Trifecta 87 – First Love, Only Love

t87‘You are invited to the reading of the last will and testament of Charlie Duffin,’ said the letter. Louisa-May had barely seen Charlie in years: he’d upped and left her back in ’65, leaving three kids and his ageing mother. He’d show up from time to time. No matter how angry she’d be he’d always win her round.

‘Charm a crab out of its shell. That’s you Charlie Duffin,’ she always used to say. He’d stay for a few nights and sometimes it looked like things may go back to the way they were. They never did.

As she sat in the lawyer’s office others began to arrive. Louisa-May knew he’d remarried; Charlie hadn’t contested the divorce. Three more recently bereaved women soon showed up. A fourth had died: drunk herself to death apparently. As the lawyer began eyebrows were quickly raised.

‘The following conditions apply to any beneficiaries of this will….’

It was a long list. Look out for his youngest kids was one. Tending to his old mother’s grave was another. One by one the former wives cursed Charlie’s name before storming out. Charlie knew they would. After a dozen or so more conditions were announced, only one Mrs Duffin remained. The lawyer continued:

‘If I’m right the only one of you still listening will be my Louisa-May. Are you there Lou? Louisa, I’m sorry for all the hurt I caused you girl. Sorry for leaving you with them kids and my crazy old mother. You know you were the only one I really loved. Them others? That was my ego getting the better of me. You knew how much I couldn’t resist laying a line on someone. Got me in a right mess at times. Please forgive me Louisa. Please don’t think bad of me. Whatever I had left is yours. Love Charlie.”

The lawyer stopped; Louisa-May smiled. She wasn’t interested in any of Charlie’s old possessions. She had their shared memories, good and bad. She didn’t need anything else.


These 333 words form my entry into the Trifecta 87 writing challenge. I hope you like them.

26 thoughts on “Trifecta 87 – First Love, Only Love

  1. electrasmoped

    Great piece Paul, I like the way the dead person speaks to his wife at the end. Very accomplished! You should try your hand at longer things you have got the talent!

  2. freyathewriter

    This is lovely, if personally a little difficult for me to read right now. But then as the lyrics go, I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all.
    Very well written, his voice was well-captured from start to finish.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to read and comment on my story. Sounds like you have things infinitely more important than writing on your mind. As always I’m sure time will be the best healer. If some reading can also help then I’m flattered that you would choose to read my tale. Take care, PaulC.

      1. freyathewriter

        You’re welcome, Paul, I find writing and reading cathartic, and always have. I think it’s a bit sanity-saving, in some respects. You’re fiction short was good for my soul.

  3. Annabelle

    Sounds like a difficult guy; nice to see at least a little self-awareness at the end. It does make me wonder what Louisa-May’s been up to in the mean time, though!

  4. Draug419

    Aww that’s sweet in an odd little way! It’s funny how we don’t realize how much another person may know us.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for commenting Draug. Interesting you use the word “odd” as I’m currently reading Stephen King’s book “On Writing”. He may well inspire me to get even odder in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

  5. lovelylici1986

    Very nice! His knowing reminds me of a silly tv show I watch – The Goodwin Games. Funny how we can anticipate the reactions of those we love and know well, isn’t it?
    I wonder if she took the possessions and followed through, or just left, satisfied that she was the one.
    -Alicia Audrey

  6. Bryan Ens

    Poor Louisa-May – a bit of a sucker til the end. I agree with the others…you captured the voice of the deceased very well.


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