If you ever

change your mind

about leavin’– leavin me be hi-ind.

Oh-oh Bring it to me, bring your…literati! bring them on home to ME–the editor-in-chief!

(picture upper left is of an intern saluting the editor-in-chief as she is about to begin her train-ing)

And to add to your bank of trivia, I had the pleasure of seeing Sonny Terry (not to be confused with Terrie Relf) perform in of all places Heidelberg Germany.


Terrie Leigh Relf is the first of our three finalists to send me her entry for our Third Annual Victor Villasenor First Sentence Contest. Terrie, you will be pleased to know that I just stopped by Victor’s ranch and picked up a copy of Lion Eyes which you have already won for making it to the finals.

Terrie pointed out that all the finalists this time are females.  Could it be the editor-in-chief has women on his mind and has Freudian slippantly excluded more qualified males from the finals?  Moi?  Outrageous!

Here is her well qualified story.  Finalists are not judged by the first sentence that got them here, but by this stand alone story alone.  The prompt requires a dialogue and scene about leaving home, between 150 and 350 words.

Time to Move


the Relfster

“I’m moving out,” I announced, unzipping the red-and-black-plaid duffle bag on the bed.

“Is that so?” my mother asked. “Need help packing?”

I nodded, and she helped me select a few outfits and favorite books, toothbrush and toothpaste. I shrugged into my favorite red corduroy jacket, zipped up the duffle and walked to the front door. I didn’t expect my mother to ask me to stay. After all, my little sister, Amy, was two, then there were the twins, Zack and Freddy, not even walking yet, and mother was already pregnant again. There just wasn’t any more room in the house, and mother was probably secretly relieved I was finally going to move out.

While she didn’t ask me to stay, I was surprised she didn’t seem the least bit curious. That should have been obvious, though, I thought, seeing how she leaned against the doorjamb, one hand cradling the bulk of my unborn sibling.

Mother walked me outside to the porch where she gave me an awkward hug. I waved goodbye, then set off down the flagstones to the sidewalk. I paused at the corner, unsure whether to turn left or right. Right, I finally decided, as now that I was on my own, I  could go anywhere I wanted!

At some point while I reveled in the summer morning and my newfound freedom, I sensed someone following me.

I didn’t turn around, just kept on down the sidewalk.

Someone was definitely following me—and in a car.

I heard a car door opening, a woman’s voice calling out, “Would you like a ride?”

I whisked around to see a baby-blue Buick with my mother driving.

“Sure,” I replied, clambering into the front seat. Mother put the car in gear, drove down to the beach where she parked. We looked out at the sun shimmering on the waves. “Such a beautiful view, isn’t it?” Mother smiled.

“Okay. I’ll stay. But just for a little while longer.”

Mother nodded, smiled in that faraway look she had, one hand on her burgeoning belly, the other clasping my five-year-old hand.


The End

12 thoughts on “If you ever

  1. Tlrelf says:

    And inspired by a true story, too. Thank you, Thornster! 

    So, I already get the book for making it to the finals? Yahoo!

  2. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    Terrie, what I love about this story is that once begun it had to be read to its closing. There’s a humanness about it which so easily draws us in.

  3. Peggy Dobbs says:

    Terry, you surprised me! I was expecting the mother to want more help from an older daugher. It made me feel that this wasn’t the first time the mother had dealt with this precocious child, and probably wouldn’t be the last.
    Blessings, pd

  4. Peggy Dobbs says:

    p.s. Thorn,  I really like your choice of music! Homer use to get back in the bedroom where he had surround sound and play his Blues records as loud as they would go. He would have loved that by Sony Terry. He also liked Muddy Waters. pd

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