Thursday, March 22, 2018

what day is it?

Time seems to fly when you haven't been sleeping well.  Days all rolled into one ...

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. It has now come full circle. The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. These are this week's words: configuration, blame, jaundiced, spend, destiny, blank, cornflower, dusting, minced, tasty, afterward, and plump. 

Percy glanced up from the configuration of zeroes and ones that scrolled across the computer screen as a sound outside his office door suddenly became louder and louder.  The alarm clock in his bedroom was going off and he realized he had been daydreaming about his and Ivan's childhood again.  He stood and walked into the bedroom through the adjoining door and turned the alarm off.  

When had he set it?  He couldn't remember.  Sleep had been evading his grasp for at least a week, and he had no one to blame but himself.  He'd been taking on not only his responsibilities but that of his superior when the man had unexpectedly become jaundiced and needed to be hospitalized.  The doctors had told him he would need to spend at least a week in the hospital while they ran tests to determine what had caused the condition.  Percy suspected it was his superior's drinking and hard habits caused by the stress of the work they did, although others thought perhaps he had been poisoned.

He stretched his arms and thought again back to those days when he and Ivan would pretend to be secret agents and wondered if they had suspected at that young age that they were setting their destiny.  If they had known what the blank future held, they might have chosen to play other games.

Stepping to the window he looked out over the azure-colored waters with the cornflower blue sky above it.  The temperature was expected to be near 100, with the humidity almost as high.  What he would give for just a dusting of snow to remind him of home.  He wondered what his wife and daughter were doing, and whether or not they would ever forgive him for leaving as he did.

He had missed them the most during the past holidays.  Eleanor's minced meat pies in the oven had always made the house smell warm and comforting.  She had teased him more than once that the only reason he had married her was due to her tasty baking during the holidays, and leaning back in his chair at the dining room table afterward he had always patted his plump stomach and laughed in agreement.

The memory of his mother's holiday pies and baking came to mind, and he once again drifted back in thought to that day his father had walked out on them, never to return while his mother was alive.  The unexpected end of her marriage and the abrupt departure of the man she had adored crushed her and she was never the same after that.  Many years later when the two boys had become men and were pursuing enemies of the government around the world, they had discovered that they were actually following in their father's footsteps.  

The fight, divorce, and disappearance of their father had all been a sham created to distance the danger between his work and his family.  It had been a decision made by the powers that were in charge at the time when news of the break-in at their home had been revealed.  It wasn't a random act, but a targeted plan to search for information the enemy suspected their father was keeping at home.  Finding out that their father had been working undercover for the government had been a shock to them, but they had been unable to share the information with their mother.  She had died of a broken heart when they were at university.

Now Percy had been forced to make the same decision for his own family, and it was one that he deeply regretted.  He, at least, had been given the option of a faked death over a painful divorce and abandonment.  The thought of saying and doing anything to hurt Eleanor even more than his death might have was not something he was willing to do and he had put his foot down quite fiercely when his superior had told him there was no other option.  He remembered the hurt and confusion that he and Ivan had carried well into their 30's, wondering if something they had done caused their father to abandon them.  He refused to lay that guilt on his daughter.

3 comments:

  1. Like father, like son. Such weighty decisions, for themselves, their families, and the world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think both of them wanted to right wrongs forced upon them when they were children.

      Delete

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