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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael Pratt on January 8, 2009
"Not sure who the watchers are and why this scene even ended up the way it is now. No ending to it. Just something I started. Just something to fill in writing time."

The Watchers

"What in the world are you trying to do?" John looked at his wife lying on the floor in a twisted pile.

"Well I was trying to walk." Mary replied as she reached for a hand up.

"Did you just start learning grace?" He snickered as he reached for her hand to help her up.

Mary looked herself over as she was brushing the dirt off herself. Everything looked ok. No cuts scrapes or broken bones. She wasn't sure what happened all she could remember was that she lost her footing like someone kicked her legs out from underneath her and she ended up on the ground. Could it have been the watchers? Maybe they were playing a joke on her. If it was, it wasn't very funny at all she could have gotten hurt. Mary found a bench to sit on the park. John followed and sat down beside her.

"Are you okay?" John said.

"Well I don't have any broken bones and I am still breathing so I guess I am okay." She replied rubbing her knee.

John stared at Mary for a few minutes and then looked around the park. There was a playground area with several kids playing on the jungle gym and their parents standing in a group close by watching and carrying on conversation. He saw one of the children standing at the top of the slide raising his hands as if he was announcing that he was in control of the playground.

"You know I have been thinking about our marriage. I feel as if we are missing something," John said as he turned and looked in Mary's eyes.

"What is that?" She replied.

John and Mary had been married for several years now. It has been a wonderful relationship doing what newly married couples do. John was a police officer for Kansas City, Missouri and Mary hosted a craft shop online selling various scrapbooking supplies and other odds and ends. She worked from home and enjoyed being her own boss and not relying on some higher up telling her what to do all the time.

"Well... I have been thinking. What would you say if I told you..." The was a long pause. "I wanted to have a baby?" He looked away not wanting to even see the reaction on her face after he said that dreaded b word.

Mary wanted to respond but the question just shut her up. She couldn’t even say a word there was just a short noise that exited her mouth and nothing more. It wasn't even a word at all just some sort of snorting noise. She didn't know what to think about the question. Mary looked across the park where all the children were playing. Could she even vision herself as a mother? She had the feeling she was being lead up to this. Was it even safe to have a baby with the watchers? Could she even deal with the weight gain or even worse changing that dreaded poopy diaper? Especially the type that ends up going up the back and all over. She experienced one of those on day while babysitting the neighbors baby when she was a teen and it wasn't pretty. It was like a bomb exploded and the smell! Oh the smell! She almost threw up. Mary never forgot. Everything went blank around her and she went in to a zoney stare into nothingness.

"Mary?" John looked over at her. "Did you hear what I just said? I said I want to make a baby,"

Mary snapped out of it shaking her head somewhat.

"Huh? What?" She said. "Oh... yeah... I heard."

"You’re not interested are you?" John’s continence changed to sadness.

There was a long pause as Mary looked in to John's eyes. She saw the disappointment in his eyes.

Mary let out a big sigh. "I don't know if I am ready for that John."

"Why not?" He replied. John felt like his whole world around him collapsed.

"Do we have to talk about this now?" She replied. "I mean I just fell and on the concrete and I am kind of sore."

She was trying to buy some time to delay the subject in hopes it would get forgotten. She watched the park and all the kids running around two of which ended up in a fight over some toy and the parents had to separate them. The kids and their parents left in separate directions as the mothers were pointing fingers an yelling at them for fighting. Me as a mother? I can't see it.

John stood up and walked to the edge of the sidewalk. Mary could see that he was disappointed. She sat on the bench quietly staring at John's back. John wanted a baby of his own bad. He felt as if he had did something wrong with here to cause her to feel this way. What did I do wrong? Was it something I said or did to make her say no like that? What if she really wanted a baby but somehow she found out that she couldn't have one? John's mind continued to process thought after thought to try and find a resolve somehow.

Mary stood up slightly sore from the fall and walked over to John putting his arm around his waist while looking to the playground. There was only two children and their parents there now. Dinner time was drawing near.

"I have always wanted a baby Mary. What is so wrong with that? Have I done or said anything wrong to make you not want to have one?"

"No, this has nothing to do with you. It's more complicated than that."

"Is it because you are not able to have one? If it is we can always...."

Mary interrupted.

"No John it has nothing to do with that. I am very well capable of having a baby. It's Just..."

"Just what." John was probing for the answer.

"It's just... “Mary withdrew the answer and didn’t want to tell John. Not just yet. "Say it’s dinner time and I am kind of hungry. Let's go and get something to eat and well will talk about this later. Okay? I promise."

John hesitated for a moment. At least the subject won't be dropped the thought. Mary is always true to her word.

"Okay. There is a nice quite restaurant just down the road. It's excellent food. We will go there."

John and Mary joined hands and headed down the sidewalk. Mary took another glance over at the playground and it was empty now. There was just the movement of the swings from the children that were playing there previously. Mary wanted more time to think this baby thing out. She still wasn't sure if John would even believe the story of the watchers if she told him. He would probably have her committed. But she knew the watchers were very real and very dangerous.

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