Dust



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(I wrote this for a class a while back, and I wanted to know what you guys thought)

She traced her finger over the mahogany desk, leaving a small path in the vast film of dust; the same dust that covered the bookcases which lined the office. In the air was the smell of paper, leather, and age; a comforting, almost palpable, smell.

Wiping off the dust on her once tight fitting black dress, she began caressing the books that surrounded her. Once, she had read every one of them. Though it was more than twenty years ago, she had read through every single page in that room. She had sat on the floor, her back against the shelf, and read through each book. And while she read, he was sitting behind the desk, smiling down on her.

“What are you reading, sweetie?” her father asked.

She looked up from her book. “Jane Eyre,” she replied. “I just started it.”

“Oh, so you haven’t seen Bertha yet,” he looked up from the thick stack of papers on his desk, and smiled at her, “Let me know when you do. I want to know what you think of her.”

A tiny, innocent smile formed across her face. “I will,” she returned her attention back to the story, and continued to read.

“Zack!” rang a drunken voice, “There you are.”

Looking up from her book, she saw her mother stumble through the door way; with a bottle of gin in her hand. The horrid smell that followed her mother wormed its way into her nose, causing her to cringe. Though the acrid cloud had always followed her mother, she had never been able to tolerate it. She tightened her tiny hands on the pages of the book, and tried to ignore her.

Zack looked up from his papers at his wife. “I told you, I have a ton of work to do.”

“C’mon, it can wait.” She strutted over to her husband, and draped her arms over his shoulders. “I need you.” She tilted her head, and began to sloppily kiss his face.

He gently pushed her to the side, and smiled, “Not in front of Veronica,” he whispered.

She slowly undid the buttons of her nightgown. “I don’t care.”

“Fine, go to bed, I’ll be there in a minute.”

“See you soon, handsome.” She slowly walked out of the room. Leaving a trail of alcoholic fumes in her wake.

As she left, Veronica looked up from her book meeting her mother’s eyes. The woman wore a triumphant grin. Veronica’s face tightened and scowled at her. She had worn the expression so often it was almost permanent; at least when she was around her mother.

“Okay, that’s enough for today,” Zack said as he stood up from his desk. He walked over to Veronica and knelt down in front of her, “But I promise, you can read with me tomorrow, okay?”

Veronica’s scowl vanished in an instant, as was replaced with a warm smile. “You mean it?!”

He ruffled her hair, and smiled at her, “Of course.”

He had kept his promise to her, as he always. That was just the kind of person he was. He always made time for his daughter, even as his body started to go. His love for her was something that no disease could take away.

Even when Veronica had had in his hospital room, he still smiled at her. Though the tumor in his brain had drained his body nearly all its life, his mind was the same. She had sat beside throughout everything: the pointless surgeries, the life sucking chemo, and the tears. She sat right beside his bed through it all, and she continued to.

She was reading her copy of Jane Eyre; the same copy she read as a child. Even with the sounds of machines humming, and beeping, it felt like Veronica was back in her father’s office. “Dad, do you want me to get you anything?” Veronica asked.

“I’m fine sweetie,” he said as he smiled wide at her. “Where’s your mother?”

Veronica gritted her teeth as she clutched the book tightly in her hands. “Probably passed out on the couch.”

“Oh, well I suppose it can’t be helped.”

Veronica stared long at her father. Even know he’d never see his wife before he died, he didn’t seem bothered by it. “Dad, why did you stay?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why did you stay with her?”

Zack looked off into the ceiling. “Because I love her. And I know she loves me.”

Veronica thought back to her memories of her mother and father. As she sifted through her memories, and couldn’t understand how her father could love her mother. “Why? She doesn’t deserve it.”

Zack looked at Veronica, and smiled. “I know how much you two hate each other, and I know I never did anything to stop it. I guess I didn’t want to lose either of you,” Even with his smile, tears fell down Zacks pale face. “I was selfish, and I’m sorry.”

The book dropped into Veronica’s lap, as her sorrow bubbled in her throat. “You weren’t being selfish.”

“You don’t have to lie, I know I could’ve done something to help you two.” A tiny laugh escaped Zacks mouth. “She wasn’t always like that though. She used to never drink and smile wherever she went.”

“What happened?”

“You were born. After that, well you know. I think she thought she was somehow losing me to you.”

The bubbled of sorrow was replaced by one of pure hate. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I tried to tell her, but she didn’t want to hear it. That and you left a pretty nasty scar when she gave birth. Add postpartum depression to everything, and I’d be surprised if she didn’t act the way she does.”

Veronica was beginning to see what her father was trying to do. “You think by telling me this I’ll be able to forgive her.”

Zack shook his head. “No. I just that hope that you’ll understand her,” another laugh escaped his throat. “I don’t have much time left, and I want to do something for you two.”

“You’ve done enough.” Veronica put her hand over fathers, and her muscles twitched as she forced a smile. “I’ll be fine.”

Zack put his hand in his daughters. “Will you try and talk to her?”

“I said I’ll be fine.”

“Please, for me.”
***​


She passed by the books and remembered sitting in that room, reading with her father. She stopped when she stood behind the desk. A decrepit leather bag rested in the chair behind the desk. The leather was dried and faded by the sun. One of the straps was secured with staples and duct tape, and a pocket was missing on the side; exposing the inner lining. And the name branded on the side: Zachary “Zack” Wolfe.

A tight smile crept across her lips.

“Do you like it, Daddy?”

“I love it, sweetie.”


A knot bubbled up in her throat, and her chest tightened. Her legs began to quiver, sending smaller tremors traveling through her body. She placed one hand on the desk, and the other over her mouth as gasps of air escaped. Tears fell from her bloodshot eyes and dripped onto the dust covered desk.

“Veronica! Where are you!? I need you!” A slurred voice rang into the room.

She wiped her tears away on her sleeves, snatched up the leather bag, and scurried toward the door. But she stopped when she slammed into the overwhelming odor of bourbon. The scent slithered its way inside Veronica, like a bourbon snake coiling its way into her noise. She gagged at the acrid smell.

“There you are,” said a woman as she stumbled her way into the door way. She leaned against the door frame, held up an empty lipstick stained glass, and tapped her long red nail against it. “I need you to go the store for me.”

“I can’t.” Veronica said.

“You can’t even do this one little thing. It’s no wonder Jack left you,” she said. She pointed at her daughter, and moved her finger up and down.

Veronica tightened her grip on the bag, held her breath, and forced her way through the door frame. Part of her wanted to keep her promise to her father, but she was too grief stricken to honor it.

“Who do you think you are!?” She grabbed Veronica by the wrist, and twisted her arm. “You have no idea how much I’ve been through! How hard this whole affair has been on me!”

“Let go of me, now.”

“How dare you!? If your father were-”

Veronica jerked her arm out of her mother’s grip. “Shut up.”

“You talk to me like that, after everything I did for you!”

“What have you ever done for me?” Veronica jerked around to face her mother. “Seriously, tell me one thing you’ve ever done for me.”

She stepped back and almost fell, catching herself on the door frame. “I-I supported you when you went to college!”

“No you didn’t, dad did.” While her voice was calm, a hint of anger was present in each world. As if all her years of bottled rage were starting to escape.

“S-so what?! You just pissed it all away! That’s why your publisher dropped you!”

“No, I gave it up,” Veronica took a step forward. “I had to be there to take care of dad,” She kept walking forward, and with each step her mother backed up. “And while I gave up everything I ever worked for, what did you do?”

“I-I…I” She backed up until she ran into her husband’s desk; causing her to jump slightly.

Veronica moved closer to her mother, and the scowl she wore as a child reappeared. When she was only a few inches form her, Veronica stopped. “Nothing.”

Her mother’s eyes widened and her lips quivered as she attempted to force out a sound. Tears began to fall from her eyes, as she finally let out a whimper, “I-I’m sorry…” She dropped to her knees and began to whimper.

Seeing her mother cry, Veronica expected a triumphant smile to spread itself across her face. She had finally gotten her mother to acknowledge what she had done, something she always wanted. But all that her face was a frown, and she knew why. She looked in her hand, she was still clutching the decrepit leather back in her hand that bore the name of the man she and her mother had loved.

As if by an unseen force, the strap of the bag broke. Pages spilled forth onto the floor. On the pages were pieces of writing. Veronica knelt down, and looked at them. They were poems and stories she had written as a child. But one of the pages was different. It was an assignment Veronica had done when she was in preschool.

The assignment was for her to write down what she wanted, more than anything else. Veronica read aloud what her answer was. “I want my mommy to love me.” She wrapped her arms around her mother. She let all of her anger and sorrow rise to the surface, and she cried for what they had lost.

Tears, they were the first and only things they had ever shared.
 
Last edited:

KingdomKey

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This is a sad and heart breaking story. A child such as Veronica should never feel her mother trying to compete for ones affection and see what they have instead of don't. I don't care if her mother had a drinking problem and some illness. (Which was really in her own head.) I think the father did and tried his absolute best until the very end. It just hurts to see a family crumble apart from something like that and Veronica... man, I can understand why it'd be hard to really forgive her own mother.

There were at least two words missing. Other then that, it was cool to read something new by you, Spirit! :D
 

Annoyance

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Aight before I start reading this, I just want to point out how dialogue works:

"What do I do when I'm writing a question?" you asked.

"Simple. Keep it as once sentence, don't capitalize the word after the question mark," I responded.

"And simple sentences?"

"Comma before the quotations, and keep it one sentence," I answered.

I just wanna save myself time. I'm interested in this, and have a couple more projects on my hands, but at the very least, try to fix these errors. I noticed them while skimming.


“C’mon, it can wait,” She strutted over to her husband, and draped her arms over his shoulders. “I need you.” She tilted her head, and began to sloppily kiss his face.

This would read:
""C'mon, it can wait." She strutted over to her husband and draped her arms over his shoulder. "I need you." She tilted her head and began to sloppily kiss his face."

But yeah, just mess around, ask me if you need any help.
 
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