Trifecta Challenge: “A Scrap of Paper”

“A Scrap of Paper”

So few memories! I rummage through a box and find the note among photos.

It seems like yesterday …and the note states:

“Billie :  I went by after the laundry and it was not ready. It is 1:30 and I still have to work Riviera. The man said it would be ready by 3:00 P.M. How about sending Butch after it?  Jack”

The note, written in large, beautiful cursive is on the back of an old, yellow-stained envelope. The laundromat is six blocks from our ugly, army green rental house.  On a hot, sticky Florida day, someone must rescue the laundry!

Daddy services jukeboxes. Take the money out; put new records in. The job barely pays the bills when the money does not lose its way at end of day to the race track. A sweet, wonderful , funny guy; everyone loves you, Daddy! Such a happy drunk! But you have a knack for being around things that like to blow up!

The “Billie” of our note does not approve your longings for adventure. A trip to the track or one last beer following jukebox rounds breaks the family’s financial back. Daddy, in your cups at the supper table you say: “pass the peas!” and Mother did just that. She threw the entire bowl… those tiny, green-garden delicious peas swimming in butter. Dogs tuck their tails and cringe under the table. Little sister screams with fear and I, the grownup child of eight, hush her away ’til the storm blows over.

Older now, and able to withhold moral judgment, I long to see you. Give you a hug; hold your hand. Look deep into those dark, mysterious, Cherokee eyes. You mean a lot to me and I apologize for mother pitching the peas.

We should have known each other better but you left too soon and remain a phantom, Daddy.   I know so little of you that even this old scrap of paper is a precious keepsake.

Trifecta Challenge : 333 words.  Use the 3rd definition for the word, “Phantom”.

9 Comments on “Trifecta Challenge: “A Scrap of Paper””

  1. Christine
    October 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    There’s an authenticity to your writing here that I really enjoyed. Some of the details are exquisite: the handwriting, the bowl of peas. Nice job!

    Just FYI – the link from Trifecta looks broken. I think you may have pasted an extra http:// in there! You’ve got time to take down the broken link and add the correct one, or perhaps the editors can help you out!


  2. KymmInBarcelona
    October 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    I’m quite taken with the bowl of peas – the terrible loss of their delicious butteryness when mother tossed them, and then the apology. Loved it.


  3. jannatwrites
    October 25, 2013 at 3:30 am #

    I really like this story and the range of emotions I felt as I read it. Apologizing for her mother tossing the peas made me smile, but the note being a precious keepsake was sad.


  4. Ivy (Mommy Dourest )
    October 25, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Such a sad tale, told beautifully. I would’ve been thrilled if my mom had chucked the bowl of peas. Then I wouldn’t have to eat them. Ick! 🙂


  5. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156)
    November 11, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Nice take on the prompt!


  6. Calamity Rae
    November 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Hi,a beautiful Italian sonnet! And I’m so glad there is another poet on the board (albeit, I write contemporary). I admire the skill one uses in order to work words within constraints of classical poetry. Thanks for a great read, and I’ve always loved that photograph!


  7. Calamity Rae
    November 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I just realized that I left my comment on the wrong post *duh*. My response was supposed to be for your current submission to Speakeasy!


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