Short story: A good dinner (part II)

sean-fallon

Normally I start with my story first, but this week I thought I should start with a short explanation. Last week I wrote about Ingrid and her partner who goes out to dinner without her and then goes with a prostitute.

The cad! The rotter! Everyone wrote in the comments. And they were right – I created an absolute shit. But I wondered whether this week I could change readers’ mind about the man (Rex), to find out whether when they had more facts they could forgive him.

So, if you’re interested in my experiment you can read last week’s story here (if you haven’t already). And then read this week’s below. There are a lot of stories to read each week so if you don’t have time or can’t be bothered, then hopefully this week’s story should still stand alone.

Enough, on with the story:

When Ingrid’s vomiting had passed and Rex had left for dinner (best suit, aftershave – he would return smelling of sex and she was grateful), she used the pregnancy test. She knew the result before the small red cross knew itself.

In front of the hotel mirror Ingrid practiced: “Rex, I’m pregnant,” and “We both know it isn’t yours. I’m going to keep it. I’m sorry.” She didn’t sound sorry. Ingrid knew that whatever she said it would break him.

For the rest of the weekend, she waivered, until on the flight home Ingrid simply said “I’m having another man’s baby.”

***

For those who don’t know how Friday Fictioneers works, this picture, supplied this week by Sean Fallon is our inspiration for our weekly online writing group hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to read other people’s amazing stories or to join in. And please comment below with any suggestions for improvement on mine.

51 thoughts on “Short story: A good dinner (part II)

  1. Pingback: Short story: A good dinner | W O R K S

  2. Dear Claire,

    It does appear there are two sides to that story. This one made me feel a little more compassion for Rex. Theirs is a match made slightly lower than heaven. A well written and well timed story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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  3. Tried to post a comment just now. Didn’t work….sorry, here it is again:

    I very much like the idea of keeping our interest from last week to this, with the characters’ relationship hanging in the balance. Highly intriguing!

    But to my mind, he has done nothing to redeem himself. Her prior, asinine behavior does not excuse his visiting a prostitute on their vacation–while she is apparently ill, no less!

    As for her, she is “grateful” that he was with a whore??? She’s just plain nuts.

    Although she’s made a brave and lovely choice to keep the baby, you may need a third installment to resolve some of her issues, so your readers don’t worry about the fate of the child. Poor little tyke.

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  4. ha! looks like a match made in hell 🙂 they’re better off without each other, i think. interesting twist, i like how you turned the tables in this second story. brilliant idea

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  5. Nice twist — however, now I just feel unsympathetic to both of them, darling — not that that is a bad thing — I think you’ve done a good job of painting neither of them as the hero or villain — they’re both equally fucked up.

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  6. If opposites attract, that might not be so true with this couple. I really like your continuation of the story, to explore the characters a bit more. In the first part, it was easy to judge Rex as a cheating bastard. But this second part raises questions: Does Rex know of Ingrid’s cheating? Are they swingers? How will Rex feel about Ingrid having another man’s baby? Great job to make the story deeper, more complex.

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  7. Oh my…I must go read the first part of the story. I don’t feel any particular positive sentiments here about Rex, as he’s obviously going to be coming home smelling of sex…there seems to be some sort of arrangement between them, I get the feeling the reason he’d object to the baby would be more due to the fact that it would cramp their life style rather than jealousy…at first she was only worried about upsetting him because she wanted to keep the baby…I do hope you fill this out..it was a great read, very stimulating!

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  8. Cleverly done again.
    But would it have more impact if you had not used the ‘We both know ‘ line and kept the punch line to the end?
    Sorry, AnElephant does not like it when people do this to him, so feel free to tell him to mind his own business.
    Your writing is always excellent.

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    • I really like it when people point out other ways of writing what I’ve written, or improvements – so please carry on suggesting!
      For this piece, I think you’re right – it would have been a much stronger punch line at the end without already knowing the baby wasn’t Rex’s. However, I suppose I was thinking of them both in a longer story, and I wasn’t to get across that the fact that the baby wasn’t his wouldn’t be a surprise to Rex. (I was trying to imply that the two of them don’t have sex – hence why he visits prostitutes and why she is grateful that he does. But perhaps that’s just too much information to hope to get across in 100 words.)
      Claire

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