Red, A short story
I am doing a prompt that I got from the awesome Magic in the backyard blog. It was for Free Write Friday...BUT me being me I didn't actually take a look at the prompt until about twenty minutes ago...and this is sunday. This is a short story, hope you enjoy. (I haven't written a story in ages, AND wrote this really quick, sorry if it sucks!) The Prompt:
You are cleaning out your attic when you find an old dusty box you’ve never noticed before. You open it to find stacks of hundred-dollar bills and a note that says, “Here’s your cut, see you in Mexico”. There is no signature. Start writing whatever floods your mind at this thought and tell me a story…
I chuckle silently to myself as my fingers trace over the long ago dried ink on the letter I found inside the box. Of all the things to find in this attic today...well it could be worse. I remember watching his hand as he'd write his name on bills and thinking how when we married, I too would cross the T's of our last name with the same loop. He always joked about running away to Mexico one day. He'd say "Lexi, you and I just need the sand beneath our toes, the culture in our hips and the tequila on our lips" and I would just laugh and hope. Every Sunday we'd go for a drive in his beat up old mustang, I mean this car was ancient with peeling red paint and dented chrome details but he loved it, so I did too. Secretly that is. I used to tease him about it, saying one day we were gonna get trapped inside because the seat belts liked to stick or that we'd wind up stranded on the side of the road halfway between home and Mexico if we ever did decide to go. "Alex", I'd say, "We have a car that WORKS, two actually maybe we should use them instead." But he was a man who loved what he loved. He loved me but not enough to let me talk him out of taking old Lucy the mustang out every time we took a trip.
The money in the box looks new but I know just how many years they've been here. I pull out a stack, flip through the bills so that a small tuft of air gently touches my face and I imagine it's his breath. For a moment I picture myself grabbing a huge arm load of the cash and tossing it up around me like they do in the movies. I'd be laughing and jumping around inside the shower of money causing such a commotion. Reality is; I'm silently here in the attic of the house Alex and I brought a few months after he proposed to me, sitting in front of a dusty old box filled with hundred-dollar bills, alone. I sigh, take a deep breath, place the note and money back inside the box and close the lid.
We never made it to Mexico, Alex and I. The cancer spread quicker than the doctors expected. He told me, the night we married that no matter what I had to sink my toes in the sands of the beach in Mexico. Said that if I didn't get dunk off a bottle of tequila with the waves reaching out to me that he'd haunt me. The eve before he died he made me promise to go there, that I could find him in the beat of the music drifting toward the shore, and in the air around me. I've avoided the trip for three years now, hoping he'd stay true to his word and come back to me, haunting me- but he hasn't. Or at least I thought he hadn't. Until now.
With the box and my suitcase tucked safely in the trunk and my husbands ashes safely secured in the passenger seat, I set off south. Headed toward Mexico and the sand Alex never got to feel. I know he'll be safe beside me, after all, old Lucy's seat belts like to stick.
Make sure you check out Kellie Elmore's blog for awesomeness like writing prompts, poetry and more!