He placed a matryoshka doll on the table between them, amid the two glasses with remnants of red wine and the half burnt candle.

Excitement shot through her body right down to her fingertips. She tore the first layer open, then the second while small, uncontrollable bursts of glee escaped her grinning lips.

One small matryoshka left.  She bit her bottom lip; the fact that he was backing away from the table not registering.

A creak as wood scraped wood, the doll opened and out came vapour.

‘What? No ring?’

‘No, baby. Just a goodbye gift.’


This is for Trifecta. The word I chose from the dictionary page was not Baby originally.  The inspiration for this story came purely from the fact that I thought the dolls were called babushka. It was only after I read the fine print of the definition –  and a thorough google search just to make sure – did i realise that the dolls are in fact matryoshkas.  Well, glad I realised in time!

20 comments on “Surprise!

  1. Very cool story, despite, or because of, the matryoshkas!

  2. I really liked this. The first line set the scene nicely, and then comes the cruel twist. Poor woman!

    Great story. 🙂

  3. Ouch! My sister once gave my mom a hard-to-spell doll to my mom for Christmas, by mistake, so she had to get my niece a second one. I have my mom’s now, and of course my daughter loves it. They are cool. Matryoshkas, okay, got it now.
    Oh, and I always thought babushka was Russian for baby, not old woman, until just a couple years ago. I think I heard “Oh, my little babushka” somewhere and thought of a baby, not a sweet little old woman.

  4. Bud Scott says:

    Very nicely done, she might be better off with the dolls anyway.

  5. Kir Piccini says:

    I felt the hit the center of me, when you believe it’s something that it’s not. How painful that is.

    I actually loved the use of “baby” , such an intimate word for a “leaving”


  6. Mike says:

    I enjoyed this. Obviously not what she was expecting. It’s one way of saying goodbye.

  7. steph says:

    Well, at least he didn’t do it by text or email. He was present. Nice twist. Well done.

  8. What a cruel gift — so much expectation and disappointment! On a side-note, my mom painted nesting dolls for us for Christmas one year…each one a penguin holding a gift. I love seeing it each holiday season!

  9. Christine says:

    My house is practically overflowing with matryoskhi – one of the side effects of being a Russian major. 🙂 The vapor left me wondering – and seeing how he backed away, this wasn’t a just simple (albeit cruel) joke, was it? *shivers*

  10. jannatwrites says:

    Well, at least he gave her something to chuck at him as he scoots out the door. If whatever the vapor is doesn’t stop her.

  11. Katie Kurtz says:

    Nice! I am new to Trifecta – I am already liking how people either do the prompt or misread part of the prompt and come up with something totally new – like yours.

    Good thing baby was on that page 🙂

  12. Yikes! Well, at least she has something to remember him by. 🙂

    I loved your confession about the babushka/matryoshkas mix up. Too funny!

  13. Nice anticipation build. Thanks for being a part of our big 99th!

  14. atrm61 says:

    Loved the surprise package Sandra 🙂

  15. troy P. says:

    And I’m glad you didn’t let the new knowledge as to their name derail your story!

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