Do we ever stop being parents?
It’s 3:00AM and I was drifting in that space between dream and awake.
I was woken out of that dream by my daughter screaming. In the dream I looked back in terror and she was terribly hurt.
I haven’t had these dreams since my babies were small and now I have to endure the rest of the night in this residual terror and nausea that is left in the wake of spent adrenaline.
No, I can’t text. It’s three in the morning and she’ll laugh at my fey notions or be mad.
I miss the years when I could fall asleep and stay there.
Friday Fictioneers prompt for 17 October 2014.
What is Friday Fictioneers? Rochelle presents a challenge to write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end, based upon a picture that she provides on her blog.
Here is today’s picture prompt (below):
FF Photo Prompt ©Douglas M. MacIlroy
My Brother’s Keeper
Word Count: 99
I knew he’d been planning to leave. That he did it so suddenly, without warning is what threw me off. It’s a year later and nothing’s changed in the room that was his prison. The ladder is still at the window and the shell compass. “Use it to come find me”, he said, the day before he jumped off the ladder into another dimension.
One where school gym teachers didn’t tell you that it was okay or that they’d hurt your little brother too if you ever told anyone.
I wonder if these shells point in the right direction…?
15 October 2014
In his sights
Lured with his words
Loved only as a pawn
His long distance trophy
An unwilling captive
Ripped to shreds
The gift reverently given
In hands filthy with his
Keystrokes to his whores
Lies of magnitude
Creeping and crawling
Disturbing my midnight dreams
Smiling his protestations of love
Staining newborn clean thoughts
With his memory
7 October 2014
When I last saw Evan Dancing Boy, he was standing still…
He stood on the thin strip of grass between the children’s playground and the gravel strewn access road to the highway. He was staring, enraptured by the firefly like burn of the sparkler he held in his hand.
Evan Dancing Boy… He truly did dance everywhere. Or skip, in that blissfully unselfconscious way that little boys are allowed when they are small, and before the world wants children to be bound by definitions and not to be just children.
Such a beautiful child. Big brown eyes like his daddy and his hair past his shoulders but blonde, like his Mama’s, my sister-in-law. I had braided his bangs to keep them off his face in the hot summer sun. He loved his auntie, we danced together often that weekend. He would run up to me, smiling his heartbreaker-in-training smile, grab my hand in his small, still toddler pudgy hand; “Dance with me Kateri”!
On the last evening of pow wow, as dusk was giving way to full dark, we brought out marshmallows and sparklers for the children. We all of us round the fire that night, family and friends, a large group, were sunshine and happiness tired. Content in a successful sharing. The children ran about, tumbling through the open spaces of the campground, in and around the tents, camper vans and the playground.
I lit sparklers along with some of the other aunties and uncles and handed them to our kids. Evan’s eyes went wide when he took his. “Like fireflies Kateri”! He said with excitement and reverence. I watched with affection, as he danced and skipped away, waving the sparkler.
Scant moments later, I turned to look and saw that he stood stalk still, further than he should be and staring into the woods just beyond the campground. His sparkler still sputtered in his hand.
“Evan! Come see your auntie”! I called but he seemed oblivious and a snake stirred in my belly as I watched the sparkler, dying now, fall from his hand and the blackness swallow up his little frame.
I started to walk, then run as the snake squirmed but when I came to the spot where he’d stood; I could see he was gone.
Only the red hot tip of the sparkler in the grass, showed that anyone had stood here in the last few moments…
I suffer from insomnia
But it’s really more like
A renegade variant
Of Epstein Barre Virus
Took up squatter’s rights
In my spinal fluid and liked it
But it needed more space and so
It took a sublet in the grey matter
That used to house my serotonin factory
Sometimes my brain rests
In LSD-like visions…
Until insomnia strikes
Not so much insomnia though
As it’s a mumbling male voice
And a rattling the knob of my front door
Causing synapses to warp from fidgety
To holy fuck!
And I leap out of bed like a cat
Well, maybe not exactly like a cat
But I’m wearing a Hello Kitty tee-shirt
My heart is going 90mph
It’s not even a weekend for christ’s sake…
As I move stealthily toward the door
But in reality, moving like a frightened mouse
I want more than anything to be wearing
My cloak of invincibility
Which was really just an old shirt of my Daddy’s
I used to wear those when I was unbreakable
That time when some strange guy came knocking
And It was just my sisters and me
‘Cause my Brother was still just a twinkle in my Mumma’s Eye
And I grabbed my Dad’s 303 because I knew
That I could handle anything back then
I had my Superman shirt on, you see?
I’m pretty sure that this Hello Kitty shirt
Doesn’t have that kind of magic in its fibres
And all I want right now is my Daddy
Or some kind of magic, any kind at all
Because I’m very alone and very scared
And my brain won’t stop replaying that night
When I was ten and brave and strong
And nobody was gonna hurt my sisters
And it seems like just the most stupid thought
When some drunk or stoned arsehole is in the hall…
The mumbling moved away after a minute
A minute that felt like three months
I listened with my ear to the door for more
More drunken wanderers or the mumbling
of the first wave of the zombie apocalypse
Because once you set my brain on a track
It’s gonna take it ALL the way to Where The Hell
That’s the fun part of the renegade virus…
So, I’m laying here trying to get back to… not awake
But I’m really sitting cause it’s easier to write
It’s been two hours now
And I’m not sure if I want to know what LSD visions
Ole EBV will make of tonight’s festivities
So I’ll stay awake here with my friend insomnia
He’s always here for me, knows all my crazy
Never laughs when I wear my Dad’s old shirt to bed
Or make my pillows into the shape of someone
Someone to watch over me
Someone who won’t let me be here
With all these