Flora’s Diary is a new historical fiction short story I’m working on, set in the countryside outside Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1948. Any historical tidbits mentioned in the story are true facts, except for Mr. Franklin who is a fictional addition. The conversations that take place and Flora’s thoughts and actions are all fictional creations from this author’s brain as she tries to honor Flora and keep her memories alive. Dear Flora, please excuse me if I’ve erred in any way in this historical re-creation.
I’m proud to be part of a group of authors that write for Tuesday Tales. Every week we write story snippets to a word prompt. Once a month we have a picture prompt. This week we write to the prompt ‘blue.’
With a jumble of thoughts racing around in her head, she soon drifted off to sleep.
The next day Margie walked into the kitchen where Flora stood washing the breakfast dishes. “Mother, would you mind watching Stug this afternoon for a few hours?”
“Not at all. You know I’ll always tend to any of my grandchildren. You have something planned?”
“Donna Mae said she’d drive Virginia and I into Springdale to go see a show.”
Flora rinsed the last dish and sat it on the drying rack. “What show?”
“Out of the Blue.”
“That’s an old one. You father and I saw that months ago.” Flora stayed in motion drying and putting away the clean dishes the entire time she chatted with her daughter. She wasn’t one to just sit and talk. She had to stay busy. There was always chores and household tasks to be done.
“I know. Edwin and I saw it in Florida when it came out. I really wanted to go see Road to Rio. But Donna’s driving, so she got to choose.”
Putting the last dry plate on the stack, Flora draped the damp flour sack dish towel over the edge of the sink. “You go have fun with your girlfriends. Your father and I will watch the boy. Besides, your vacation here is about up. Edwin will be wanting you back home soon.”
The days passed. There wasn’t time to be bored. Even though it was frigid outside, life didn’t stop. Flora and Al attended their regular church services. Grandad stopped by once a week to visit Margie and Stug while they were visiting. If neighbors weren’t stopping in to see Flora and Al, they were stopping in at the neighbors houses.
One day Edwin called from Miami to talk to Margie. “Guess Stug and I will be going home shortly,” Margie reported to her mother.
The next day, Thord, Margie’s older brother, drove in from Ft. Smith to pick up Margie and Stug and took them back home with him for a few days. Their visit didn’t last long. Margie’s husband called after she’d been at Thord’s house for a few days. “Edwin’s sending me the money go home. I’ve got to get back to Mom’s and start packing.”
Two days later Flora’s other son, Wade, picked Margie and Stug up at the bus station and drove them to their parents’ house.
On January 16th, Flora wrote in her diary:
Margie washing, ironing, packing to go home on a plane from Ft. Smith. She can take only 2 bags. Shipping the others.
The next day, Flora had something entirely different to write:
January 17th: Wade came out at noon after us to go to Ft. Smith to catch a plane for Miami Sun. Marg got the $100, but he wired not to come.
Flora didn’t mind. She enjoyed having her daughter home for a visit, and especially little Stug. But then, plans changed. Again. That night she wrote:
Edwin wrote he had a house for Margie to come on down. Iron & wash. Wash & iron. Mop. Margie tell them good by then don’t go.
The next day as she served Al his coffee in the morning, Flora peeked into the living room to make sure Margie wasn’t up yet. “I just wish he’d make up his mind,” Flora grumbled. “Come home. Don’t come home. Here’s the money. No. Don’t come home yet.”
Al merely shook his head, a bemused expression on his face. “Now, dear, don’t go getting all riled up. That’s all between Margie and Edwin. Let them figure out their own affairs. After all, we never wanted people getting all up in our business when we were newly married.”
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