The Shut One



They’ve learned to speak naught about it.

So well that they almost forgot it was. There. Tabooed.

She had tried justifying to herself later. How there had been much to cope with and such minuscule leeway. How choice never truly was, a choice.

But as well as she could explain the circumstances, she could less and less forgive. Herself for the blind eye that she’d turned. Them for making it so that she’d needed to. For making it so that they could not even talk of it amongst themselves.

The crushing price of secrets. A cost calculated not with arms and legs, but hearts.

It haunted her. Nowadays. Now-a-nights.

The shuffling beyond the darkened window. The locks. The cries. The scraps that weren’t really for the dog.

By the time she’d grown enough to contemplate a rescue, there was naught to save.

Her sister. Feeble. Gone.



For Cristina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge


9 thoughts on “The Shut One

    • Thank you, Isadora! The photo made me think of the many who’d been cast off and hidden and forgotten, and about the terrible impact on those who were made to bear witness. Some still do to this day, in different ways. I’m gratified it resonated. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read a book called Finding Me by Michelle Knight a while ago. Three young ladies trapped by a maniac. Every page was horrific. I didn’t think I could finish it. We are so unaware of the frightfully dreadful things that can occur behind closed doors. Your story resonated that dread. Superbly written … 🤗😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Isadora. While thankfully life is not a horror ride for everyone, there are too many for whom horror and helplessness and subjection to cruelty are very real. Trafficked persons all over the world. People who are trapped in cycles of violence, religious extremism, cults, dysfunction, abuse, war, terror, xenophobia, organized crime. We have more work to do, as a species, as humanity, to see all people as human deserving respect and basic freedoms.

        Liked by 1 person

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