View Full Version : The American Dream

Shorty Dawkins
February 27th, 2012, 12:11 AM
This is a part of The River Heals. It is a series of stories that become a narrative. The stories wind together.


The American Dream

What goes around comes around.

“I had a visit from some heavy hitters in the Republican Party today. They want me to run for Governor.” Mason Sheffield said to his wife, Marianne, as they had their usual cocktails before dinner.

Mason Sheffield was an important person in Riverside. He owned the Sawmill and Lumberyard, and he was one of five owners of the local bank. He owned lots of property in and around Riverside, and he was a State Senator; had been for three terms. Mason had married into money, Marianne's money, and he had become somebody as a result. Marianne was the perfect trophy wife. She was beautiful, poised, and charming. She had fallen in love with Mason because of his good looks, his wonderful speaking voice, and his excellent business mind. They lived in a beautiful house on twenty acres beside the river, had a son and a daughter, both now on their own, and were rich and respected throughout the community. In short, they were the personification of the American Dream. The only trouble was that it was all a lie. Marianne had come to realize how pathetic a man Mason was. He was a womanizer, and she had just learned that day, from a private investigator she had hired, that he was involved in business dealings of a criminal nature. Their daughter, Janet, hated her Father and had run away from him as soon as she could make her own way. Tom, their son, was terrified of his Father, who always demanded more from him than he could provide. The American Dream was really a nightmare, at least for Marianne and her children.

“So now you want to be Governor, is that it, Mason?” Marianne asked, then sipped her Manhattan.

“Why not? They have offered support and money. It should be a relatively easy election to win. You could be the new First Lady of the State.”

He was always trying to throw her a bone, while he took the better portion for himself. That was his way. It was all about Mason, never about anyone else.

Marianne looked at him. She knew it was over, completely and irrevocably over between them. She wanted him out of her life and she wanted him destroyed. He was nothing but a smooth talking phony who had married her for her money.

“The game is up, Mason.” She said.

“What does that mean?”

“It means you are finished. It means you will leave this house tonight. It means we will be divorced. It means you will get nothing except a chance to stay out of jail. That's what it means.” She stared hard at him.

bazz cargo
March 15th, 2012, 10:16 PM
Just when it was getting interesting. You...you...tease!

Shorty Dawkins
March 15th, 2012, 10:27 PM
Just when it was getting interesting. You...you...tease!

That makes for suspense, doesn't it?
I will post the next portion, called Returning Friends.
I hope you find it to be an interesting story. They are all part of The River Heals.

Shorty Dawkins

Gery Pap
March 25th, 2012, 12:05 AM
Damn, that woman is harsh. :D
But I guess Mason had it coming. It's a really great work. Keep them coming, can't wait to see what happens afterwards.

May 1st, 2012, 09:27 PM
I think this story sounds very interesting, and something I would definetly enjoy reading! However, I would hold off on expaining too much of the back story of the characters too soon. As I often say to my students, "Show, don't tell". Let some of this steamy back story come out through dialogue, or the characters actions. After only reading two paragraphs you already know I giant chunk of the story that you could lay out slowly, with more description, action and dialogue.

May 9th, 2012, 01:17 AM
I agree with holding the back story. You start off with action, then a big section of narration, then end with action - good to end with action, but "show" some of the history later, let it develop either in conversation, reflection, or accusation and defense between the characters.

Always interesting to watch a writer develop "the power" vs "the reality" and seems any time a polititian gets in the mix, ego runs amuck ... good beginning though, makes a reader want to discover more.

May 9th, 2012, 05:17 AM
Ahh the American Dream. I like your portrayal of Mason. Always remember Watergate.

May 12th, 2012, 12:10 AM
VERY well-written and plenty of suspense as well. You really left me hanging with Marianne's last qoute, great stuff!

May 12th, 2012, 03:08 AM
Definately has the look of an outline or a short story as fast as it moved. I enjoyed the story ...

Shorty Dawkins
May 12th, 2012, 04:00 AM
VERY well-written and plenty of suspense as well. You really left me hanging with Marianne's last qoute, great stuff!

Thanks Walt.
I believe sometimes understatement works better than overstatement. This is all part of a book I am working on, The River Heals. There is a lot more to tell, and The American Dream is part of it, but so are a few of my other short stories. They all end up coming together into a rather curious narrative. I hope you will like them.

Shorty Dawkins

Shorty Dawkins
May 12th, 2012, 04:04 AM
Definately has the look of an outline or a short story as fast as it moved. I enjoyed the story ...

Thank you, D1flyinggoose,
As I mentioned to Walt, this is a part of a larger work. All these stories I have posted here are part of it. They all come together a little later, where their relationship becomes clear.

Shorty Dawkins

May 14th, 2012, 09:42 PM
"Behind every great man is an even greater woman." Marianne displayed that dominance! I was expecting her to form a scheme, but she didn't hesitate to break the man.

I survived
May 15th, 2012, 02:54 PM
This caught my interest right a way too. And what a cliff hanger! But I think I might have held somethings back too. Maybe talk about how the kids don't like their dad but at least Marianne is still there for him and then have her lowere the boom, exactly like she did and then say what she found out earlier that day. You've got a great start. Can't wait to read more!

Shorty Dawkins
May 15th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Oh, indeed! There is more to the story than meets the eye.