Due to the demand on my Facebook page that this become a book A New Beginning will be turned into a book, probably sometime in 2019, or 2020. Please feel free to leave a review or send me a message! This is the first installment of "52 Stories in 52 Weeks". I plan to update weekly.

Genre: Realistic

Prompt: Write a story titled: A New Beginning

January 7, 2018

She held the match in her hand, watching the flame devour the wood. It was cathartic, she thought, to watch what had once been part of a giant tree slowly burn away. Waiting until the flame was nearly touching her fingers-she already felt the heat-she blew it out. If only she could gain the courage to drop the match onto the threadbare carpet and chance fate.

She struck another match, and watched the flame. Again, she blew it out. Again. Again. Again. Finally, she watched the yellow and orange flames-and dropped the match.

The match landed with what felt like a thundering boom. And was smothered. With a cry, she fell to her knees, sobbing. She could do nothing right.

She could not keep her husband home. She could not bear children. She could not even burn her house down with herself inside it. She took a deep breath, and struck another match. Before it even reached her fingers, she blew it out.

Turning, she ran to her bedroom-the room she'd shared with her husband before he had left. She hadn't slept in her own bed since he'd left-it was too painful to admit that she was alone.

With a strength she had not realized she possessed, she lifted her mattress and pushed it against the opposite wall. Sure enough, right where she had left it, was a small plastic baggy of cash, and a larger plastic baggy of jewels. It really wasn't much, but it was something.

Snatching up the baggies, she darted back out of her room, and out the front door. Though she was usually very cautious and meticulous about shutting and locking the door, she left it standing open, and walked away, never looking back.

She walked into town, and sold every last bit of jewelry, costume and real. Though it didn't give her as much cash as she'd hoped, her wallet still grew. There was plenty of money for a bus ticket, and a hotel room for at least a week.

So, she got herself a bus ticket, and rode all the way across the country, to a place so far away she knew no one would know her. As soon as she arrived, she found herself a hotel room, and collapsed on the bed.

She would look for a job and a place to live tomorrow. She would start herself a new life, one that would not include her husband, or the pitying expressions she received from those on the street who knew her story.

Though exhausted, and slightly terrified, she fell asleep feeling emboldened victorious. She didn't have to burn down a house to become strong, all she had to do was leave. Now, instead of an end, she had a beginning.

©2018 Katie Holm