I wrote this piece back in December 2009 for a website (that was then called, but no longer exists) Fiction 500. Fiction 500 was a website dedicated to the 500 word story. The maximum number of words was 500, and I worked and worked to make sure each one of them was necessary. This became a much longer novel-length (75,629 word/281 page) piece roughly titled New Year’s Eve, finished but as yet, fully edited. This is the jumping off point that started my story –
The dark shadowed her movements as Holly walked resolutely towards the edge. The wind, cold and wet, blew her straight black hair around her face. Strands whipped into her eyes and she pushed them back uselessly. The salty tears mixed with the rain as they ran down her face. In her black silk dress and red leather boots, the cold cut her to the quick. But her goal tonight would not be deterred.
At the small wall that ran around the roof she paused. The images in her mind assaulted her; the silver tie on the white carpet, the discarded shirt. A single gold stiletto sat on its side hidden under the bed as if kicked off in a fit of passion.
Holly placed one hand on the small wall in front of her and placed her foot on top. The twinkling lights of New Year’s Eve sparkled down below. The last day of December was a turning point. It was the time for a new beginning. Or an ending. She stood now, unsteady but determined, poised for fate’s hand to set her free.
The images weren’t the only things fogging her brain tonight. The sounds sent her stomach churning in revolt and she grabbed onto the rail of the fire escape next to her. She could hear them as clearly now as when she had been frozen outside her own bedroom door.
The other sounds, the ones she’d buried deep inside, would remain there. If they came forward now she’d take the final step to her destiny. She needed a few more minutes because once she did take that step there was no going back.
The faces of her children swam before her and instantly her eyes overflowed; this time with love instead of pain. Two cherub angels, they were too little to know what their father had destroyed. He had destroyed all their lives.
Charismatic and handsome; cunning and manipulative; intelligent and warm – they all described Conner Fairchild. The day he had slept with Kim, likely one of hundreds of times Holly reflected, he stopped being her husband and became a man she no longer knew.
Holly let go of the railing. “If you do this, he wins,” she thought.
Her father’s voice answered in her head. “You’re a strong woman Holly Martin. For your children, you have to survive.”
“How do I do this alone, dad? He betrayed me.”
“You’re not alone. I’m here.” She could get down from this rooftop and go home and hug her children. This didn’t have to be the end. Her mind decided again.
“Holly! NO!” Conner screamed running towards her. Startled Holly turned towards him. The heel of her boot slipped and before she could right her balance she felt herself fall over the edge. Her mind cleared as the pavement rushed up to meet her. She hoped her children would remember that she loved them.
More than her own life.