Matt King

author of The Circle War series


What's the hashtag for posting old stuff on Monday? #MemoryMonday? #MaybeTheyWon'tRealizeIt'sNotThursday?

Whatever. I was thinking about this story recently and I thought it would be neat to post what my earliest writing looked like. This sucker is OLD. It was done for a writing prompt contest at and it actually won. I should've retired while I was on top.

Reading it again now, I'm laughing at how clever I thought I was. Oh well.

Anyway, here it is, the first of many:



     I never even met the man. He’s been sitting here at my bedside for a while now, sometimes on the verge of crying, other times pretending to smile, and I don’t have the slightest idea how to react. “Would you like a Kleenex?” I ask him, but he doesn’t answer. I’m too old to 
be bothered by these things now. If he’s not going to say anything to me, I wish he’d leave so I can watch All in the Family. I found it on the dial just the other day. That Archie Bunker character really gives me the chuckles.
     I start to tell him about it—just to make conversation, you know?—and he tries to tell me that I’ve seen that show a thousand times already. He’s wrong, of course, but there’s no reason to make him anymore upset than he already is. I just nod and ignore him. Archie makes me laugh right from the start. “Get a load of him!” I tell the man, but he doesn’t seem to get the joke.
     Having him as a visitor, uninvited as he may be, reminds me that I miss my Linda terribly. I tell him as much, and he smiles, saying, “I know.” I doubt that he does. “I can almost smell that perfume of hers. Do you think she’ll come today?” I ask. He’s getting weepy again, 
but he manages to shake his head to answer “No.” “I miss her,” I say. “She makes me laugh.”
     One of the white-suited fellas comes by and tells the man he has to leave. He looks disappointed, but I don’t understand the reason. It seems like I make him so upset, I can’t imagine why he would come at all. “Have a good afternoon,” I call after him. He forces a smile 
at me and sets a picture frame on the table before he leaves.
     “Here you go,” the orderly says to me, throwing the frame on the bed. “Who is it of? 
Linda?” I ask. “See for yourself,” he tells me. It’s an older picture, by its looks, although I don’t recognize anyone in it. There’s a young-looking man with his arms around a handsome woman. 
Between them is child. It’s signed, “With Love, Your Son.”
     My son?
     I wish he’d come around more.

All site content © Matt King 2019. Background image by NASA.