"Abandoned" succeeds on the same level. What must it be like to give up a child at birth? The story opens:
"I really think you must be mad, my dear, to go for a country walk in such weather as this. You have had some very strange notions for the last two months. You drag me to the seaside in spite of myself, when you have never once had such a whim during all the forty-four years that we have been married. You chose Fecamp, which is a very dull town, without consulting me in the matter, and now you are seized with such a rage for walking, you who hardly ever stir out on foot, that you want to take a country walk on the hottest day of the year. Ask d'Apreval to go with you, as he is ready to gratify all your whims. As for me, I am going back to have a nap."Madame de Cadour, an elderly woman, does convince her old companion to accompany her on a walk, while her husband returns to the hotel for a nap. We learn almost immediately that there is much more to both the purpose of the journey and the relationship when Monsieur d'Apreval says,
"if our son guesses anything, if he has any suspicions, he will have you, he will have us both in his power. You have got on without seeing him for the last forty years. What is the matter with you to-day?"The puzzle is quickly pieced together as the reader learns Madame de Cadour was sent away years earlier to have a baby. She held her son for a single day before he was abruptly taken. What must forty years of daily longing be like? Surely expectations have been formed as a picture of the long-absent child (now man) was fashioned in her mind.
After so much time, can anything really turn out as one imagines? Read the eight-page story here.
Short Story Monday is hosted by John Mutford at The Book Mine Set.
Paris in July is hosted by Karen and Tamara.