WORD PICTURE CHALLENGE

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WORD PICTURE CHALLENGE

25 WORDS OR LESS  – tell a story. A group of 7 friends submitted their 25 words using the photo as a starting point and from this grew this piece of microfiction.

He had never been so frightened in his life.  He stood, alone and shaking in the silent room.  His parents had dropped him at the presbytery hours earlier. He is here to stay for first communion preparation. Scary. Six nights left.

Whispers drifted in the window like ghosts; the air crawled thick with memories…once a home where monsters roamed, their kingdom had long been silent.  The memories crawled out of the cracks and crevices of his mind where he had kept them hidden.

The voice echoed in his head, ‘This is her world, her room. Twenty-three years of isolation and torment as bitter and twisted as the darkness that shades the heart of her captor.

Why had he thought embracing the faith, would comfort him?  The act of reconciliation with his parents was a juvenile attempt to reclaim his tortured soul.

Stripping off his clothing, he completed his nightly ritual of self-degradation.  The pain cleansed his mind but for a brief moment. The flagellation raised welts and opened old scars, the blood trickled down his back.

He reached for his pyjamas, wincing as the fabric enclosed his tortured body. Slowly he moved toward the bed. Once a bed, he huddled in close, the warmth of his blankets almost smothering him as though he were wrapped in his mother’s arms.

‘They won’t come tonight,’ was his last thought as he drifted into the abyss of sleep.

Quiet as a whisper, she opened the door.   The floorboards shifted and creaked beneath her, she grasped the knife. Nothing would protect him on this night, not even the cross. She studied the scene: Religious iconography reminiscent of Goya’s Third of May; the defiant open armed saviour.  She remembered the blast, the sound, and the pain. She tasted the cordite that lingered – the fear.

Raising her arms above her head like a tortured Christ, she thrust downward with all her strength. Suffer the little children.  Smiling ,the deed completed, she left as quietly  as she had entered.

The entire community attended his funeral. She wept silently in the corner as families came and went like years; none would stay- none could stay for her death, it was the last part of the puzzle. Now she would rest.

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About lindandsam

Linda is a poet and writer. She is a student at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) completing Bachelor of Creative Writing. Published in the USC Storyboard, 2015. Self-published ‘Where is Gedhum Choekyi Nyima?’ For the Tibetan Children’s Village, Dharamsala, 1997. She lives in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and shares her life with her partner and their four-legged fur babies Hugo and Tashi-la, and their second-hand book shop.

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