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“Rubber Mallet.” ( short story)


With each swing of the mallet, I pound the spike deeper into the ground.

Anger, jealousy, envy, and hate fuels my swings but, I cannot stop pounding the spike more profoundly into the ground until my arm and shoulder begin to ache as tears and sweat streaming along my cheeks.

I hear the faint echo of voices rising above my delirious fog of emotions.

With a final blow, the mallet rests atop the covered spike, I’m exhausted, breathing heavy with tears and sweat dripping onto my hand and onto blades of grass next to my mallet.

I noticed indented marks on the grass around the spike revealing the imprinted marks of the mallet.

Suddenly, I feel hands on my shoulders, and a rub of my neck with a soft voice repeatedly saying. “It’s all-right daddy.”

The sound of a familiar voice overrides my mental haze punctuated with the word “Daddy.”

I open my eyes, turn face to recognize my daughters, ages 9, 12 and 14-year old twins with tears in their eyes.

The twins were rubbing my shoulders, my 12-year-old began hugging me, while my youngest used a towel to wipe the sweat and tears from my face, when she softly says.

Mommy is here with us, Daddy.

I thought to myself, this was our annual family camping trip to the beach, and our first without their mother, the love of my life and I realized, I was a widow, but never alone.

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