Today, we learn the fate of our friends introduced to you in yesterday’s Micro-Fiction Monday.
BEWARE YOUR WISHES
By: Rachel A. Carrera
Two hours later, Samantha and the kids ambled through the art supply store. Samantha pushed a cart filled with numerous boxes of clay.
As they rounded a corner, Macie stopped short and excitedly pointed at a display. “Look, Mommy, paints! Can we get some?”
The other two kids chimed in. “Yeah, Mommy, please!” The three of them began jumping up and down around the display. Moments later, an easel came crashing down and knocked over dozens of glass baubles stacked across the aisle. SMASH! Bits of glass flew everywhere.
Samantha rolled her eyes and blushed. “What did I tell you three? Now look what you’ve done! Is anyone hurt?”
The days when Michael was alive and they spent every waking moment together was a distant memory. She could barely remember a time when she wasn’t both mother and father to three active children who demanded every moment of her attention. Ever since the funeral, life became more hectic by the day, and she had less and less time to relax. I just want seventy-two hours alone so I can sink my hands into some wet clay and forget about the world. Just one weekend with no kids and no responsibilities. Is that so wrong?
The kids all started crying as the store manager raced over to them. “Is everybody okay? I told that stock boy to stack these things better. I’m so sorry, ma’am.”
Samantha shook her head and waved her hands. “No, it was our fault.” She narrowed her eyes at the children. “Apparently my kids don’t know how to behave. I’m sorry.” She shook her head. “I swear, sometimes I’d give a million dollars just to have a whole day to myself without these three underfoot.”
The manager ignored her comment and helped guide the cart around the mess. “Well, don’t worry about this. If you’ll head on up front, Clarisse will check you out.”
She nodded. “Thank you. Kids, don’t touch anything!”
After they checked out, they headed across the parking lot to the car. As Samantha loaded the clay into the trunk, the triplets played by the driver’s door. Soon, they each pressed their hands on the window and their faces against the glass as they peered inside.
Samantha closed the trunk and huffed loudly. “Aww, what are you three doing now? I just had this car washed! Look, you got handprints all over the glass. Just, just… get inside.” She took a deep breath and rubbed her temples. After she buckled the kids in the back seat, she started driving.
Moments later, Macie grinned. “Hey, let’s sing the Teddy Bear Song!”
Rebekah shook her head. “No, let’s sing the Ducky Song!”
Marcus furrowed his brow. “No, I want to sing the song about the toy soldiers!”
Samantha grimaced and attempted to put her looming migraine out of her mind. Her knuckles turned white as she tightened her grip around the steering wheel. I’m never going to get this sculpture finished in time if they keep going at this level. Why can’t I just have some time to myself?
Macie clapped her hands loudly. “I know! Let’s sing all three songs together!” Soon, she and her siblings started singing three different songs at the top of their voices.
The muscles in Samantha’s neck tightened as she looked in the rearview mirror. “Would you three please be quiet! I swear, I’m so sick of all your noise and mischief all the time! Why can’t you just be quiet? You’re giving me a headache!” She momentarily squeezed her eyes closed, then CRASH!
* * *
Three days later, Samantha’s eyes groggily fluttered open. The bandage wrapped around her shaved head did nothing to keep out the cold. As she struggled to sit up, the sound of various machines, as well as the low, methodical sound of a ventilator, informed her that she was in a hospital. She attempted to speak, but the oxygen mask on her face prevented her from making a distinguishable sound.
A flash of pink caught her eye when a tall nurse in cotton candy scrubs bent over her and gently grabbed her shoulders, holding her down in the bed. In a cloying tone, she said, “Just calm down, ma’am. You’re in City Hospital. You’re going to be just fine. You were in a car accident.”
Samantha blinked her eyes, and the nurse removed the oxygen mask. Samantha struggled to take a deep breath, and her voice was raspy. “What… What happened? My children? Where are they? Are they okay?”
The nurse blushed, and her face grew grim. “Uh, I’m so sorry, ma’am. But, uh, they didn’t make it. All three of them died instantly on impact.”
Samantha gasped and felt herself grow faint. The room spun as she tried to digest the surreal news. “What? No! Not my babies!” Tears welled in her eyes, and she instinctively threw off the covers to raise her hands to her mouth. But as she did, she realized… Bandaged stumps were where her hands once had been.
Let’s chat: Have you ever experienced a “be careful what you wish for” moment? If so, what happened?