My dad always kept a diary, a diary that none of us was ever allowed to see. He guarded it like a hawk, always kept it in his safe. Even Mom never saw it. He’d spend hours up in his little study with it; we could see him through the window from the tree in the backyard. We’d have to be quiet, though, ’cause if he saw or heard us he’d pull down the window shade.

So we spent our childhood in that house, my dad coming home from work every day, locking himself up in that room with his diary, coming down for dinner, then going back up afterwards. He didn’t like television like Mom; thought it was a waste of time. But we never knew him to be doing anything else, like building stuff in a workshop or playing with us, or walking the dog. He just went up there with that damned diary.

I think Mom didn’t mind, even liked that he did that. We didn’t think this ’til we got older, but maybe something happened that made them lead separate lives. They didn’t seem to like each other that much. I mean, not hate, or even dislike; they just didn’t want that much to do with each other past dinner and once in a while visits to relatives. We thought it was normal, like kids do.

Then one day my dad died. He was in his study and didn’t answer my mom’s dinner call. We’d all moved out by then but I’d come over for dinner that night. We had to break the door open with a pry bar. There was my dad slumped over his diary, still as death. We only ever found that one diary, forty years old, not a word written in it.



  1. Carlos, I really like this!! Reminds in the same kind of way I like movies on the Lifetime or as I call it:””Cry-yours eyes out channel”. It is sad and gets me hooked the first sentence with the poor grammar created an instant image in my head.
    I was sad it was over, except the terrific ending was very satisfying!
    !with no writing in the Diary speaks volumes. Great job!


  2. Dear Carlos,
    Doug just pointed out this story to me. It’s been way too long, my friend. Your 300 words spoke volumes. So believable, in fact, I had to make sure it was classified as fiction.

  3. Dear Carlos,

    I’ve missed you so I’m doing something about it. Casting about like a blindfolded kid in a dark room. Read ‘Diary’ and was spooked by it.

    How are you and is this still your active blog? I hope the New Year finds you well and productive and prosperous.



    • Hi Doug, Nice to hear from you. Not a very active blog, but hopefully not totally lapsed. Diary is the only thing I’ve written since departing Friday Fictioneers. We’ve been otherwise occupied: an ill daughter, financial problems, overwork, etc. Lindaura has been in California for the last three months trying to help our daughter to relocate there and find medical help, and seeing to our oldest and closest friend (we three met at the same time in 1965) in San Francisco who has just got a terminal cancer diagnosis. So, all in all, not the best year… Not sure how long I could have kept going on Friday Fictioneers in any case – it was taking longer and longer to read the stories, much longer than to write one. I do miss it – though, to be honest, I still have a bad feeling about the rather nightmarish final episode. What I miss most, aside from the act of writing, is the writing of you and a [small] handful of others. Wishing you a wonderful 2013, Carlos

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