.

    My heart breaks for those away from their families.

  6. I think it's fantastic that you used the POV of the arrival, and that she's a soldier returning home. This was a nice, fresh spin on the prompt.