Re-writing Unfortunate Blessings was ultimately due to some very good critiques on the parts of my writing colleagues Danni, Anna, and Angela. Their help was inspiring and fortunately made the short fiction piece that much stronger. I’m am thankful to have such great people who are creative and skilled helping me become a better writer. 🙂
Callie rocked in the chair. She hummed a nursery rhyme, meticulously knitting the little blue booties. Her eyes watered in marvel at how tiny they were, and at the new life inside her.
She still had three months before the baby was due.
Plenty of time to get everything done, she thought. Her heart leapt at the thought of telling Clayton. He’d be home soon enough.
Responding to the small kick in her tummy, she gently held her hand to it and smiled.
“My sweet baby, you’ve been very active today,” she whispered. It was a miracle that she had become pregnant at all, after what the doctor had told her.
As she continued her tune, her delicate hands held the thin needles firmly but gently.
Clayton had been gone five months now. Callie looked out the window, anxious for the mail carrier. A letter was overdue, and he wasn’t one for being tardy.
It was lonely waiting for him to return from his station overseas. She wanted to give him the news in person. It was hard keeping the secret for so long. Clayton was a kid at heart. He loved surprises. Callie hated them.
Clay always wanted children. With every rock, she found herself missing him more and more. He was so thoughtful.
He would have fussed over us all the time.
She paused from her knitting to look at his picture on the sofa table. The house was so quiet, yet her memories of being together were enough to make the silence disappear.
Coming from a large family, he always said, “Nothing like a pack of children to bring a house to life.”
She rubbed her belly in circles and whispered, “Yes, my little boy, Daddy will be here when you’re ready to enter this world. Don’t worry. Daddy will be here.”
When she saw the military car pulling up the driveway, her heart raced in revelation. Two blue uniformed men got out and walked up to her front door. Her eyes focused on a letter held in a white-gloved hand. Callie’s knitting needles and blue baby booties slid from her lap as she gracefully got up from the rocker. As she wrapped her fingers around the doorknob, the strength drained from her body. She knew what they were going to say.
Callie turned the knob only forty-five degrees before a warm liquid soaked her, just below her waist. Disoriented, she brought her shaking hands to touch her cotton housedress. It felt as if the world were a snake winding its way into Callie’s chest. It constricted, forcing her to realize the consequence of the secret she had kept from him.