Here is a short story I wrote in 2005. It was the first story I had ever submitted to a contest--I won first place, I was estatic. Since then, I haven't won another...although, I really haven't focused much on contests. :/ I'm trying to find time to look into them.
It's also weird going back and reading this and seeing how much my style has changed. I'm very glad it did, lol.
The clouds, grey and dull, were thickening as many figures dressed in black and darker colors entered the funeral home; they were welcomed by the drought-breaking rain. Indeed, it was the weather fit for Oklahoma today.
The daughter of this woman who was plagued by death was named Kiera, and as she walked ahead of all those that were to attend the funeral, she felt out of place.
The tears that had been shed just three days ago could not be shed today. She was silent and did not speak to any who expressed their sadness for her and her family. She didn’t even recall what the disease was that she died of, but it suddenly came to Kiera that it ahs been lung cancer that had taken the life away from the body in the coffin.
She remembered the weeks of turmoil this pestilence had taken her through. She loved her mother dearly, but she was relieved now of her constant complaining. So often she had heard, “I am in so much pain, Kiera,” Kiera, I cannot do that, I am sick,” “you don’t care for me Kiera! You don’t care that I am sick.”
Yes, she couldn’t help smiling at the thought, that she would not have to hear this constant harping that she could be free from her mother’s sad voice and the pale appearance of her mother’s face.
She thought about how her mother had deceived so many people, how everyone had thought her mother was such a caring and loving person, but the truth was her mother was evil and selfish.
This was why her love for her mother had diminished. Ever since her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, Kiera had lost all her freedom and was forced to grow. She was growing up faster than she would have liked. Every day after school, she had to come home and help her mother. If she had forgotten to do something before leaving for school, she would be punished for it when she returned. If something unexpected happened that her mother didn’t like, Kiera would be punished for it. She would try to keep the house clean, and cry while doing it. Then after all of that was done, she would stay up into the night, trying to get her homework done while secretly wishing her mother would either die or get well.
It wasn’t that her mother pressed these things to be done that made her so cruel; it was her selfishness, it was the fact that she felt sorry for herself and wouldn’t allow anyone to not pity her. She and her mother were swimming in a sea of sorrow and the farther they waded out, the deeper and more treacherous each step became. When they could not longer touch the bottom, her mother, in order to saver herself, would hold onto Kiera, immersing her in water so she would drown and her mother could keep on breathing. Even thought doctors had told her she could be treated for cancer, she intended to make Kiera a part of her pain.
As Kiera was walked out of the funeral home, the wind blew fiercely, and a newspaper that had been carelessly thrown away rested at the feet of one of those who attended the funeral. It caught his interest and he picked it up to read the first page:
“…Kiera Lynch was found dead last week in her home on Third street in Eufaula, Oklahoma.
The exact time of her death has not been determined, but officials believe the cause of death was suicide…Her mother, who is gravely ill with lung cancer, was unable to attend the funeral…”