Monday, March 24, 2014

Write Edit Publish, Through the Eyes of a Child

Greetings all, it's time for another flash fiction story for Write... Edit... Publish entitled, Through the Eyes of a Child. I can't tell you how important this blog fest is to me. Each month we are given a challenge and if we choose to participate we create a story that will stretch our writery skills. I am often making a choice to remain in my chosen genre or go beyond. For this flash fiction piece I am going beyond. I hope you will visit all the writers and perhaps you will choose to participate as well. If you do you are most welcome. To visit the other writers and read their stories go here.

The very nature of flash fiction is short. We are allowed 1,000 words or less.

Through the Eyes of a Child

Mama sings to me. In the morning it is always a song about sunshine and waking up to a new day. During bath time she sings about bubbles and frogs until I giggle. I like to sing with her. After the special book at nighttime, Mama hums a tune until my eyes grow heavy and I sleep. Papa doesn't sing, he yells.

When my friend Tommy comes over we play dinosaurs on the living room rug. I can hear Mama singing while she cooks supper. Papa loves spaghetti and I do too. Tonight I can smell the garlic bubbling in the sauce while I play with Tommy and Mama sings.

Mama came into the living room. "Supper is almost finished and your father is almost home. Time to pick up and for Tommy to go home."

I wanted to pout. My lower lip started to stick out.

"Come Joey, you're a big boy now," Mama said.

I knew better than to complain. Pouting didn't work with Mama.

"Come again tomorrow Tommy," Mama said and watched him run home. He lived next door.

I put the dinosaurs in the toy box.

"Wash up and help me set the table." Mama returned to the kitchen while I used soap and water and had fun splashing the sick until it was wet all over even on the mirror. I heard Papa come in. His big voice bellowed, "What's for dinner?"

"Your favorite," Mama said. She didn't sing after Papa came home. He didn't like it. I ran into the kitchen but Mama had already put the plates out.

I climbed into my booster chair. Mama put my bowl of spaghetti before me. I loved sucking the noodles up until they hit my forehead. Giggling I did it again.

Mama smiled at me. Papa frowned. "Stop that," he said.

Mama sat across from Papa. He looked mean tonight.

"I hate spaghetti," Papa said and picked up his plate, throwing it at Mama. She ducked and it splattered on the wall behind her. Noodles dripped from a picture frame. Papa stood. "No surprise in this marriage," Papa said and turned the table over. My bowl of spaghetti landed in my lap. I started to cry. Papa hit the wall with his fist and made a big hole. I ran to my room and hid under my bed. My legs shook while things broke in the kitchen.

That night Mama had black and blue spots all over her face. My tummy hurt bad so she laid down with me and hummed until I slept.

In the morning after Papa left Mama cried. She packed some clothes for me in her suitcase. I got to ride in a cab. Tommy didn't come over to the motel room but I still played dinosaurs on the floor. We had McDonald's for supper and Mama sang to me about the spider going up and down the drain pipe. I like it better without Papa.

500 Words

This is a fictional story and isn't about any person I know and isn't intended to represent anyone in particular. Abuse knows no nationality, no race, no gender, no religion. Abuse is rampant and our children suffer. Stop the abuse.

Copyright 2014

Let me know what you think. All critique allowed.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. a very moving story and abuse is appalling at any level - but in the eyes of a child, so so sad ...

This is so well told - and was a pleasure to read, though dreadful in its subject matter .. let's hope the world can become kinder - well people can be more compassionate ..

Cheers to you - Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy. What a gruelling story to read, as has been Roland's and mine is a bit hard on the sensibilities too. You've put so much into 500 words - emotion, sensory details, but most of all, the POV of the young boy.

I'm glad WEP means a lot to you. I sometimes wonder if it's fulfilling a need, but then I see comments like yours and I'm happy to keep going.

Thank you for creating this story for the challenge. It certainly highlights our abusive society.


Madeleine Sara said...

I'm glad Mama and Joey escaped. I wondered whether the singing would stop after Papa came home... Sadly such men will appreciate what love, family and caring means.

Trisha F said...

She was a brave woman to leave Papa! Too often it's not so in reality, sadly.

Sally said...

A strong emotive piece of writing, the mother trying to keep things normal for the child. I'm glad they've managed to escape, many don't.
It brings a lump to my throat because although it is fictional a lot of people go through situations very similar to this everywhere in the world.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Nancy, somehow your link became corrupted. I've deleted your first link and added a new one which goes directly to this post.

Hope all is well...


Nilanjana Bose said...

A harrowing tale, as you said, abuse knows no borders. Very movingly told. Sad that so many children feel happier without Papa.


D.G. Hudson said...

A well-made point. Abuse has no justification. Undiagnosed mental illnesses mean more violence in the home.

Abuse seems much more harsh when told by a child who hears and sees, and fears.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks everyone. I'll be visiting you throughout this week now that I'm out of the hospital.