Rosie Rhymes

Ring-a-ring-a-roses KateGreenway MotherGooseNurseryRhymes 1881

Kate Greenway, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes 1881

 

“Ring-a-ring-a-roses; A pocket full of posies; Hush-hush, Hush-hush; We’re all tumbled down!”

“She can play like this for hours,” Mary sighed.

Alice gazed at the child, who with arms spread wide to the sides, continued to spin about the garden’s green, dipping a curtsy at the final line before going back again to the first. Her pitch was perfect and her voice was sweet, but the bouncy ringlets and pinafore over a knee-high calico dress only highlighted the oddity.

It was adorable when Rosie was six years old. The girl was nearly thirteen.

“How’s Rosie’s schooling coming along?” Alice tried.

Mary’s smile faltered for a second before a placid screen unfurled over her face. “Just fine,” she breathed. “It’s coming along just fine, dear. Did you try the rose-petal marmalade? Mrs. Hannah outdid herself this year.”

It is like watching a wind-up toy, Alice thought. She never could get her sister to speak candidly about the child. None of them could. They all knew much was wrong, yet it was nigh impossible to discuss it. There’d been some concerns before the accident, of course, though Rosie had been very young then and much was explained away as the idiosyncrasies of an only child with an active imagination.

Then the accident happened and it was as if Mary had stopped the clock. On her own life as well as Rosie’s. The child seemed content enough, delayed and mostly mute outside of singing as she was. But how much did any of them know about the child’s true reality and potential, and how much was her mother’s doing, impeding her growth?

“Ring-a-ring-a-roses …”

Rosie’s singing rang in Alice’s ears and suddenly she could not stand it any longer.

“Mary,” she pressed, “I know this expert …”

Her sister raised a delicate hand. “We have all we need, Alice.”

Alice shook her head. “No, you don’t. I love you, and I know you love Rosie dearly, but she’ll be a woman soon … and she can’t stay six forever. Let me get the both of you some help. It’s not about trying to force her to do what she cannot, if she cannot … I mean, I know she’s a little …” her sister’s eyes stopped her. Brittle. Angry. Warning.

“… I … I can see she seems happy,” Alice inhaled and paused, hoping for a relenting crack in her sister’s eyes.

There was none.

“Indeed she is happy,” Mary clipped. “And we shall keep it this way, shall we?” She turned her head a tad, so that her eyes rested partially on the closed wing of the manor where the stone would forever be a bit dark, and partially on the child she’d frozen in time. The sweet girl who did not need to know more than what she’d known the day before she had tipped a candle onto paper and accidentally, fatally, set fire to her father’s study. “Now, about that marmalade!”

 

 

 

For the SoCS prompt: Rhymes with rosy

 

Evidently

neonbrand-395901-unsplash wrongway

Photo: neonbrand on upsplash

 

Evidently,

There are those who think the will of men should rule over the will of women.

Evidently,

There are those who’d see a rapist as less deserving of punishment than the one who stopped the ongoing impact of that rape.

Evidently,

There are many who claim that their own interpretation of God should be forced onto all others, regardless.

Evidently,

There are those who do not see how that endangers the very premise of religious freedom, and with it, their own access to choice.

Evidently,

There are those who hark for days when girls and women were a property that men could do whatever they desired with, regardless of whether girls and women had agreed.

Evidently,

There are those who push their personal beliefs as science, while ignoring and denying facts that do not fit the narrative they’d allow as acceptable to perceive.

Evidently,

There are those who’d abandon, ignore, punish, and vilify already living children while pretending to cherish those who aren’t yet born.

Evidently,

There are those who value power over choice and silencing over voice.

Evidently,

There are those who’d put people to death even as they claim all life is precious.

Evidently,

There are still many who do not see and many who refuse to even try.

And so … evidently,

There’s much still needed to be done in this time of religious extremism in its push to diminish rights, undo progress, and force radicalization.

Much to do:

To keep theocracy from overtaking true religious and personal freedom;

To liberate distortions of what some claim is pro-life but is in fact just anti-choice;

To help the lost see that support of life respects and encompasses the living and does not, selectively, ‘defend’ only the unborn;

To dispel outdated views of women as unable or unworthy of autonomy over their own bodies, health, and futures;

To protect the lives of women and girls from the intrusion, disrespect, disregard, and dismissal of value, that criminalizing of choice does.

Because …

Evidently,

There is much still needong to be done.

To ensure choice is protected

So lives, too, can.

 

 

 

For Linda’s SoCS prompt: Adverb

 

Dive Right In!

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

The water glistened.

Gloria shook. “I don’t think I remember how.”

“Just do it,” Jody said. “It’s like riding a bike. Your body never forgets.”

I never had a bike, Gloria thought,  and there is much I worked hard to have my body forget. Especially since that day.

“It’ll come back to you,” Jody urged. Ordered, almost. “Dive right in!”

It was the edge in the trainer’s voice that did it, and what it brought back was not welcome.

“No.” Gloria pulled her swim cap off. “Not here. Not yet. Not today.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Echoes

nrd-1002460-unsplash

Photo: NRD at Unsplash

 

They’ve left the fridge door open.

The cool pooled close,

Breathing light

Into the space

As if the halo of it

Could be

Mistaken

For the life

That no longer

Offered heartbeat

In these rooms

That still echo

With the sounds

Of “please don’t!

Oh please!

Please!

Not the kids!”

 

 

 

(256 characters)

For Twittering Tales #136

 

In Denial

egg-583163_1920

Photo: stevepb-282134 on Pixabay

 

“He’d never do that.”

“But he’s such a nice guy!”

“She’s lying or she’d have complained sooner.”

“He’s a pillar of the community.”

“Why ruin a man’s name?”

“I’ve never seen him do anything.”

“He said he didn’t do it. What else do you want?”

“Kids are unreliable.”

“Women lie about this stuff all the time.”

Even when videos surfaced following one victim’s suicide. Even after he was convicted. Some kept claiming he’d been the one wronged.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Denial in 77 words

 

The Cursed

close up photography of hand near window

Photo: Renato Mu on Pexels.com

 

They were never meant to be

Accepted.

 

They were never meant

To be

Approved,

Or approved of.

 

Cast-offs,

They were the anathema

To all some saw as

Civil

Or normative

Or worthy of.

 

They were cursed

By those of privilege,

Who for added

Privations

Then denounced them

As being

Incapable of

Love.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Anathema in 52 words

 

 

The Critic

silhouette of a man in window

Photo by D. Tong on Pexels.com

 

It was his job to be the critic.

He’d taken it on when he was but a child and there was naught by chaos all around him.

Criticizing was a way to put some order into madness, to have at least the illusion of control.

Not that he’d criticize them openly and risk the switch or belt or backhand or the things that were … well … worse.

But criticize he did.

Mostly himself.

At first as practice.

Then as habit.

Then as something he would do without even a pause to think.

Offer a knifing critic.

Of his actions. Of his wishes. Of his hopes. His thoughts. His dreams.

What had began as coping, turned a prison.

And the jailer was inside him.

The sentencing, his own.

 

 

 

For the SoCS Saturday Challenge: Critic(al)

 

Unworthy

three line tales, week 158: a border with a barbed wire fence

Photo: Robert Hickerson via Unsplash

 

They brought them in at dark, under the covers of secrecy and night.

Children, torn from loved ones, placed behind barbed wire, watched by burly guards.

“Your fault for coming,” they were told. “And now you’re too much work to reunite.”

 

 

For Three Line Tales

 

Not a Hare

Photo © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

“Mama,” Benny shook me. “Something’s in the bushes!”

I must’ve dozed off.

It had been nice to have the campgrounds for ourselves.

Till now.

“Perhaps a hare.” I tried. Would a campfire keep out cougars? I felt for my utility knife. Our only weapon. Ridiculous.

Benny frowned. “It’s crying.”

It was. My heart thumped as I stalked toward the sound.

My flashlight illuminated the tear-stained face of a child. A child?! She had to be younger than Ben. Alone?!

I gasped.

She shivered. Fear or cold or both?

“Come, Sweetie,” I cooed. “We won’t hurt you. Let’s get you warm.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

The Brain As Explained By Kids

Sometimes a resource comes along that distills complex concepts so they are instantly understandable in both theory and practical applications. The three minute clip below is one.

The children in the video do an excellent job explaining the brain’s structure, function, and response to fear. They detail what fear reactions can look like in behavior, how fear affects processing, and why it is so important that we understand how behavior is, in essence, communication.

It is a brief yet fantastic resource. I hope you watch. I hope you comment. I hope you share.

Children often make great teachers. These kids certainly do! Well done, everyone!

 

 

For detailed information on the ways fear and trauma affect language, development, behavior, and communication, go to: Communicating Trauma.

Also check the Resources and Trauma and Development pages as well as the Book Chapters and Articles page on this site for additional information and resources.

 

For information on the organization that produced the video above, go to: Trauma Recovery Centre