The Sound of Goodbye

It’s that time again.  Madison Woods “Friday Fictioneers” Photo-Prompt Flash Fiction.  I hope you enjoy my latest attempt!

copyright – Jennifer Pendergast

I heard her footsteps, still.  The clear, sharp crack of her expensive Domani heels placed with deliberate, angry precision on each hardwood step.  Chunk-POW. Chunk-POW.  All the way down.

Emotions spun and swirled within me, one part longing to chase her, to beg forgiveness; another part hating the thought of enduring that well-rehearsed drama again.

I finally stuck my head over the railing and called out to her.  “Jenna! WAIT!”

She turned, looking back up at me with a strange combination of hope and disgust.

“Here, you forgot this!” I called, as her wedding ring fell.  This time, she didn’t try and catch it.

By Steve Berven


32 thoughts on “The Sound of Goodbye

  1. Sandra says:

    I could sooo hear those footsteps. That really conveyed the anger in the scenario. I think he might have closure this time. Good one.

  2. I agree with Sandra that there’s a finality about this time. I found the opening sentence confusing (“I heard her footsteps, still.” Was he still hearing her footsteps as he’s telling the story? In thatcase, “I still heard her footsteps” would be clearer. This make me think you’re saying “I can hear her footsteps still”, which has a very different meaning.

    Based on the story, I think he made the right choice to finally end it.


    • Steve B says:

      I was trying to impart him having to listen to dramatic exit down every one of those stairs, subtly (too subtly perhaps) implying how long it took her to clack down allllll those stairs, floor after floor in glorious self-important martyrdom.

  3. Scriptor Obscura says:

    This is great. I could picture the whole story in my mind. Hear it too. Great imagery, sounds here are great.

  4. one too many times for both of them
    very well scripted

  5. Ouch..! Sounds like the last good-bye…

  6. All good things must come to an end; and bad things too.

  7. jwdwrites says:

    Very descriptive and tidy writing that didn’t feel truncated. I was there, I am sure. It felt so true that it could almost be a memory.

  8. denmother says:

    I like how you described the sound of her shoes and used the words spun and swirling to describe his emotion, which fit well with the twist and turns of the winding stairway.

  9. claireful says:

    I could really hear the sound of those shoes, all the way down…

  10. Ankita says:

    That’s so………. I can’t find the word really. Very moving.. The end of a marriage..woven into just 100 words.. Superb feat!

  11. Dear Steve,
    The shoes on the stairs…stellar description and paints a picture of the woman in a few words.
    One note…you seem to have a jarring change of tense within the sentence “Emotion spun and swirled….and the in the second part: I can’t stand…
    Good story nonetheless.

    • Steve B says:

      You know, that’s a good point. Trying to meld a first person narrative without it sounding like a narration.Hmmm.Maybe I’ll tinker a bit!

  12. I concur the determination of her leaving was felt in the sound of her shoes down the staircase. No second chances for either them.

  13. You conveyed all the mixture of conflicting emotions very well. Very realistic.

  14. Kir Piccini says:

    I love him dropping her ring to her, not wanting to deal with the drama anymore. This was so vivid, i could hear and see it. The sound of her shoes (for a shoewhore like me) was excellent.

    my first visit to your blog.

  15. Vivid and excellent.

  16. I could feel her disgust and anguish that lead to her walking away.

  17. Michael Fishman says:

    I’m guessing that since she didn’t catch it that her combination of hope and disgust turned all the way to disgust. Good for him! 🙂

  18. t says:

    I loved the descriptive nature, and the word choice overall.

  19. elmowrites says:

    Very vivid description in this piece. I can really hear those footsteps

  20. Joe Owens says:

    Very good depiction of the foot steps. She has given up hope and wants to continue no longer.

  21. elappleby says:

    This is good. Very good. Which is why I’m going to be picky about the only error I could find – an issue with tenses in this bit: ‘another part can’t stand the thought’ – I think this should be ‘couldn’t’ – do you agree (or should I go away quietly 🙂 )?
    Loved this, and am looking forward to reading more of your work.

  22. Very vivid and well painted. Feel like I was there. 🙂

  23. petrujviljoen says:

    Good description. Depicted something a lot of people must’ve experienced at one time or another.

  24. Dear Steven,

    Nice touch, the dropping of the ring and the hint at the amount of times they’d been through this. Good story.



  25. annisik51 says:

    “another part can’t stand the thought of enduring that well-rehearsed drama again.” This was the core of the plot, for me. The explanation behind the beginning and the motivation for the ending. Thanks for the read. Ann

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