shut the door (chapter 31, part 3)


the golden curtain a video by B.S. Wise on Flickr.

“Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”–Truman Capote

That sums it up.  Thanks, Truman.  

*

Drew pulled up Mae’s circular drive to the colonial façade, got out, and discovered that her key no longer fit.  She pushed the doorbell in the brass lion’s mouth several times before the door finally swung open and there was Holly wearing a shapeless charcoal sweatshirt, holding a huge roll of tape.   

“Oh, it’s you.  What do you want?  I’m busy.”

“Is she home?”  Drew peeked over Holly’s shoulder at the naked walls of the foyer. The Frida Kahlo rip-off stood with cardboard corners and a clear film of plastic against a wall.  “Redecorating?”

Holly shrugged.  “Needed a kid-friendly place.  Better security, no pool.  What do you want?”

“I just wanted to ask her something.”  At the end of the hallway, through the giant window, the pool glowed blue as ozone.  “Where is she, anyway?”

  Holly rolled her eyes.  “I’m just the assistant.  I don’t know exactly where she is at every moment.  Maybe you should give her a call.”

 “Holly, does she ever mention me?  Or was she just pretending?” 

Drew tried to counteract the whine in her voice with a big smile, while Holly’s mouth pressed into a line.  

“Listen.  Mae was extremely generous with you.  I should know because I wrote the checks.  Many talented people would jump at the chance to earn that kind of money but she took a chance on a nobody like you.  She saw something that no one else saw and it paid off for you both in the end, didn’t it?  Now I need to get busy, so if you don’t mind….”

The door was almost closed when Drew blurted out, “Are you her mother?”

Holly’s face was just visible in the crack of the door:  grey skin, drab hair, flat line of mouth.   Drew was sorry she asked.  Holly looked right into her eyes when she said, “Nobody’s Mae’s mother.  Mae made herself.”  And shut the door.  

*

“The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

“Bilbo: Have you thought of an ending?
Frodo: Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant.
Bilbo: Oh, that won’t do! Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after? 
Frodo: It will do well, if it ever came to that.
SamL Ah! And where will they live? That’s what I often wonder.” –JRR Tolkien

“I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door”.–Michael Ondaatje

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About girl in the hat

aka Anna Fonté, writer of novels, short stories, personal essays, and bits about the neighborhood crows. The things I write want you to look at them.

23 comments

  1. That Truman Capote quote is a killer. (Yes I said it. But it’s true.)

    Your finish feels good to me. Works wonderfully. Gives me just enough to chew on, and not so little that I’d want to smack you. You done good.

  2. Holly looked right into her eyes when she said, “Nobody’s Mae’s mother. Mae made herself.” And shut the door. POW!

    Wonderful thoughts, and dazzling video!

    • There are four parts to my ending. I hope that’s not too long. Trying to make them all go “pow!” A series of explosions? End with a bang?
      I love that video. It’s so dreamy. Follow BS Wise’s link and see many fabulous videos and images.

  3. Not with a whimper, but a bang! Well done!

  4. gailytr

    i agree, good ending. cut it off

  5. gailytr

    and i’m impressed by how well you’ve found pictures and quotes throughout the whole, i’s a complete presentation.

  6. “I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door”.–Michael Ondaatje
    You open a door by closing one…brilliant!

  7. ending with an open door, I like that… :)

  8. “Nobody’s Mae’s mother. Mae made herself.” Love This!

  9. I’m with the others. This is great. I really love that last line.

  10. (31B) (31C) 2&4&12B&24 9 (31A?) 29D 29A 29C 27C 26B 18A 14B 22 12A 18B 26A 20B&7&16A&16B
    14A 15A&15B 11 23C 3B 3A 19A&19B 29B 28&13&27A&23A&23B&21A&21B 20A 6 10 21C 25A&25B&8&17A&17B&5&1

    Mae is the eternal enigma it seems – just as magical and elusive as any muse – She strikes me as
    what that woman in the Awakening might have become had her time and place not restrained her.
    Redecorateing – ha, Mae is a shape shifter – like any great actor – sheading old aquaintence and
    leaving them in her wake like bedazzeled babbleing school boys after a fearie encounter in woods -
    their lives changed forever. Mea refuses to give up her secrets to me or anyone, she is truly a
    phemonon.

  11. “She strikes me as what that woman in the Awakening might have become had her time and place not restrained her.” Wow. That’s great. I wish I was the one that said it! *wink*

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