Ray’s Honeymoon – short fiction

short fiction, fiction, storyAmerican Short Fiction Magazine passed out a bunch of photographs at the AWP conference in Boston earlier this year and asked people to write a short fiction story about each. Having not written any fiction before, I figured it would be good practice. Although I wasn’t one of the finalists, I still liked it. Enjoy!


“Thelma, I keep photo albums of all of my children.”

“Bless your heart, Margaret.”

“It’s for my grandchildren. Since my four boys looked so much alike, I want their kids to be able to tell them apart…to know who their daddy’s were.”

“Makes sense. I even have a hard time keeping their names straight. They were all so handsome.”

“When they were little, they were so wild. I’d get all worked up and confused sometimes and I would just yell all of their names off in a row––John, Paul, William, Raymond––get-in-the-house-this-very-instant! I remember it like it was yesterday, Thelma.”

“Well maybe now that Suzie and Ray are married you’ll eventually have a few more little ones running around the house.”

“We’ll see. Suzie is a sweet girl, but I’m not so sure Ray wants to have any kids.”

“Oh Margaret…give them some time.”

“Thelma, I’m not sure you’ve been watching the television, but Truman was on talking about some conflict in Korea.”

“Where’s Korea?”

“Somewhere in the Pacific, I think.”

“What did Ray say?”

“He isn’t saying anything. Thelma…I just can’t have another one of my boys at war. I refuse to bury another one of my children. I know Ray thinks about his brothers a lot and what they left behind. Why did he have to pick The Navy? Why Thelma, why?”

“Margaret, I know this is hard on you. We can’t fault him for wanting to protect his country and be like his older brothers. That’s what our boys do.”

“I’m sorry that I brought it up.”

“It’s quite alright Margaret. Let’s look at William’s album. Remember when he took Betty to the prom? My Betty loved driving in his Chevrolet. She said it was cherry.”