Short Stories

Mary – Debbie Liebenberg (40 minute story)

Note: This story was created in 40 minutes in one of our writing sessions. The story is based on the following writing prompts: Picture 1: Pink, Blue and Purple pencils; Picture 2: Wedding couple

Mary – Debbie Liebenberg

In his darkest hour the only thing John could think of was his unconditional love for his wife Mary.

They had been married for ten wonderful years. High school sweethearts and inseparable from the first moment they saw each other. He remembers that day in high school: He wasn’t the smartest boy or the most handsome, so when Mary gave him the gift of ‘hello’ John felt special. He didn’t want much in life, only to make sure Mary was happy and never wanted for anything.

He remembers how she looked on their wedding day: He never imagined she could be anymore beautiful than before. The wedding photo he kept in his pocket simply didn’t do her justice. Then he thought about the day their daughter Lily was born, his eyes filled up with tears as he remembered his pride. His little daughter was the second best thing he had done in his life. Convincing Mary to marry him was the first of course.

As he wiped the tears from his face he looked down to see the students’ lifeless body lying in front of him. He was struck with pity as he bent down to close her eyes out of courtesy. ‘Why did you have to fight back,’ he whispered to her.

John’s mind quickly jumped back to this morning. He was going to tell Mary that he had lost his job at the factory due to downsizing. He didn’t know what that meant and it didn’t help him to find the words to explain it to Mary either. They’d been living off credit cards for months and now the bank wasn’t willing to help John anymore. He decided to tell Mary this morning but before he began to speak she said ‘Sweety, I need to buy some pencils for Lily’s first day at school.’

Johns heart sank,’ Mary I need to…’ before he could begin to explain, Mary jumped in with ‘oh John, they’re only pencils.’ John couldn’t bare to disappoint the love of his life so he said, ‘I’ll make a plan Mary’.

A few hours later he found himself following a well dressed student on her way to campus. She was talking loudly on her phone, and it was an iphone therefore John assumed she must have had a couple of spare coins for pencils. He tapped her on the shoulder as he said, ‘excuse me, do you have a few coins for me…’ and she shoved him away before he could say please.

His desperation and frustration took hold of the knife in his pocket and eventually, she stopped screaming.

And now he stood above her lifeless body.

He put his knife in his mouth as he searched her bag for her purse. He tasted her blood which made him gag and choke up but he kept searching. Finally a purse! He zipped it open to find…nothing.

His heart began to beat in his throat, and then it dawned on him…
what was he going to say to Mary?

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