I write to keep me sane. I write so that my words may outlive my life. I write to find redemption

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Accidental Life

Its time for Three Word Wednesday again. The three words offered are


To me the first thing that comes to mind is a tale of two lovers having an illicit tryst. But I didn’t want to go with the obvious route so here is what I came up with instead. I am trying to change up my tone each week. I have done violent, obsessive, and romantic already.

An Accidental Life

Jared sat at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette. It was about time to go out and water the flowers.

No one expected a guy like him- with spiky black hair, cold eyes, and a rap sheet that stretched over two tables back before they had all the records on computers- to enjoy gardening. He was supposed to like riding motorcycles and bar fights. And he did. But raising hell would never ease the heavy weight of loss that had settled into his bones.

Though he could not call himself a good man, he had a desire to leave something good on this earth once his time ran out.

The way Jared figured it, he had done one right thing in his life. Though his Ma would say one thing don’t make up for all the shit he pulled, all the lives he drug down, all the times the cops banged down the door or the phone rang at three a.m. Jared thought- for a time- that this one thing had made the fact he was born worth it.

He had been a good father.

His daughter was christened Camille Amelia Tennyson . Her skin was pale as translucent paper. Her hair a deep ruby red, her smile heaven. She woke up eager each day- for life, for hugs, for seeing the sunrise and watching cartoons. She was alive for three years, thirty-nine days and ten hours.

They made quite a sight around town, after her mom split with that roadie from a rock band no one had ever heard of. Strained. Spliced. The name was something like that. Jared had known it once but now it was more than irrelevant. Kim didn’t make it to her daughter’s funeral. Her cell was cut off and by the time she got the message Camille was laying beneath a stone that read Daddy’s Little Angel Girl.

People who would have never spoken to him before- who were turned off by the tattoo’s that decorated his neck, knuckles, and both arms- left flowers and teddy bears on his front lawn, right over the dark patch of grass where the truck had barreled over his child.

The driver lost control. That was the answer he got. Four words.

To keep from going crazy- from diving into pills and booze, from killing someone or himself- Jared started to plant flowers. It started when he had to cover the spot on the lawn. Then he added a bed of flowers near the back door. Gardenias.Camille had loved when he brought home bouquets of those for her. They smelled like the perfume Kim used to wear. A visceral reminder of a mother lost. She would suck in the scent and light up, as if her mother might walk in the door at any second. He thought of not bringing them home but she would beg, “Flowies!” and he didn’t know how to tell her she couldn’t have her mother or her flowers.

Now all he had was flowers, too.

Jared needed to keep moving, planting, watering, pulling the weeds, because then he wouldn’t be able to think as much. He planted flowers all along the perimeter of home, and then his mother’s and then his best buddy’s yard got a makeover.

It was a small thing to do. But it kept him planning and tending and honoring his baby girl.

The driver was caught. He didn’t flee the scene. A kid. Seventeen and stupid, not stoned or drunk.
He was never charged. The prosecutor broke it to Jared by saying “I understand your grief. But it was tragic accident...”

Jared didn’t think he understood anything. Camille would be seven now. Did he understand what four years, fifty days and three hours without being able to kiss the head of his child felt like?

No one should understand that.

Ring. Ring.

He stubbed out the cigarette and crossed the kitchen to grab the phone.

“Yeah.....Kim. I’ll be over to plant those roses you wanted put in this weekend.”



Did you know that DBA Lahane has added a new story to his blog? I mention this because I'm impressed by his work each and every time I read it. He's a published writer that weaves unique, engaging fiction everytime he puts fingers to keys. I'm a hug fan and hope to write like him when I "grow up". :)

Check out his latest story

Panacea by DBA Lahane.


  • At 9/26/2007 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Okay, I'm sitting here in tears. This was beautifully written and very, very moving. SO VERY WELL DONE!

  • At 9/26/2007 04:42:00 PM, Blogger RomanceWriter said…

    Thanks, Jo! Its so tragic that I feel bad about posting its just to sad to exist. But then again I always find some beauty in sadness so that is probably why this story came to me.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  • At 9/26/2007 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Shephard said…

    Yes I agree. Very nice. I love the idea of finding a channel for all the good he has inside. It's a tragedy with a potentially happy future.

  • At 9/26/2007 06:46:00 PM, Blogger Jujee said…

    Great read, absorbing and touching plot.

  • At 9/26/2007 07:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh wow - what a lovely, heartbreaking story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it - thank you!

  • At 9/26/2007 08:37:00 PM, Blogger paisley said…

    wow... i struggle daily at living ... i cannot imagine being able to do it,, and so well in the face of all of this... he is a very good man... i wish i knew him....

  • At 9/26/2007 10:10:00 PM, Blogger TC said…

    Personally, if you're only going to do one good thing in life, being a good parent would be the #1 thing I could think of.

    This was heartbreaking. No one should have to watch their little girl die.

  • At 9/26/2007 10:37:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Very well done, Sara. A touching read.


  • At 9/27/2007 08:33:00 AM, Blogger lissa 07 said…

    Sad and touching story. I feel bad for Jared. Maybe he find some comfort in gardening.

  • At 9/27/2007 08:36:00 AM, Blogger poefusion said…

    'An Accidental Life' is my favorite story by you, so far. I would like to see this story opened up more. There's so much emotion available here. You are the second person today to make me have tears in my eyes while reading a 3WW story/ poem.
    I really enjoyed this read. Keep up the good work.


  • At 9/27/2007 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am moved!

  • At 9/27/2007 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Bone said…

    Touching, sad, painfully beautiful.

    She would suck in the scent and light up, as if her mother might walk in the door at any second.

    That really got to me.

  • At 11/11/2007 02:24:00 AM, Blogger DBA Lehane said…

    Oh my - I've just stumbled across this, and I feel very humbled! I'm not sure I'm anywhere near having "grown up" as a writer, but the plug and praise was very kind of you and very much appreciated. If it's any help for any writer out there, 99% of the time I am disappointed by what I write - so I am always surprised and delighted when others enjoy my writing. I believe we are our own harshest critics. Just ignore one's self doubts and get the writing out there. It's the reader who is the ultimate judge of quality...not the writer, thankfully!!!


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