stands on the road
stands on the road
“Why do you have to wash our dirty laundry in public?” Claire shouted, as she negotiated her way through the crowded pub into the street.
“What are you talking about?” Tony tried to keep pace with her. It always amazed him how anger made her walk so fast.
“The bombshell you just threw in there. You have this crazy habit of giving me upsetting news when we are out, enjoying ourselves. Why couldn’t you wait until we got home to tell me this?”
“Because when we get home we immediately turn on the computers or watch TV and don’t talk. And when we do talk, we don’t listen to each other.” He said while opening their apartment door.
“That is no reason to bring up personal issues like that in public”. She took off her shoes by the door and went into the living room to turn her laptop on.
I wrote this in June based on a prompt from Andy’s Words & Pictures. I didn’t know how to end the story (this is always an issue) so put it aside intending to go back but ended up forgetting about it. Having read it now I decided to post it anyway.
They were poor when they were small. She had never known her father and his disappeared when he was two years old. Their mother changed lovers like other women changed shoes and they were often left alone to fend for themselves.
Occasionally the mother gave them a little money to buy sweets but they saved it up to indulge in their passion – cinema. Once they had enough coins for both of them, they would go to the cinema house and buy tickets for any films they were allowed to watch. In those days they were able to watch some of the Hollywood classics and to this day, many decades later, she remembers the actors and the movies she watched. Those are the sweetest memories from her childhood, when her brother and her were close and took care of each other.
When she became cumbersome to their mother she was sent into service as a live in maid. Her brother hanged around the streets during the day. At night he slept wrapped in a blanket on an small, old mattress on the floor, while the mother pandered to her latest man.
This week’s FWF prompt from Kellie Elmore is a word bank:
blanket – falsetto – cumbersome – cinema – coins
You may use one or all of the words. Don’t force it. If only one speaks to you, that is your muse. Go with it. If you can use all of them with little effort (no overthinking it) then let it flow. I look forward to reading you.
Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
Alice believed there was a god.
But she did not believe in religion.
Churches were places she never wanted to have to go back to again.
Devoted nuns that made her life hell did not make her want to go to heaven.
Every time she thought of her boarding school days she turned cold.
For her memories of those days were something she deeply wanted to forget.
God had not been on her side or on that of the weaker girls.
Holy ghosts and devils were the fodder of her daily nightmares.
Indoctrination was hard to overcome even after all these years.
‘Just to be free that’s all I want’, she used to say.
Katie tried to help her but she could not understand how the stories of Alice’s childhood had taken hold of her psyche.
Letting go of the fear of sin and retribution was hard to do.
Martyrs and saints were slowly purged from her day to day.
No one could persuade her to pray anymore.
Only by stopping the rituals and banning the lexicon would she be able to find the freedom she craved.
Purgatory, heaven and hell no longer have a hold on her.
Quotes from the holy book, are slowly forgotten.
Religion becomes a theory not the truth.
Still those around her try to convince her of the error of her ways.
Traveling the world helps expand her mind as she meets people with different beliefs (or none at all).
Undeterred she now looks for earthly rather than spiritual gratification.
Virtues and vices do not define her.
Worlds apart from her beginnings, Alice is at last able to stop the fears.
Xenophobic is almost how she feels now towards the culture of worship.
Yet she knows she cannot replace fear with hatred.
Zeal no longer has a place in her life.
Night after night I have the same dream.
In a vast, derelict and dark house I race from room to room, looking for a way out.
Every door is locked, yet I keep going certain there’s a way out, into the freedom and light beyond these walls.
Eventually a door opens but as I step into the brightness and the fresh air, I fall into a precipice.
The relief of waking up is soon replaced by the oppressing dark and cold familiarity of my prison cell.
What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie McFerrin will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.
The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week: LOCKED
This is my first participation in this challenge.