General Fiction posted December 15, 2018

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a contest entry

59 years in 150 words

by Mark Valentine

I am sitting outside my mother’s room, listening for a sound, wondering if this day will be her last.

I first came to know her fifty-nine years ago. We lived in a rough neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. Life was baseball cards, penny candy, and playing in the street until the streetlights came on. And fights – at first harmless, later deadly. We moved in 1970.

She sent me to college (first in my family). There I rediscovered Catholicism. I thought about being a priest until I met a girl who had thought about being a nun. We got married and had three children. That’s when my life truly began. They were my ticket to the Dance ("the Dance” being love).

They are in college now themselves, but will return home next week for Christmas. It will be a full house: Maggie, the kids, and I, sitting outside my mother’s room.


Your Life in 150 words writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write the entire story of your life in no more than 150 words. You can be experimental, creative, funny, serious, provocative, reflective, whatever style you best feel represents your life. You must write about your entire life, not just a moment of it. No poetry (too easy). No fiction (YOUR life), although metaphors are acceptable so long as they are directly interpretable to be about your life. You'll be surprised at what your life looks like in 150 words...
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