Momma’s Boy

They said he had a “cold heart,” called him “distant,” called him”indifferent.” Called him a “heart-breaker,” they thought him a monster. It hurt, and he was happy to be hurt, happy that he cared about their opinions, as though he had proved them wrong – shown that he cared about something, if only himself.

His mother called him her little boy, called him “golden-hearted,” called him her “beautiful little man.”

It wasn’t his fault that none of them could hold a candle to her love, wasn’t his fault they couldn’t cook, couldn’t hold him, couldn’t keep house the way that she could.

He kept coming back, would hold her in his arms, single yet taken by his mother: frail and slowly dying in this veil of tears. The sudden assaults of this fast-paced world – “so unlike the old country, so far away,” she would whisper to him after each fresh injustice – the slow grinding of the glaciers of time, each new day another step closer, another step further away.

He held her in his arms as she lay slowly dying, held her in arms like iron, held her body as the warmth slipped from her, held her as he wept.

When he woke in the morning it was as if from a bad dream, and he ran to her bedside with her coffee in his paw, black as tar and twice as thick, just as she liked it. He ran to her bedside to see her – a hollow, empty shell in the widow’s black she’d worn for thirty years.

He felt the cold of death rise in his bones, knew the truth of it in that instant. Felt the cold in his now-empty heart, knew it would never be filled. “Momma,” he whispered, “Momma, I’m scared…”

Just a quick, exactly 300 word long short story for Trifecta who challenged us this week to use the third definition of the word “heart”: personality, disposition (a cold heart), which is, in hindsight, exactly how I used it. Hmmmmmmm… I also managed to use one of this week’s InMonprompts, single and taken. Comments and criticism always welcome, sorry I haven’t been responding this week, my Internet connexion has been shady at best…

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12 thoughts on “Momma’s Boy

  1. Annabelle says:

    By the end of this piece, there’s a terrible sense that whatever the mother’s life has been, her loss is going to take him somewhere very bad. I’m a little afraid to know what will happen to him now.

    • I’m not really sure what’s going to happen here, either…He feels to me like he’ll fly off the deep end, which feels a little unfair from out here – he’s had no other closee emotional connection with a woman other than the one who’s just left.

  2. lexy3587 says:

    wow, really vivid description of this character. I feel compassion for him, but also a kind of unease about his complete devotion to mom, no room for another person. Poor guy.

  3. Carrie says:

    the ultimate momma’s boy. Sad character, you can’t help but pity his devotion to her

  4. Christine says:

    Lexy put it perfectly – compassion with a kind of unease. That’s exactly what I felt. I like the phrase “the slow grinding of the glaciers of time,” especially with all the references to the cold (cold heart, warmth slipping away, cold of death, etc.) – it’s a shivery piece, to be sure.

  5. The loss is evident throughout this piece. Loss of possibility, loss of father, loss of hope. I was struck by the phrase, held her in arms like iron. Nice work. Thanks for joining in with us again. Be sure to come on back tomorrow for the new challenge.

  6. Wow, despite my general dislike of such “momma’s boys,” you make this one so likable, so relatable. Though, as others mention before me, you leave me with a sense of unease. What will happen if he snaps? Somehow I imagine him in court with a judge sentencing him to tear…down…the wall…

  7. Carrie-Anne says:

    Very well done! I loved the imagery you used and the dark, creepy moods you evoked. Your character makes my so-called fiancé look normal!

  8. […] Momma’s Boy by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Literary […]

  9. Aaron says:

    This guy seems on the verge of some terrible deeds, with little to bring him back from the edge. Pretty powerful character to create in such few words. Nice job.

  10. evenstarwen says:

    Yep, he’s made most of us uneasy here. I feel sorry for him, but also scared of him, of what he might do. The description in the first paragraph shows he can act like an adult, if a dysfunctional one. He can affect other people, even break their hearts. But his childlike and complete devotion to his mother on the other side of the coin adds a bit more danger. What will this man-child do, with the resources of an adult and the maturity of a little boy who lost the only person who can keep him in line?

  11. I’m quite worried for this man-child as well. But I fear a judge may be in his future…

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