Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast. Essentially the aim is to encourage you to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What you do with those prompts is up to you: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or ignoring them. You can use some or all of the prompts. Some put their creation in comments on the post and others post on their own blog. This month the prompts will be posted on Elephant's Child's blog, but are provided by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue Fulton.
This week's phrases are: "The show must go on" and "The straw that broke the camel’s back"
It had been three days since their argument, and Connie was exhausted from the hurt and anger that still kept her awake at night. She'd gone for long walks in the rain and snow, talking to her mother, trying to decide whether to stay or go. She loved him. Deeply. But was tired of the verbal abuse, especially when he escaped from his job stress on the weekends by drinking heavily. She'd given up asking him to stop. It just made him drink more, and start drinking liquor which just made him mean.
It wasn't always like this. But Nick's internship and residency had taken a toll on him, and it seemed that the more time he put in at the hospital, the worse it became for them. He saw the worst of people in their most vulnerable situations. But instead of developing compassion for people, he seemed to just become more arrogant and self-righteous. Connie longed to tell him that he should change his career field, but becoming a surgeon had been a dream of his parents, and Nick would never do anything to disappoint them. He was too afraid of losing his trust fund.
Connie could care less about the money. She just wanted a family. A family she never had growing up. Her father had died when she was almost too young to remember him. Now it was just a scent on the air of wood that would catch her off guard and make her miss him. He had been a carpenter, like his father before him, and worked hard with his hands. She remembered him coming in to kiss her goodnight, his rough hands holding her cheeks as he kissed her forehead. The scent of wood was thick in his beard and clothes. Much of the furniture in the cottage she and Nick owned was made by him.
Her mother had raised her to be proud of her work, to be compassionate, and to always give and do her best, but to remember those who had less than her. She had volunteered each holiday at the shelters, sharing meals, coats and warm blankets. Throughout the year, Connie often bought meals for homeless families she saw on the streets or dropped off her extra blankets and coats. There had been times when she was growing up that they had nearly been homeless themselves, something she had never told Nick.
Colin's small voice brought her back to the classroom where the children were lined up to go to the Cirque du Soleil performance down the street.
"Do you think we will get to see the straw that broke the camel's back?"
"I'm sorry, honey? What straw?"
|Image Source: WeHeartIt|
"My dad is always yelling at my mom about the straw that broke the camel's back. Isn't that why camels sometimes have two humps? They got hit by a straw?"
Connie had to cover her mouth to hide her smile. She knew that Colin's parents were in the middle of a very difficult divorce and were fighting over who would have custody of him. As sad as the situation was for Colin, his worry about the camel's humps was sweet.
"No, Colin. Some camels are just born with two humps. No one hurt them. I don't think there will be any camels at this circus. This circus just has people in it."
Colin smiled happily and went to join his friends in line as they were heading out the door.
"Come on, everyone! The show must go on!"