Thursday, March 21, 2013


"What are you doing?" I demanded, looking into her eyes.

She stared back at me just as fixedly, but in silence.

"You never make any sense," I tried to explain. "With your fits and stops and starts, I don't know what you're thinking anymore. You go this way and that way and I don't think I can trust you."

She seemed to start to answer, but stopped herself. She couldn't.

"You've been wrong so many times," I continued, "and I've listened to you every time.  And every time, you lead us into just... trouble. How do I know you won't do it again?"

The corners of her mouth quirked up into a sad smile and she shrugged helplessly. She knew her faults. She didn't need me telling them to her. She knew them well.

"I just don't want to be hurt again," I confessed, a tear sliding its way down my cheek.

She slid her hand over her heart and tapped it, nodding insistently at me.  So, I did the same.

"Okay," I agreed.  "Together.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



I can hear the door to the cell creak open, but I barely lift my head. It's not even worth the effort anymore. My eyes stay closed.

I try not to move, like he won't notice me if I stay still. But the awareness of him being back makes me aware of the tiredness in my arms. I try to resist, but I can't. I flex my fingers in an automatic attempt to get the blood flowing into my limbs again.

He notices.  He notices and he laughs.

It's not a laugh of humor... or maybe it is. Maybe he enjoys this. All I can hear is the cruelty in it.  And I cringe.  Inside, outside. It doesn't matter. He knows.

As he moves forward, I can hear the whip slide across the floor. He asks me what he asks me every day.

I respond the same way I respond every day.

Again, he laughs. I answered wrong. It long ago stopped mattering what I answered.  Every answer was wrong.

He shuts the door. He cracks the whip.

I retreat inside myself to the one part of me that he hasn't yet broken. It's a small part but it's still mine.

Maybe for just one more day.  But it's still mine.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The sky outside his bedroom window slowly changed from nearly black to a dark grey. Morning was on its way, but he knew that the rest of the house would yet be in bed for hours.  The young man slipped from his bed and pulled on the nearest pair of pants.

Pulling his backpack from under his bed, he began to fill it with all the essentials for his trip. A change of clothes, his lucky charm, a bunch of bandages just in case. Today was the day.

With his backpack slung over his shoulder and his sneakers in his hand, he slowly opened his bedroom door and peeked into the hallway.  The house was still silent and it was safe to proceed. He tiptoed down the stairs, grabbed a cookie from the counter, and snuck out the back door, stopping on the back step to slip his feet into his sneakers.

There it sat.

"Only in the driveway," they had said.
"You must be very careful," he had been told.
"Always where Mother can see you," had been the refrain.
And, of course, "Don't ever ever ever ride it down the hill."

But, he wheeled it to the top of the hill, regardless.
He sat on its seat.
And with a deep breath, he pushed off.

It was the most exhilarating ride of his life.