Free Fiction: Welcome Home

~~Writing prompt from Mama Kat’s Losin’ It: Photographs can turn a house into a home. Share a photograph that is not on your wall, but should be…if you weren’t so lazy about actually putting it there.~~


Sandra kissed her husband, Parker on the cheek as she flew out the door on her way to work. As usual, she was running late. Someday she’d get used to this eight-to-five thing, but she just wasn’t there yet.

She slowly backed her car out of the garage of the house she and Parker just bought a few weeks before, and a framed picture leaning against the wall caught her eye. A smile formed on her lips and a tear fell from her eyes. The picture wasn’t anything special to anyone else, but it was one of the last things she had left from her teenage years.

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It was a photo she took of the pier on the beach—the one where her dad taught her how to fish, and where she went on countless dates years later. She snapped it on her last trip to beach before she loaded her life up into the back of her parents’ Jeep Grand Cherokee  and moved a thousand miles inland for college. Just months after she left, the pier had been torn down. In so many ways, that picture represented her past, where she came from, the mold from which she came. The last piece of home that she still carried with her.

Missouri was where she got a degree, a job, and where she fell in love—both with writing the news and with Parker. In that respect, Missouri was pretty damn cool. But it still wasn’t the sand-in-her-toes comfort of home.

I’ll hang that picture when I get home tonight, she thought. She actually said it when she noticed it every time she pulled out of the garage, full well knowing she wouldn’t. Whenever she came home from work she just wanted to kick her heels off and put her feet up while Parker made her dinner. Who could be concerned with pictures when she had that to look forward to?

When she got home that night, something about the garage was different. Had Parker cleaned it?

Climbing out of the car, she swiveled her head around and it dawned on her: the picture was gone.

He damn sure better not have thrown it away. Of course, Parker’s car was nowhere to be seen so it wasn’t like she could confront him about it.

Anger washing over her, she stepped inside the house and kicked off her shoes. “If he did throw it away, it’s your own stupid fault for not putting it up,” she said, trying to rationalize her irritation to the echoes in her living room.

Although the dress she was in was beyond comfortable, she loved summer maxi dresses, she decided she was going to go ahead and slip into her most comfortable pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt. It was her silent message to tell Parker not to mess with her—whenever she saw him again. He was always home when she got home, he didn’t go to work until seven, so his disappearance was odd and only added to the anger she wasn’t really doing a fair job of rationalizing in her mind.

She padded down the hall on her way to the kitchen, but she stopped in the doorway of her favorite room in the house. Hanging on the pastel blue wall was her picture from home.

“Feel like home now?” came a voice from behind her, making her jump.

She nodded.

His hand wrapped itself around her waist and rested on her bump. He kissed her neck before he whispered, “Welcome home. Both of you.”

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