Photo by Roy Schreffler (flickr)

Francesca was overdue for a house cleaning. Her children’s rooms had become storage closets for unused exercise equipment, Christmas decorations, old furniture, and other middle-age debris.

The garage had more inventory than an auto parts store. The husks of two failed restorations hunkered down over oil-stained concrete. Around their flat, rimless tires sat empty oil cans, tool chests shedding rusting sockets and wrenches, and bicycles tangled like old wire hangers.

All Francesca needed fit into one suitcase. She left everything else to the cheating bastard—her husband, Carl. Her crowning glory was leaving with half her life before her.

This piece was written in response to Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s 99-word challenge:

July 30, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that uses the phrase “her crowning glory.” (Thanks to Anne Goodwin for the prompt idea.) It can be in the traditional sense of a woman’s hair or applied to any idea of a best attribute. What happens if you play with the meaning or gender? Go where the prompt leads!