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The Struggle – Flash Fiction

March 3, 2016

for Jeremy’s Weekly Challenge: Picture prompt


Tenement Steps by Morris Wright

The Struggle

Emily sat upon the steps. Life was hard. Too hard sometimes. Since the bust, Johnny had lost his factory job. They moved into the tenement apartment shortly thereafter. Thankfully, the rent was cheap, but the place was a dump. Emily earned just enough to keep them fed with her laundry service. The few remaining wealthy people in the City still needed someone to do their wash.

She went over to the clothesline and unpinned a delicate nightgown. As she folded it, Emily daydreamed about her wedding night. She’d had such a delicate thing then too. Each fine piece of clothing reminded her of the past she gave up to marry a poor factory worker. For love, right? Now he was merely a broken man, in spirit and body. Daily drinking had robbed him of his youth. She sighed as she carried the basket up the stairs and inside.

News on the radio blasted in the kitchen. The factory was to re-open. She looked over at Johnny passed out on the sofa. Wrestled whether or not to tell him. Maybe she would just go back to St. Louis. She laid the beautiful garments inside her client’s trunk. Yes, maybe she would.

Β©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

(200 words)

  1. Wonderful story! It is very sad how her life has ended up.

  2. Great story. Beautiful writing style πŸ™‚

  3. Maybe this news will jolt Johnny out of his funk and get their life back on track. Or maybe he’s too far gone…

  4. I hope she makes the right decision and follows her heart, whatever that may be. Sad how life turns young lovers with all the hopes for the future in such different people.

  5. Taking the nightie with her of course !

  6. inkbiotic permalink

    Sad story, beautifully told.

  7. Excellent job. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Deb permalink

    I would go back too…I think. Great piece.

  9. And who could blame her. Nice job, Lori.

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