Daydreams and Wishes

Chuck’s challenge this week over at Terrible Minds was to write a 1,000 word flash fiction on the new cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I happen to agree with him that this photo doesn’t seem to match the story that I know.  In fact, this photo brought things to mind that I didn’t want to delve into in order to write 1,000 words.  So, I decided to write a poem instead.  Just as disturbing perhaps, but at least it’s out of my head and I can move on to the next challenge or blog post or whatever else I decide to do.

Funny how things come to a close once I hit that publish button.  I’m really hoping for closure on this one because it didn’t bring up good things.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my poem inspired by the photo.

Daydreams and Wishes

there once was a girl filled with daydreams and wishes
pink candy rainbows and bubblegum clouds
baby dolls’ carriages
ruffles and bows
tied up in bouncing yellow curls
hopping, skipping, smiling
sparkling blue eyes dancing
playing and clasping in friendships abounding

there once was a girl filled with daydreams and wishes
pink shattered glass floating like ice-covered feathers
orange marmalade on wax painted faces
stern disapproval
quietly mocking voices out of
ruby red lips turned down
vacant blue eyes pleading intently
fingers beckoning, screaming for help
oblivious joy retreating to safer places

A Daughter’s Choice

Chuck’s challenge this week is a complete story in three sentences.  I may have cheated a bit with the last sentence, but I’m standing by it.

*winks at you and grins*

If you click that little linky above and go to the comments, there are some AMAZING three sentence stories in there!  It’s totally worth your time and I highly recommend it.

A Daughter’s Choice

She spent her childhood constantly searching for the love and attention most children take for granted in the important role their father plays in their life. After years of disappointment, severe let-downs and always playing the role of emotional adult in their relationship, she chose to walk away.  Peace is harder to find than most think, especially when bombarded by his emotional manipulation and that he never once reached out to find out why, but she is stronger now; and the love she found elsewhere lifts her up and carries her forward.

The Day My Family Fell Apart

It’s time for another flash fiction challenge from none other than Chuck Wendig.  The challenge was Bad Parents.  I will apologize in advance because it is very dark.

This is probably the quickest story I’ve written down since starting this process.  I’m thinking this one just wanted to be told.   Anyway, I’m not sure if it’s likable, but it’s 1000 words exactly…

The Day My Family Fell Apart

I remember the day my family fell apart. It isn’t a nice story. Most of my childhood would probably fall into the “not nice” category. I blame it on my parents. I know, I know. Is anyone really to blame? Probably not, because there’s a history, a cycle that continues generation after generation. You hear all the stuff about ‘they did the best with what they had’ and I try to believe it, but it’s hard when I was forced to be strong enough. I was forced to change the mold and break the cycle. I’d like to think I would have done it anyway, but sometimes circumstances happen that change you in ways you might not have.

We were the white all-American Christian family and all our neighbors thought we were perfect. They just didn’t know what happened behind closed doors. If they’d known, maybe they could have helped. Maybe not, though.

Dad was a tyrant and pushed his weight around. Not so much with his fists, but more with his words, a belt and a my-way-or-the-highway attitude. He used to stand at the door and yell at us to come inside. He stood there on purpose, kicking us in the butt as we walked by. You had a choice. You could stay outside and risk the belt, or you could put your hands on your butt and face him when you went through the door. It didn’t usually work, though. He would just grab your arm and kick you anyway, hand and all, which hurt worse. We learned pretty quick to just take it the way it was intended just to get it over with. Besides, no one wanted the belt.

Mom was… well, she was basically absent. Who can blame her. He controlled everything, including her. I’m sure she made feeble attempts to stop him, but they must have been so minimal they didn’t bother to stick around in my memory. For the most part, Mom took flight when Dad was in a rage, which is exactly what happened on that horrible day.

My sister, Jenny, and I were hanging out in the living room, doing homework and what-not. My brother, Jake, was home and he had a friend over. Bobby was bad news. He was one of those smart-ass kids that couldn’t keep his mouth shut. They were high. I didn’t know it then, but we found out later.

Dad came home from work and right away started in on Jake. “You didn’t mow the lawn. He needs to leave and it needs to be done, now.” He pointed his finger at Bobby, but was glaring at Jake. Bobby’s an idiot and right away started laughing, which pissed Dad off. He walked up to him and grabbed the front of his shirt. “You get out of my house right now and don’t come back.” He was yelling and dragging Bobby to the back door.

Jake was yelling at this point too. “Leave him alone. Let him go!” I don’t think Jake dared to touch Dad, though, cause he just followed them, yelling the whole time. Bobby wasn’t laughing anymore. Dad threw him out and slammed the door. The tension in the air was palpable.

Next thing I knew, Jake and Dad were toe to toe. I looked at my sister and mouthed, “where’s Mom?” She just shrugged. She’d been standing there just moments before. I don’t think either of us really knew what to do, but we knew something bad was about to happen and, of course, Mom was missing. I was too scared to leave Jake with Dad in order to go search for her.

I stood up, not really sure what I was going to do but just in case. Dad and Jake were staring at each other, Jake’s fists clenched tight at his sides, shaking. Then Dad did something and to this day I have no idea why, except that maybe Dad thought he really was the toughest guy in the room.

“You want to hit me, boy? Go ahead. I dare ya!” He shoved Jake in the chest, egging him on. I finally tried to step in.

I walked up to Jake and put my hand gently on his arm. “It’s okay, Jake. Let’s just go in the other room and cool off.”

“You stay out of this!” Dad shoved me out of the way. Jenny was trying to placate Dad, but neither of us were having any luck. He went back to taunting Jake and shoving his finger in his chest.

And Jake snapped.

He swung at Dad and punched him so hard, it laid Dad out flat. Then Jake was on him, punching him over and over again. Me and Jenny tried to pull him off. I was screaming “STOP” and grabbing his arms, but he was frenzied and wouldn’t budge.

“MOM! Where are you? Call 9-11!” No answer.

Jenny ran to the phone and called the police while I continued to try and stop it, but it was like trying to stop a moving semi with a white flag. I was useless.

The police, ambulance, firetruck… you name it, they showed up at our house. Only, it was too late. They took Dad to the hospital, but he never came home. Jake was taken away in handcuffs and is serving a life sentence. I try to visit him.

Mom… she finally showed up, but she hasn’t been the same since. In fact, she hasn’t spoken a word since that day. They took her to an institution and she’s still there. I don’t visit her.

Me and Jenny? We’re doing our best to survive. She had to drop out of college and get a job. I dropped out of high school and did the same, because I wasn’t going to let her support me. We support each other now, the best we can. She’s probably the only one who gets it. Gets me. At least we still have each other.