Window

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Mother loved Louisa best.  Once again, Louisa had successfully convinced Mother to blame Gemma for one of her own infractions, sending Gemma to her room without dinner.  “I don’t want to see you again until morning,” Mother had said, clutching Louisa, who’d stopped fake-sobbing long enough to stick her tongue out.

Gemma opened her bedroom window and let in the sweet summer air.  She listened to the sound of her friends playing, families laughing, food sizzling on backyard grills.  She grabbed her sketchbook and pencils, gifts from Dad, and let her mind run free.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is FREEDOM IS A STATE OF MIND.

Thursday Thriller – Sick

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My children are crying for me.  They’re all cuddled upstairs in bed like three adorable peas in a pod.  All flushed cheeks and runny noses, sweaty foreheads and chapped lips.  So tragically beautiful.

News of my little ones’ health has reached every corner of our state.  Hundreds of people are talking about them, praying for them, missing them.  My children.  My babies.   People fold crisp dollar bills in my trembling hand when I encounter them on the road, they listen, enthralled, as I recount my story, our story, with tears in my eyes.  My table is laden with covered dishes and treats from the neighbors and friends.  Baskets of muffins and fruit, casseroles, pies, tins of homemade cookies.  I’ll pack the food away for now.  I know what my children need.  I know why they cry.

The soup is almost done.  It’s their favorite.  My own recipe.  One I’ll never share with anyone.  I add a little pinch of my most special ingredient before ladling large helpings into three identical, bright yellow bowls.  My babies will be beloved forever.

 

Parents

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Seeing the familiar sunflower bushes that had grown outside the wrought iron gates since my childhood stirred up the familiar sensations of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  I kept these monthly visits with my parents short and sweet.  I knew I was the black sheep, the youngest and least successful of the three children.   A humble bartender, college-drop-out, living in a small apartment on the wrong side of town.  Not married.  I could hear their questions now.  My stomach cramped.

At least my two older siblings wouldn’t be there.  The golden children.  I tried to avoid visiting when they would be here, but it still broke my heart a little that we weren’t close anymore.

“Mom!”  I called out.

“In here!”

My mom was lying in bed, unheard of at 12 pm, her face bare with dark circles under her eyes, staring into nothing.  I rushed to her side.

“Your father filed for divorce,” she told me in a hoarse whisper.  I embraced her sadly, feeling the tension release.

For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers