Walking on the Sun

Nazca Desert, Peru

Nazca Desert, Peru

“Yes, hello?”

“Ma, it’s me.”

“Me, who?”

“Very funny. You left a message. Said it’s very important?”

“Not too important, DeDe.”

“Ma, I’m in the middle of nowhere in the Nazca Desert, bouncing this expensive call off a satellite heading for Jupiter. What is it?”

“Well, I was cleaning out your old room and I got rid of a few things.”

“Like what, Ma?” she says, fearing those notorious words.

“You didn’t want your wedding album did you? It’s been a long time since your divorce….”

“Yes I want the album. It’s full of photos of my friends and family. Some are gone now.”

“DeDe…I’ll be right back. Stay there….”

“Ma? Ma?”


“Oh, I’m back.”

“Where did you go, Ma? My hand fell asleep.”

“I had to go get your wedding album. I threw it away. Ha, ha. I wanted to get it out of the dumpster before the truck picked it up.”

“You went dumpster diving, did you?”

“Well, you said you wanted it….”

“Are you there, DeDe? I know you’re there. I can hear you biting your tongue.”

“Okay, thanks for saving my album, Ma.”

“Ma, what about the wedding dress?”

“Wedding dress? Your wedding dress?”

“Yes. Mine. The one you had hermetically sealed by ancient Egyptian dry cleaners to last for all eternity. That one.”

“Are you making fun of your mother?”

“Ma, no one could make this stuff up.”

Well, to be honest, I threw it away. Last week, or maybe two weeks ago.”

“Ma. When in doubt, do NOT throw it out. Did you really throw it out or did you give it to Salvation Army?”

“No. I didn’t think you’d want some homeless person wearing your wedding dress. Of course I threw it out.”

That statement is so wrong in so many ways…

“Are you biting your tongue again, dear?”

“Nope. I’m fine. Anything else important, Ma?”

“I got rid of all those books in those boxes in your room. There were so many. Aunt Kay had a yard sale and we did get rid of many, the rest we tossed.”

“Which…which books, Ma?”

“You know, the ones from college. The ones you brought over before you left for wherever it is. You’re not reading them anymore are you? You took the classes….”

“The archaeology books, Ma? The books in those two boxes I brought over? Those books, Ma? In the boxes marked “touch these and you die”? Those, Ma?”  Ahhhhh, shit.

“Why? Why would you get rid of boxes of books I brought over for safe-keeping to your house?” No, let me finish the argument to its natural conclusion, but she fakes crying. Why get rid of my archaeology books of all things? I’m an archaeologist.

“Yes, I was biting my tongue. I don’t hate you.”   Yes, I do.

“I’ve got to go, Ma. NASA needs their satellite. I’ll talk to you the next time it makes a pass around the Sun, okay?”

She’ll probably tell her friends I’m working for NASA now.

FlImageash Fiction Challenge #35 at Thain in Vain
Prompt:   “Well, to be honest, I threw it away.”
Word Count:  500

Thanks so much to Ms Thain for hosting Flash Fiction Challenge





19 thoughts on “Walking on the Sun

  1. Funny and fun. I remember when I was off at college and my father decided he needed to make room for my mother’s yarns (she was a knitter). So he threw away my entire comic book and baseball cards collection.

    • The entire conversation really happened. I remember it so well because I had more than one conversation with my mom about her throwing away or giving away my stuff. Why would anyone throw away or give away wedding gown that cost 2 grand?/ Lucy

  2. Brilliant! My chap’s father nearly got rid of an antique collection of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Instead, he did the next worse thing and put them on top of a wardrobe in view of direct sunlight and all the leather bindings and gold toolings were turned to dust.

    • Why do parents think they can throw away their kids’ things? My mother constantly threw my things away or gave them away without asking me. What an awful thing to happen to those encyclopedias. Thanks for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Lucy

      • Maybe they do it because they get tired of living with the things that don’t rightfully belong to them, even if they agreed to keep them safe. It doesn’t make it right of course, but one does have to wonder.

      • That is, perhaps, one of the hardest types to confront and deal with, simply because they are so well versed in manipulation.

  3. This was so well written – I loved the tension building as well the choice of words used in the conversation – it suggested the anxieties and frustrations, as well as the oddities in perception of parents, especially when it comes to what they “think” they know best. An absolute delight to read.

    • Thank you so much for the compliment. I appreciate it so much. What I saw with my own mother as she grew old (she died a few years ago) were acute eccentricities. I found them amusing and it was her line: “are you making fun of your mother?” Also, commonly, roles flip: the child becomes the parent–the parent more childlike. I saw that in my mother as well as an increase in her passive-aggressive tendencies. Lucy

      • Aging is never easy – but at least you were fortunate to realize and recognize what was happening. Maturity and understanding can often ease the tensions. Role reversal indeed. It’s a shame that as people, we are children for very little time, then we are thrust into the madness of adulthood, and before we are truly settled into this, we become parents to parents, who are cycling back to childhood. It seems an almost cruel irony.

        Please excuse the sombre tone – I mean no harm or ill will.

  4. Loved this, kiddo! I could hear these women loud and clear and got a big chuckle out of the long-suffering daughter’s responses to her wacky mother. You know, my mother once threw out my dad’s collection of Sinatra songs – they were old recordings from my dad’s youth. I thought he was gonna kill her when he found out! Fortunately, he didn’t, and our family managed to stay out of the nightly news! 😀

    • I’m glad you liked it. Luckily your dad didn’t miss the Sinatra songs. My mother used to tell me how she swooned over Sinatra. She grew up in Brooklyn NY and had lots of chances to see him perform.

      Have a good day. Lucy

  5. I loved this piece. I can very much envision how these two people looked, moved and acted while having the conversation. The only thing I found a little distracting were the parentheticals. But, then, I use them often myself. So, I shouldn’t throw stones. (My glass house just couldn’t take it.)

    • I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll fix the distractions. It’s very helpful to get such feedback. I loved your last comment about “rampant whining”. I, am a whiner, myself. At home the usual response to my whining is “do you want some cheese with that whine?”


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