Shriveled in his chair like a grape destined for mediocre wine, he looked at his wrist for the 12th time; three minutes later than last time.   The watch, a Timex, was a classic Timex watch Father’s Day gift purchased with love and pride and six month’s of baby-sitting money.  Black numbers on white face, the date feature required an additional month.  Before cell phones were routinely attached to belts, ears and a teenager’s busy fingers, wristwatches weren’t so much fashion accessory, they were necessary for telling time.

I wasn’t sure if he was anxious or eager for his appointment, and it was then he noticed me and smiled.  He told me I was the prettiest girl in the room and I looked like his daughter.  He extended his arm to show off the prized possession and explained how she had given it to him with “money she earned herself”.  His previously vacant expression illuminated with pride.

I turned away to hide the tears now filling my eyes.  He would be going nowhere today, though his broken mind told him otherwise.

For the 13th time he checked the watch I had given him decades ago; it was so well-worn, it now oddly resembled a hospital bracelet.


Fiction gleaned from the last 14 months of my father's life, this post's inspiration comes from the Father's Day ads filling my newspaper and mailbox, but it's mostly written for Novel Doctor's inaugural fiction writing contest.  His instructions:

All you have to do is write a scene in which a wristwatch
plays a key role. That’s all I’m gonna give you. The rest is up to you.
Write in any genre you want. Be funny or serious, scary or romantic.
Whatever. You have up to 200 words to create the most compelling scene
possible. I’m not looking for a fully-fleshed-out short story. Just a
single scene. Write something that will make your reader (me) hungry
for more.

There's still time for you to enter (deadline, midnight mountain time); a $40 Amazon or Starbucks giftcard is up for grabs along with a unique, {cough cough} highly-collectible Christmas ornament.  Even if you don't enter, be sure to check out his new site; it's full of helpful writing suggestions and provides insight into the mysterious world of publishing.

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