Saving Happiness

Friday Fictioneers
Copyright Claire Fuller

Casey handed the death certificate to the vault matron in exchange for the safety deposit key. Baffled, her father was not the type of man to have secrets, she allowed a few tears and sorted through his memories: two sets of dog tags, an unused train ticket to Denver dated June 4, 1943, a tiny gold wedding band and a photo of her father in dress blues smiling and embracing a beautiful stranger in an Army Nurse Corps uniform. Casey smiled at his happiness, glad that there was no one left to ask. She closed the box on his past and wondered if she ever really knew her father.

For more flash fiction @Friday Fictioneers drop by the library of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields here.

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Sometimes what’s left would read like a riddle.. this is like the beginning of a story digging into the secret family history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bjorn,
      Yes, it’s on the list of great ideas to write about. Sadly, my ideas never write themselves. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Glad to see you,
      Tracey

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Tracey,

    It seems that your muse is back with bells on. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I found it ironic that the daughter was glad there was no one left to ask. If it were me I’d be burning with curiosity. I felt like I was right there going through the items in the box. Very well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t want to know my parents secrets but perhaps that ambivalence is the cornerstone of a bigger plot for Casey.
      Tracey

      Like

  3. This is bitter-sweet – just like real life.
    Nicely told and the start of a longer piece?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe so Patrick. Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

      Like

  4. Nancy Miller says:

    It’s a great start! If I ever disappear in mysterious circumstance and they look at my novel notes in my phone . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll follow the trail my friend, unless you don’t want to be found. Please put all the clues it there. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. draliman says:

    Quite a moment for her. I loved “glad that there was no one left to ask” – she can allow her imagination to fill in a happy story start to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure we are supposed to know everything about our parents. I’m comfortable not knowing my father’s secrets.

      Like

  6. mjlstories says:

    I agree with others here that this feels like an intriguing opening to something bigger.
    (But you’re right – these things don’t write themselves. I have a lot of ‘openings’…)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is excellent Tracey, a lot of emotion and mystery in this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy. The more I re-read it, the more mysterious it becomes. I wondering, why is she so ambivalent?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a very good question! She did seem to not care one way or the other.

        Like

  8. micklively says:

    Do we ever really know anyone (including ourselves)?
    Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mick. Maybe we never do know ourselves. It’s worth asking ourselves occasionally.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hadn’t thought of this picture suggesting safety deposit boxes, but that’s such a great idea – so many options with those. And I love this story. Sounds like her father might have had a marriage she didn’t know about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Archon's Den says:

      We later found my grandfather had. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Sometimes it’s better not to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So is this based on a true story?

        Like

      2. Archon's Den says:

        Not mine – but probably someone’s. ๐Ÿ˜•

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m wondering myself. I think they were supposed to marry but never did but I’m not sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Tracey,

    I have been thinking about how to tell my son about events similar to those in your well crafted story. Perhaps it is better to not ay anything. Oh, and, your muse? Back in style.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mahalo Doug,
      My father started revealing his secrets in the last year of his life but we don’t always know when that will be. If it’s important for your son to know then tell him now. Only this moment is guaranteed.
      Glad to see you back at FF,
      Tracey

      Like

  11. My father’s a complete mystery to me. Not sure I need to know what he got up to in the 60’s!

    Rosey Pinkerton’s blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right Rosey?
      After all they were the psychedelic ’60s. Did the UK, “tune in and turn on?”
      Best let Dad keep those secrets.
      Thanks for commenting

      Like

  12. rgayer55 says:

    I’m proud to say I’ve hugged a lot of pretty women without it going any further than that. However, I loved the fact that there was opportunity to read more into your story. I can certainly relate to Casey. It was a hard day, with many tears, going through my mother’s stuff six months after her death.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, bitter sweet but I loved my parents old photos.
      Hugs,
      Tracey

      Like

  13. Oh, how beautifully told. I could see it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lorna. Knowing you, you would have found the perfect photo to go with the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like my photos…or someone else’s photos. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful sense of discovery that there may have been more enjoyment in the life of a parent or loved one than we knew. Something I think most of us wish for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perry,
      That’s how I see this too. Do you have secrets (or tats) that you don’t want your son to know about? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      T

      Like

  15. gahlearner says:

    This is so beautiful, and true. Parents are parents, not people, until they aren’t there any more. I can very much relate, there was a lot I only learned after my father’s death. If you’re in a happy family, maybe it doesn’t matter so much. But if you’ve been fighting often and didn’t get along–learning about your parents’ life and things that shaped them can shed a completely different light on these conflicts. Sorry for being so long-winded. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Our parents are shaped by many events that we could never witness as their children. This is a fascinating conversation – Do we ever really know our parents as people? This space is free so never hold back your words. I love your comments.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sandra says:

    As someone said, do we ever really know anybody? A lovely nostalgic piece Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandy. As Mick asked, “Do we even know ourselves?”
      I think not.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Even without any of these mysterious clues I found that there was so much i didn’t know about my father. I hope my blog helps my kids to know me better when I am gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My father revealed different pieces of his past to my sister and I in his last year of life. We have just recently started comparing notes. Now we are trying to understand why he told each of us different chapters. It’s a mystery.
      Tracey

      Like

      1. Well THAT’s interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Dale says:

    I would so want to have someone to ask! All those unanswered questions burning a hole Inside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      You and Rochelle want to know and Amy and I want secrets to stay secrets.
      ๐Ÿ™‚
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        Funny how that works!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Amy Reese says:

    I know the feeling of not wanting to know and letting things be and rest as they do in a photo. Sometimes, we don’t need to know everything. Nicely done, Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy,
      Sometimes the past is best left in the past but it makes for good discussion.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Margaret says:

    I wonder how often this kind of thing happens. I think our parents are the people who we know the least, despite the fact that they are often the people who love us most, and know us best. Maybe that’s how it has to be. I love this story. I’ll be pondering this one for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. It looks like her curiosity is being stifled by fear. Everyone ~ well most people, if you come from a somewhat normal family ~ want to think their family is perfect. The photo is showing her that perhaps it was not. WOW … I just made up my own interpretation. Sorry .. but that’s what it seemed like to me. I loved the way you wove something so powerful out of a very simple image.
    Your great … !!!
    Have a Great week …!!!
    Isadora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That probably is the case with this character. Thank you Isadora.

      Like

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