Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

The Regrets of Miss Moore
Cheryl Diane Kidder

Miss Moore’s life is filled with regrets. She has so many regrets she had to go down to Home Depot and purchase a DIY shelving unit. She spent one Saturday afternoon putting up the shelf and then lovingly placed each of her numerous regrets up on the shelf to better observe them.

Unfortunately, though, she had only purchased the three foot canary yellow shelving unit and she had so many regrets that the shelf was filled up very quickly.

It was on her third trip down to the basement to haul up her boxed up regrets that she realized she was going to need a bigger shelf.

Since she already had the boxes out, she opened each one and pulled out every regret she had ever boxed up and placed them on the turquoise shag carpet of her living room.

Standing back she thought they looked quite pretty all lined up on the carpet, the long blue strands tickling each one under the chin, just slightly. But she knew this wasn’t practical.

So she boxed up all her regrets once again and stacked the boxes over in the corner in between her hi-fi and her new remote-controlled color TV. She sat in her burnt orange, velour recliner and stared at the boxes trying to envision the proper setting.

In a flash she knew what she’d have to do. She was going to have to build an addition to the house, temperature and light controlled, filled with pedestals for the smallest and grand display cases for the largest.

She took out all of her savings and hired a contractor she liked the look of to do the work. Three months later she stood in the middle of her new showroom. She played with the dimmer switch so the lights came up brightly, then slowly lowered them so that each empty surface had just the right amount of dark and shadow.

Then she brought the boxes in and unpacked her regrets once again. Now each one had its own special place—large or small, fat or thin, multi-faceted or dull as a hammer—they all shone brilliantly in their new home.

Once everything was in place she broke down the boxes and took them out to the curb. From her front yard she turned and could see into the picture window of the new addition. It wasn’t what she expected at all. The contractor had placed the one-way glass the wrong way round and anyone walking or driving past could see every one of her regrets now, beautifully lit and silhouetted in the new addition.

This was all wrong. This was completely wrong.

She picked up a shovel and swung it through the newly built picture window, glass shards flying, the sound deafening. She stepped into the room and toppled every pedestal, every shelf, every display case. She destroyed all of it.

When she was done, she dropped the shovel and slowly picked up every regret she could find and placed each one out on the front lawn. When she had emptied the destroyed showplace she knew one thing—she was going to need a bigger house.

Cheryl Diane Kidder has a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Cutthroat Magazine, Weber–The Contemporary West, Bound Off, Brevity Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Dogzplot, Watercress Journal, Jersey Devil Press, The Northville Review, JMWW, Cobalt, Identity Theory, Map Literary, The Atticus Review, The New Purlieu Review, Eclectica, Word Riot, In Posse Review, The Reed, Clackamas Literary Review and elsewhere. Her blog is: TrueWest and she is at Poets & Writers here.