Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WEP December Challenge, Utopian Dreams

Our lovely hostesses are Denise Covey and Yolanda Yenee
What to play? Click HERE and find the Linky to other posts.

Utopian Dreams come in all shapes and sizes, but what better one to share with someone than perfect love. If only you'll love me, life will be a dream. 

Brandon didn't hear the faint knock on the door, but Lilly did, and her sharp bark alerted him to the visitor. She waddled to the entry and waited expectantly, dragging her tail across the floor. Brandon opened the door and faced the mirror image of himself.

The slump-shouldered, wispy- haired man, clutched a hat to his chest. He smoothed a few strands of white hair into place and waited until Brandon spoke.

"Bailey?" he had to search for his brother's name, but found it lodged behind some fifty years of trivia and television re-runs.

"It's me, all right." Bailey wiped his feet on the welcome mat and waited, but Brandon didn't invite him in.  Bailey looked away, rolling the brim of his hat then smoothing it again. "I came to tell you Lilly's dead."

Lilly cocked her head at the familiar syllables, and Brandon did a quick glance at her. Dead? And then it came to him. "Oh, yes. Lilly." He'd forgotten Bailey's wife's name was the same as his Spaniel and, for a moment, the reason he'd named all his dogs Lilly. "How'd that happen?"

"Heart. The doc said it sort of shriveled up."

Brandon dredged up the memory of the dark-eyed girl with the swishy pony tail and dove gray eyes. She'd captured the hearts of all the senior boys in the class of '56, but she only had those eyes on him, Brandon DeForest. Now he tried to imagine that young girl's heart wrinkled and contracted. Still.

"Condolences," Brandon said, wanting to be done with this conversation, but not knowing how to end it.

"She said she was sorry. I came to tell you that. She asked me to." When Brandon only nodded in silence, Bailey put his hat on and stepped away from the porch. "I'm sorry, too, if that matters anymore." At the sidewalk,  he turned and waved.

Brandon waited until his brother was out of sight, then he closed the door and leaned his back against it.  Lilly. They'd planned things together. They'd dreamed things together. They were the perfect couple. Once.

He opened the music cabinet and took out a well-worn record, blew across the black disc, then set it on the turntable. Lilly whined to be held, so he gathered her onto his lap and drummed his fingers in time to the song, his and Lily's song. Then, with his eyes closed, he dreamed again until the music stopped.

Life could be a dream, life could be a dream
Do, do, do, do, sh-boom

Life could be a dream (sh-boom)
If I could take you up in paradise up above (sh-boom)
If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love
Life could be a dream, sweetheart

Hello, hello again, sh-boom and hopin' we'll meet again


  1. Lee, as Alex said, how sad that they both loved Lilly and now she's gone. The dog was an extremely nice touch. Ah, dreams.

    Hope all goes well for you Lee. Thanks for posting to WEP.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!


  2. How sad for Brandon; he lost his love and his brother. Well done. A real melancholy tale of love and dreams gone awry.

    Merry Christmas C Lee and have a wonderful year

  3. Only one can win out in love indeed. Stinks for all when such a triangle is present.

  4. Wow, powerful story. Loved it. Well done. You got me with the emotion and I cared. I wanted to know more. Made me think of the movie the NoteBook.

    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  5. Poignant. Beautiful. Sad.
    Thank you. And I so hope your shoulder/arm/hand is giving you less grief.
    Merry Christmas and a Wonderful 2017 (and all the years to come).

  6. Life could be a dream. A dream that he missed when Lily made a decision for his brother. I wonder how many dogs has he had that he named Lily. Excellent description of his lost and also I like how you depict his unwillingness to forgive his brother or Lily.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

  7. Interesting that he named all his dogs Lilly. I can't decide if it was a tribute or an insult to the human Lilly. This tiny story has so many layers.

  8. This was pure pleasure to read Lee.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

  9. I want to hug the lot of them: both brothers, /and/ the dog. Bailey lost his wife, Brandon has to relive an old heartache, and the dog just knows her human is sad. So sad. Makes me wonder how and why Lilly switched affections from Brandon to Bailey.

  10. Beautiful cover! Great song too, of course ;)

  11. What a touching story. I want to know what happened between the characters. Now you have to write some more about them. :) That song brings back memories too.

  12. How sad, but I love the aspect of twins falling for the same girl. Having known a few sets of twins, they may look alike but the differences are deep. I just hope Lilly was happy with her choice.

    Great short for the WEP Utopian Dream Challenge! Thanks for participating!

    Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday and a prosperous New Year!

  13. His Utopian Dream became a prison
    because he could not let go

    How sad.

  14. Sad and moving. The dog was a nice touch.

    Wishing you a safe and joyous holiday season.

  15. Oh, that was so sad! Have a wonderful Christmas!

  16. You know, my senior project as a Philosophy major in college involved utopian and anti-utopian literature... But of a different sort. Enjoy the season!

  17. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

    I've been thinking about you, dear friend, and hoping your injury is on the mend so that you can enjoy Christmas.

    I appreciated this 1,000 words or less Utopian Dreams story. I have been caught in love triangles over the years and they always cause pain for one or more of the principals. I agree with others that Lilly the woman and Lilly the dog was a nice touch. The doo-wop songs of the 50s painted an idealized portrait of romantic love that was rarely attainable. I should point out that "Sh-Boom" was originally waxed by a black vocal group called The Chords and is credited as one of the first recordings to introduce white audiences to black R&B. The white Canadian group The Crew-Cuts covered The Chords' record and both versions became top 10 hits.

    Thank you very much, dear friend C-Lee. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  18. Beautiful story, Lee. Beautifully told, too. You struck all the right notes: stayed away from moroseness, captured your characters in a few masterful strokes of language, and told us a tale worth a novel in so very few lines. I say again: masterful.

    Happy holidays!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  19. Very interesting story. Lots of depth for so few words. Great job!

  20. Very intriguing and many layered tale. How/Why did he lose Lilly to his twin/brother? Sad, and engaging.

    Merry Christmas and a very happy 2017.

  21. I do very much like the way you drew music into the scene. Music can remind us of moments in our lives that we cherish or wish to forget. Loved your take on the triangle. I would like to know more about that time in the past. Perhaps a prequel story? Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  22. Hope your holidays won't be that sad!
    Merry Christmas

  23. Wow.

    And on that note, Merry Christmas! Or Happy Holiday if you prefer.


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