My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

She looked up from the margarita she was stirring with a straw. It just didn’t make sense. Drinking a margie through a straw meant you would miss the salt.

She squinted into the mirror; he was sitting solo in the booth behind her.
Shit! She’d planned on calling it a night.So,’ she thought, swiveling around on her barstool, ‘Are you a 33 or a 333 word man?’
“Oh, hello there” Smiling. A touch surprised.
“Buy you a drink?”
A 333 word man for sure. Was he slurring? She couldn’t tell. She swirled her glass, watching the ice clink. “Thanks, I’m good”
He was hesitating.
“But thanks, anyway.”
That was it. Enough. He was sliding across the vinyl, standing, crossing the carpeted floor. Green, with blue and black swirls. God, that had to hide a lot of spills. Like the scotch he spilled on his weave over.
“Oops” He shook the scotch off his hand.
“Oops” She handed him a couple of cocktail napkins.
He dabbed at his pants. “Guess I need a refill.” He settled onto the stool beside her.
She smiled shyly. “Silly isn’t it? Why would anyone drink a margarita from a straw?” She delicately licked the icy concoction off the black plastic straw.
“Isn’t it a swizzle stick?”
He was staring at her mouth.
“A swivvle stick?”
“Swizzzz-El. ZeeZee not vv. You know, a stirrer.”
“Oh right. Silly me.” A little laugh.
“Come here often?”
She almost snorted, laughing in disbelief. She couldn’t help herself. “You didn’t!?”
He grinned, shrugged acquiescence. Kind of charming really.
Oh, what the hell, spare him. “Look, can I let you in on a little secret?”
“A secret? Should I promise not to tell?”
“Seriously. Can I tell you something in confidence?”
He straightened, shook the smile from his face. “In confidence? You are serious.”
“I gotta go.”
“But it’s early.”
“I gotta work”
Now!?” It was 11:30 at night.
She smiled, stood up. “Now. Promise not to tell?”

One look at this blog tells you I haven't tackled fiction (or anything on this blog) for a long, long time. But I heard about the Trifecta Writing Challenge and I figured wtf. My mother was plagued by Alzheimer's and I'm terrified I have it already. A little writing, good, bad or really, really stinky couldn't hurt the grey matter any.
This had to be a minimum of 33 words and no longer than 333. I guess you know which it is. It also had to use "confidence" in this specific way.
By the way, I blog about books and movies based on books, over at chapter1-take1 just in case you want to visit!


  1. Welcome to Trifecta! This was a fun read with a great flirty back-and-forth banter. I'd love to see what happens next!

  2. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Glad to see you give Trifecta a try. I like the conversation and actually laughed out loud at the swizzle stick bit :)

    Your comment at the end caught my attention - it sounds so familiar. My grandma had Alzheimers and passed away nearly a year-and-a-half ago - now my mom is afraid she has it too and stresses out every time she has a memory moment. Hang in there :)

  3. Thanks ladies! I had forgotten how hard and nerve-racking it is to put yourself out there. Still, it was fun to give it a go.
    I'll have to check out everyone else's stuff tomorrow. I was blown away by the Goldilocks stories!

  4. I loved the weave over and the reference to a 33 or 333 word man. Clever! I was confused in the dialogue beginning with come here often - I felt there was a secret I didn't understand there. Hope to see you again at Trifecta!

  5. Anonymous6:44 AM

    Great dialogue! :)

  6. Point well taken, Kelly. The female character is hiding something but I wondered if that translated.

  7. Can't miss the salt. It's part of the Margy experience. Nicely told. Funny ending about work. It's good to know when to leave!

  8. Sim!!! Hi!!! I liked your story. :). It seemed realistic and I could picture the scene... I'm glad you are doing Trifecta.

  9. Libby, I noticed you and Cipriano both did it so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

  10. Welcome to Trifecta! Love the reference to the 33 and 333 in the story. And I disagree with the disclaimer at the end -- it certainly didn't read as if you hadn't done fiction for a long time. I enjoyed this and I hope you stick with us, starting with the weekend challenge tomorrow. Thanks for linking up.

  11. Anonymous4:51 PM

    I liked the evaluation of whether he was a 33-word or a 333-word man! And, um, I've had just that thought about the "straws" for the margaritas.

  12. This is a great read, Sim (I like to drink my "margie" with a straw ir a swizzle, too, heh... the better to stir the salt in, ya know? Lol) Welcome to the Trifecta community, I hope to see you here often! ;-)

  13. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Do you come here often? :) No, I see you don't. You should. This is well done. Also rare. Both on the same piece!

  14. Bravo, Sim. I'd read more any time. Bravo for putting yourself out there.

  15. I am looking forward to reading more!!
    My aunt has Alzheimer's from an early age (my age) so I am also terrified every time I forget something as well.
    Thanks for dropping by and visiting!

  16. Very cool story, and I love the idea of sticking to 333 words. That kind of challenge really develops skill!


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