Suppertime- Flash Fiction

Updated on January 16, 2020
always exploring profile image

Although this is fiction, I knew the love and struggles of a large family.

It's been years since I've returned to the place of my birth. I've really never had the desire to come back, but lately I felt the need to see the home that harbored my mama and twelve children. My daddy unknown to me, he left soon after my birth.

I'm standing here with tears flowing, looking at the old abandoned church where we went every Sunday, rain or shine. My mother, brothers and sisters all buried here among the dead grass and beautiful wild blue flowers.

The older kids walking on an old dirt road to a one room schoolhouse. They trudged through rain, ice and snow because of mama's favorite saying, " To have a better life, you must get a good education. "

We were a happy family. I have memories tucked away of days filled with laughter and tears.

Twelve children sitting around an old worn kitchen table eating mama's delicious fried chicken and homemade biscuits.

In the summertime we'd swim in the most beautiful blue lake, It belonged to our neighbors who were wealthy. The boys worked for them in the summer, plowing the fields, feeding the livestock etc. Mama worked for them too, cleaning and cooking,

The older kids left as soon as they graduated, moving to different parts of the country to find good paying jobs.

They all married and had family's of their own. They would come back to visit at least once a year in the summertime, and we'd have a ball, swimming in the lake, going to church, and best of all, sitting around the old kitchen table, eating and talking about the good times we had growing up.



As for me I want to move back to our old homestead, do some major repairs on the house and see that the church grounds are well taken care of, and when my time comes to meet my Savior, I want to be buried beside my mother.

I wish it was warm enough to go swimming in the lake. I would don my bathing suit, make a basket lunch and swim in the bluest lake I've ever seen. I can hear the kids now, screaming with glee, diving into the water, yelling " I'll beat you to the other side. " I can almost hear the water splashing as they all jump in hoping to be first to reach the shore.

Then if I listen carefully I hear our mama yelling, " It's time to come home kids, it's suppertime. "

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    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 days ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Peggy. I'm so pleased that my story brought back your own memories. What more could I ask for? Thanks so much.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 days ago from Houston, Texas

      What a delightful story, Ruby! Reading it brought back childhood memories of my own. Thanks!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna, you are correct, there is much of me in this piece. I must confess that I didn't participate in the fun times, but they told me stories which I loved. By the time I was born the older ones were married and had children older than me. I am always happy when you visit. Hugs...

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello Ruby --

      So sorry I'm late. I loved your story...there is much of you between the lines, my friend. The love that was shared and the memories of those days are just beautiful! Thank you for this. It made my day. Hugs.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann, so nice to see you. Thank you for the lovely read comment. Happy you enjoyed this piece of nostalgia.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 weeks ago from SW England

      Beautiful, Ruby. You recreate the past with a gentle style and vivid scenes. This was a lovely read.

      Ann

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Verlie. It's so nice to see you again. Thank you for reading and commenting on this piece of nostalgia.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar. Your comment is so sweet. Thank you for believing in me. Luv and Hugs.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. Thank you for a lovely comment.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      4 weeks ago from Canada

      Hi Ruby, I love how you recreate scenes from a precious childhood perspective, and convey the longing to return to that idyllic time.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      4 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      Your writing style pulls me in on every sensory level.

      This story is a breath of fresh air, just as you are.

      Love, mar

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 weeks ago from london

      A beautiful piece! Rich in it's simplicity yet holding the readers attention as you do through the family history and beyond. Lovely!

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello William. Like I told Brenda, it is fiction, but there's a lot of me in this piece. Did you have a big family and live on a farm? Memories are wonderful. I'll never admit that I was spying on you. lol Thank you much..

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Brenda, it is fiction, but there's a lot of me included. I was the last of 12 children, although they were all older, I heard stories and the memories will last a lifetime. Thanks so much for coming to read and comment.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Doris, I hope you do write about the lake. I love to read about times past. Thank you for coming back.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Eric, a second read! Thank you. It seems we share much the same childhood, some happy time mixed with some sadness, Thanks again..

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I think you just described my life, Ruby, Have you been spying? Nice touch of Nostalgia, a fun read, Ruby! thanks for allowing us to see another time.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      4 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      Ruby,

      Although you say this is a work of fiction it rings so true with one's heart.

      Remembering the good ole days when one was young. Visiting the old homestead with dreams of fixing it up.

      Taking a swim...all great memories.

      Wonderful little story. Thank you for sharing.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Ruby, I have beautiful photos of my husband's grandparents' lake that I took in 2017. I didn't think we could post photos in the comments. Maybe someday I'll write a hub around the lake. We didn't have a lake on my grandparents' farm. We had a large pond for the livestock and a beautiful creek in which we swam and fished for perch.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well worth coming back for a second read. So much here reflects my life. So wonderfully written thanks a bunch.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Doris, so glad you could relate to this story. It is fiction, but being one of 12 children made it easy to write. The memories will be with me forever. Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I wish you has that picture too.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Chris, I'm happy that this piece has brought back memories of your childhood on a farm. Being one of 12 children, I used some memories writing this. Thank you.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Ruby, I love your story so much. It brought tears of memory of my grandparents' farm to my eyes. But my childhood wasn't similar. I was an only child until I was seven and then my mom produced two siblings.

      The lake photo fascinates me, too. It is almost identical to the lake on my husband's grandparents' farm where he grew up. I wish I could post that photo here so everyone could see.

      What we have in common is the happiness a lake like that can bring to those of us who were privileged to experience it on a rural farm.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. Yes, memories are wonderful. Being poor robs you of things, but memories live within your heart. Thanks for coming to read this piece and commenting.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Devika. Thank you for the amazing comment. So happy you enjoyed.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Pamelia. I agree. When you're a kid growing up, the things that are important is love, happiness and togetherness. Thank you much.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. When I first started to write I was using your prompts, then I realized that I couldn't come up with 1000 words, so I downloaded different pictures. I have all the pictures in my photo collection. I am going to check to see the lake picture I used, maybe it is yours. Anyway thank you for the inspiration, So glad you liked this one.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      4 weeks ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

      Ruby, That makes me think of our home growing up. I've thought before how nice it would be to go back and work the farm. Thanks for inspiring the memories.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful story, Ruby. The narrator lived a comfortable life with no regrets, just good memories.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello again John. I could never write a novel because my muse loves to write poems and short pieces only. I do admire anyone who can write a book. Thanks for coming back.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. I agree, being rich in spirit is the key that unlocks the door to happiness, Thank you for a sweet comment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Ruby a well-written story and with a great meaning back down memory lane. Enjoying oneself with what one had. Just amazing!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a beautiful story, Ruby. You really wrote about the basic needs and wants we all have with our good memories.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad the challenge spurred you on to do this lovely flash fiction. Weird that picture appeared online. It looks so much like the one I used in the prompt. Anyway, I loved the story.

      Have a great weekend, my friend!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Ok Ruby, thanks for explaining that. I often have trouble coming up with 1000 words for a story too. What a coincidence you and Bill finding the same lake pic lol.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      4 weeks ago from Jamaica

      a beautiful story about life and living. You dont have to be rich in money. But rich in spirit.

    • always exploring profile imageAUTHOR

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi John, this was inspired by Bill's challenge, but I didn't enter the challenge because he wanted a 1000 word count. I just couldn't come up with that many words. The lake is not one of his prompts. I found it on lime. Thanks for coming and the good job comment.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Ruby, this was a lovely melancholy and feel-good story. I see it was inspired by Bill’s photo prompt challenge but you chose to only use the lake photo. Good job.

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