Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Writing Prompt: The Last Words

by Michael Webb

“I’m getting married,” she said, her voice sounding small in the dark,
as casually as she would announce a new pair of shoes or a poem she
had gotten into a magazine. I took a deep breath, then let it out,
because I read somewhere you should do that before reacting to

There was light coming from somewhere, probably reflected streetlight

coming through my one tiny window, and it made everything look
slightly unreal. Her skin glowed in the dark, the tiny shadows of her
vertebrae climbing away from me as she sat on the edge of my bed. She
was bent from the waist, feeling around on the floor among our
discarded clothes.

“Richard?” I said into the emptiness. She had found her underwear and

was pulling it up her long, trim legs, adjusting it around her hips in
that way women do. I knew the answer.

“Yes,” she said in a singsongy way. The uneven light revealed pieces

of her to me-a curve of breast, a flared hip, a bare shoulder-as she
rummaged across the floor. They had been on and off for 2 years-I was
usually her backup when they were "off". I knew she was his in the
end, but then I saw her, I made her laugh, she followed me home, and
we wound up here.

“But what about .....….this?,” I asked helplessly. She found her bra,

a tiny strip of black fabric and buckles, and began to assemble it,
first fastening it around her small waist, then pulling it up, making
tiny adjustments so it would fit properly. I knew she would grow old
and bitter with him-clinging to him out of obligation, not passion. I
had heard her spit it at him once, mid-fight: “I don’t even LIKE you!”

“A going away present,” she said. She pulled jeans up from the floor,

tugging them and wiggling to get them to conform to her shape. She
bent again, coming up with her loose sleeveless top. She pulled it on,
picking at it and tugging it until it hung the way she wanted. She
gathered her hair, then let it fall loose again. I wanted to stop her,
but my voice seemed to catch on something in my throat. She was gone,
shutting the door firmly behind her.

Fine, I thought. Let her explain why she was wearing my pants.

Michael Webb
blogs at, and thinks
that the best sneakers ever made were Pony's "City Wings", because who
says man was not born to fly?

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