On the Last Day

bath, writing in the bathOn this dreary day, Thea wrote sitting in the tub, her favorite place for creating stories. Writing allowed her to sink into another world while candles lit the steamy room and bath bubbles glistened.

But Thea’s story was side-tracked when a knock at the front door roused her from the fantasy world she’d created of knights and lasses and a well-spoken dragon. By the second, louder knock, she dried herself off with a towel, grumbling that she could have stayed in the tub another half hour.

The third knock was obnoxiously insistent, so Thea pulled on her jeans and sweatshirt and stomped to the door.

“Yes?” she asked, irritation noticeable in her tone. 

“Dorothea? Dorothea Clark?” the young man asked. Since he was dressed like a chauffeur, Thea presumed the extra-long black Cadillac in her driveway was his.

“May I come in?” he continued, staring at her as if she was his long-lost mother. Thea swallowed at that thought. At 42, she could have a son this age. In fact, she did have a son this age – one that she gave up before she even noticed the color of his eyes.

“I don’t invite strangers into my home,” Thea replied holding the door tighter. His eyes were blue and his longish blonde hair curly. Thea touched her damp hair, which curled around her fingers.

The man’s Adam’s apple moved up and down in nervousness. Perhaps he’s a fan, Thea decided. As a bestselling novelist in the fantasy realm, she had many, particularly young people.

“I need ….”

“Ah,” Thea finished for him. “You want a signed autograph of my book.”dragon, fantasty story, blog

His face fell in confusion, blonde eyebrows shifting toward his long, straight nose.

Thea touched her own straight long nose, then pointed: “You’re holding my book, Dragons of the Night.”

The chauffer raised the book in front of him as if wondering how it got there. Then he turned it around, pointing to the photo of Thea on the back cover.

She peered at it, wondering why her publisher choose to use a decades-old photo. Her face was wrinkle-free then, blue eyes laughing, one hand moving a wisp of hair away from her forehead. On that hand glowed a golden ring that Thea no longer wore – the one engraved in the center with the words, I Live.

ring, memory, adoption, Raising his right hand in front of Thea, the young man showed off his gold ring, engraved in the center with the words, “For You.”

When Thea swooned, he caught her.

All that happened, more or less, on the last day Thea ever wrote in the tub.


Photos thanks to Pixabay.

124 thoughts on “On the Last Day

  1. Oh my gosh, the first laugh-out-loud of the morning! I am thinking it was the man she was going to marry…but they were cruelly separated by Grandfather Fate who had other plans for them in the interim.

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  2. I so hate a cliffhanger. I recently read a whole book that left me wondering in the end and refused to buy the one that explained what happened. I just can’t relate because I’m not the dreamy bathtub kind of person. Pragmatic to the core. Sure as hell takes the fun out of life. 😉 Next time around, I’m asking for a better imagination. 🙂 I so want to know the rest of the story. Please hurry.

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    • Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you hanging on the cliff, but seems that everyone who’s read this feels the same, so next (and last) installment on next Friday’s post! (And really, truly, try a long soak in the tub with a good book – it may change your world). 🙂

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      • I thought to myself after I sent the comment I came off too strong as you couldn’t see my smile or hear my giggle. I don’t mind short term cliff hangers but if I run into a 2 part TV show, I’ll tape part one and wait to watch it after I’ve taped part 2. A story should leave you wanting more but never leave the reader without conclusion of some sort. I know I like to read character driven series as long as the wrap up is satisfying. I love reading what you write and really want to read that conclusion or next chapter. I love to read in bed at night but rarely take baths. Always in a hurry and waiting. ;))

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        • I actually take your comments seriously and to heart. They are helpful. I think some people like cliff hangers, but most want at least some semblance of an answer to the ending. All of this has led me to the post about Thea that I’m writing (ending??) for Friday. 🙂

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  3. Awwww. That’s a lovely story. I love happy endings. I also love hot bubble baths. I’d prefer if is she had to get up out of a comfy chair. That hot bubble bath was “too much” to give up. But then the metaphor works better, hmmm? Nice one!

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    • Those of us who live in cold winter locales know that only a hot bubble bath can sink us into all-enveloping warmth again, Janet. And yes, it has to be something REALLY IMPORTANT to get us out of that bathtub, for sure. 🙂


  4. I think opening a door to a stranger is not a good idea. That “upped the tension for me already. What if he’d been (or maybe he IS) an axe-murderer? But then again, what if he’s not? I suppose this conversation couldn’t have happened through the peephole in the door…. And that ring….Oh dear, the tension!!! He wasn’t the pizza delivery boy, was he?

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  5. This was great–at first, I thought of “flash fiction” but all your fans would have wanted much more!
    Um-mm Pam—, how does one write in a hot bubble-bath without getting the paper soggy and the ink running? I’m usually too relaxed to lift a pen. . . . 🙂

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    • First, yes my plan was to make this a flash-in-the-pan flash fiction piece. But readers have another idea altogether, so I’ll try to give them some “satisfaction.” And I’ll have to ask Thea how she manages to write in the tub – I’m with you, I just read my Kindle in the tub with candlelight. 🙂 Oh, she just whispered in my writer’s ear that she uses a special bath tray that fits on either side of the tub. She’s very ambitious and probably doesn’t know how to relax in hot water. ;-0

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  6. Excellent! I can’t wait for the next part…

    I was reminded of an episode of – ahem – Red She Diaries – where the main character always wrote while soaking in the tub.. she wrote about her fantasies…

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  7. Hmmm…wrinkly skin and a tad older on the outside—but Thea’s heart beats as it did many years ago—what could be the secret in the ring she wore and the ring he had???
    Do tell, Pam, do tell!!!!!!! 🤔💍

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    • I always like to start my stories “in the middle,” as writers are encouraged to do. Who needs the boring intro stuff? I’m only hoping that the next piece of this story – which I’ll post this coming Friday – will live up to expectations. ❤

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  8. I can’t write in the tub, Pam, without getting everything soaked. Ha ha. But that’s beside the point. Great story and I want the rest. There’s some magic in the air? Some history to be revealed? A next chapter in Thea’s life? And why no more writing in the tub?

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  9. Oooh, this leaves me hungry for more…much more. My heart feels tender towards the blue eyed young man. His ring…was it the father’s? You create such rich context and depth in such a short piece Pam, so impressive. Love it. Blessings, Harula xx

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    • You’re funny, Kate. Yes, you and the others here are readers, but I get that they don’t want to be left floating around, not knowing what the heck is happening to Thea. So I’ll include “the rest of her story” (or a few reveals, anyway) for tomorrow’s post. I love that readers of our blogs allow themselves to get involved with our characters, and to care about them. Oh, happy day for me! ❤


  10. Pingback: The Ending of the Beginning | roughwighting

  11. Pam, you had me from the very first paragraph as I envisaged this unique writing place … and think I’ve been missing out! 😀 Oh, the pace of the story doesn’t let up whilst still being gentle. You raise so many questions and we understand there has been loss in Thea’s life and a child she never knew. Luckily for me your finale has just been posted – heading over to read!

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