Lauren by Michelle Miller is either a short read or a short listen and can be found as one of the offerings from Amazon Original Stories. This collection, The Fairer Sex, has eight stories ranging from a 16-minute read to the longest one at 56 minutes. Lauren is an 18-minute read. All works in the collection are available for “free” with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
At only twenty-six, Lauren has an art gallery. She had been planning and doing the necessary groundwork since her junior year in college. With a master’s degree in Art History and a published thesis on graffiti art, she had academic credentials. Creation of the gallery, choosing the right place and interior decorations, required money but she had access to almost unlimited capital and credit. Financial security and backing came through her mother and her mother’s contacts. Mom had been an early, aggressive and highly successful entrepreneur on Wall Street. Several months earlier, Lauren had quit her full-time job and devoted all her time to finalizing business plans and lining up artists for an opening night presentation.
Her mother, her mother’s background, and Lauren’s childhood relationship with her mother combine to create the conflict in this short story. Lauren has done everything in her life to fulfill both a subconscious and a conscious desire to be acknowledged by her mother. On this very important opening night, the only person she truly wants to see is her mother. Mom’s appearance will be the assurance Lauren needs to have that Mom is proud of her and her achievement. The surprise in the story will be created in the reader’s mind and appears in the very last word.
I was impressed by the ending. It provided a jolt that asked, “Do you think you know what is happening?” The story has an understated and powerful ending. If I think about what I have read a few hours after I have read it, I rate the story as very good. I give this story five Amazon stars and will undoubtedly read all short reads in this collection.