Stable Home

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They thought it mattered to him that it wasn’t fancy. That he’d care it was damp. Or old. Or cobbled together from what materials could be found.

They were wrong.

All he ever wanted was a roof that did not leak, a hearth that could be lit, food enough to fill his belly, safety in his sleep, a bed that did not bite, walls that did not threaten to collapse about his ears.

The cabin was all that.

And more.

Sure, it had housed horses, and smelled of them, sometimes.

It only made it more a home.

A stable home.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Lisa Fox

 

She Will Not Become

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(Photo: Roberto Martinez on Unsplash)

 

She will not become a mannequin.

Her mother may have images of what a daughter looks like.

Her father may hold his of what she must not, at any cost, resemble.

Her teachers may believe she found bad friends.

Her brothers had supplied them.

 

To all she says –

In mind if not in volume –

That she will not become,

A mannequin.

 

She will find her own way.

Her look.

Her path.

Her mirrors.

 

Enough already lost,

As childhood magic

Left,

And stripped

Her life austerer.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Mannequin in 85 words

 

In The Wrong

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(Photo: Anna Hecker on Unsplash)

 

She was, always, in the wrong.

The wrong path. The wrong friends.

The wrong choices. The wrong dress.

The wrong dreams. The wrong job.

Wrong husband.

Wrong … no … not the wrong children.

Just the sometimes-very-difficult ones.

No wonder,

When her every action was judged

Widdershins.

So she chose to listen

To no one,

But the small call

Of her soul,

And the small arms that wrapped

Around her legs

When she reached

Down.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: widdershins in 75 words

 

Storied Stories

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They climbed in silence, single file, the occasional foot scraping a bare concrete step.

Lindon pressed his lips. It helped stop the trembling. This was his first ‘trip’ off the ward and he wanted to look around. To look at others for their reactions. But new or not, he’d learned enough to understand that it was better not to. He kept his head low.

A scent hit him. Like Grandma’s house. Last month. Eons ago. He blinked.

The stairs ended. He looked up. His eyes grew.

His heart, too.

A room of books.

Stories. Escape.

He knew he would survive.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

The Gall

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(Photo: Abigail on Unsplash)

 

She steamed and paced and stomped and stewed.

The temerity. The audacious liberties he’d taken.

It was one thing to sell the house.

Another, to have removed her name from the deed.

To have kept the change hidden.

Her parents’ house, no less.

The place of hers – not his – childhood.

Cruelty was why she’d left him.

But this?

He, vacationing on islands.

She and the children, homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Temerity in 69 words.

 

 

The Gift

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(Photo: Jennifer Burk on Unsplash)

 

She was not there.

Of course, she did the work. She wiped the sinks. She did the wash. She peeled the taters. Washed the floors.

But she was not there.

Not when people stopped by. Not where there were any windows open or any blinds up.

She’d been smuggled to them as a child.

A gift.

From someone.

To the man and lady of the house.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Smuggle in 66 words

 

Wild Away

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Margot leaned closer to examine the stake. Her smile grew.

The child should be called Gretel, with such clues.

Then again, Margot was no evil stepmom. Or at least, not evil … The two of them couldn’t help not being biologically related.

Not any more than the girl could help being wild.

The social worker believed the latter a hindrance. Understandable, perhaps, given how many placements the child had lost. The system found it inconvenient to have a lass with more wilderness than tameness, who needed space and took it. Knowing Grenadine’s history, how could they not see why she’d tolerate no leash?

“This child will run away,” the social worker had warned when Margot said she’ll have her. “You’re so rural, you’d have no help keeping her contained.”

Margot had no plan to do so.

The child was free. The sticker meant that she’d be home by dinner.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

No Reflection

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(Photo: Pixabay)

 

The full-length glass was bedecked in heavy gilded glory. A forest of paintings crowded around it, their layered oils glistening in the candlelight.

She stopped and stared back at the faces. Unsmiling figures in stiff postures clad in roiling silk and velvet cloths.

Perhaps they ought to have felt familiar. The line of jaw, the slant of brow, the coil of hair above a hooded eye. She had seen all those before. She could again. If she just let her eyes glide toward the mirror.

She would not.

Know them.

Her ancestors.

Her captors.

Both.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Mirror in 95 words

 

The Scene Setter

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“And then what happened?”

The soft-spoken woman in ugly tweeds shifted in her chair, and Thomas knew he was in trouble. He almost told. She expected him to. She was nice so he’d do what she wanted.

They all wanted to trick him. Especially those pretending to be nice. So he’d do stuff. Make mistakes. Be punished.

Thomas fiddled with the pencil. He wanted to pull Santa’s head off. Instead, he drew circles. 

He hated circles.

He put toys inside them.

Made the toy-boy lie down. Ran him over. 

“Well,” the woman sighed, “perhaps you’ll be more talkative tomorrow.”

 

 

 

Note: Dedicated to the brave children who find a way to tell, even when they tell without words, even when those around them may not see that they are, indeed, trying. May you find someone who understands.

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Jennifer Pendergast

 

Not Granted

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(Photo: Christophe Hautier on Unsplash)

 

Do not take any of it

For granted.

Words that oft repeat are not

In of themselves

A fact,

Just because they are told

With sneering emphasis.

 

Beware of those who judge

A question

As treason,

As something one must

Automatically

Dismiss

Or risk being called

Disloyal

To a person,

For having fealty to the Truth

And the backbone

To speak.

 

So, yes, do

Question

Empty statements.

Do withhold permission

To deflect

Blame

From those who harm,

To those who point out

The abuse.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Question in 84 words