Writing exercise… written in 1 hr or less…pushing for 30 minutes next time…very tired and need to go to bed… this story is complete… it is written spontaneously and was not premeditated beforehand…it is short and must be read the entire way though…thank you so much! ❤
Copyright © 2015 [HANNAH SCOFIELD]. All Rights Reserved.
Mom wasn’t looking. Nobody was looking. The windows were dark, the panes were cold. There wasn’t anything to see, really.
What did people mean when they said “look” anyway?
Surely, there was nothing to look at. It was only a phrase of expression. She looked at her mother, who was tired and bent, and certainly not looking where she pointed.
“Mom,” she said another time, “mom, where are we going?”
Again, he mother said nothing, and her daughter did not venture again to ask, telling herself he mother’s continued hearing loss had only worsened.
“Look here,” someone was shouting at someone else as they passed through a mob of people in the streets.
“Don’t” said her mother, this time pulling her daughter to herself.
When they got to their destination, it was wickedly cold. The kind of cold that shot through the skin and made bones shiver.
“Mom, it’s cold in here, can’t we go outside?”
This time, her mother did hear her, and she looked at her with eyes so soft, her daughter wondered what she had said.
“Mother! What is happening to me?” The room filed with a gas that smelled like toasted mustard seed, and her mother, her mother who never cried, was most certainly crying.
And then she woke up. She wasn’t with her mother anymore. She was in a bed that was quite unusual because she never slept in a bed. And, there was a roof over her head, not made of cardboard and cloth, but of plaster and wood.
Where on the earth was she?
“If you don’t get up now, they’ll come and get you,” a small voice said. She looked down from her sheets—real sheets!—and saw the owner of the small voice.
“They’ll get you,” she said again, and ran off.
“I haven’t seen children in ages,” the woman’s daughter said. She crinkled her nose because she knew something wasn’t right, and her mother would crinkle her nose when things were a bit out of place.
But someone was coming.And he passed by her room.
A man! Why she hadn’t seen a man in ages. Not since the first war, when her father had left her and never come back.
Nobody really came back from those types of things.
He looked at her door as it was something small—like a puppy, or even a shoe.
And then, he left.
“Where am I?” and she looked around. She was only eleven years old, and the world was a very big place. But it was also a very dangerous place, and she could have sworn this was not one of the safe places.
Well, at least she was alive. And she had a good night’s sleep. But where was mama?
She yawned and thought it would be lovely to have breakfast. She hadn’t had a good breakfast in a long time, but mother had done a fantastic job, and found a boarding house. Boarding houses always had breakfasts.
But she couldn’t get out of bed. How odd! It was almost as if she was…restrained by some materialistic means.
The fear and adrenaline began to rise. Where was she? Where was her mama? When was her daddy going to come home? He promised before he went to war that he would come back. He was a tall man, he really was. And handsome, mama had said. Oh, where was she?
The man walked by again this time, and she prayed he would not come in the bedroom.
He didn’t. But he glanced at the door again, and muttered something awful. She was sure he did, for she saw him through the window that looked into the open white corridor.
The smells were awful. She must had been in a prison. Prisons aren’t nice places to be at all.
If she was in jail, what had they done to mama?
The smell of warm latex only grew stronger, making her want to faint. It was in one of these fainting spells that the door opened, and the man certainly did come in. He wasn’t papa.
Should she scream? What had mama said? She had said that if something was about to happen…if she was scared, if she ever felt threatened…
He touched her arm.
“Help!” she cried deliriously, “someone help me!”
He looked at her, angry and startled and jumped up. She kicked and flailed, and wanted oh so much to get out of bed. What had happened to mama? What had happened to her? What was going on, oh would someone, anyone, help her? She was only ten. She shouldn’t be in bed. She should be hiding away from the world.
But the world had discovered her.
No good deed comes unpunished. Even the deed of youthful innocence.
He was doing something. Mixing something. It looked rather heinous. Who knew what he designed for her to consume. She wouldn’t take it. She wouldn’t eat from strangers.
His dark complexion, muscular build, and glassy eyes made him appear quite fierce and young. Smart, too. Like a warrior. Did her father know him, she wondered, in the war?
“Now, look here,” he said looking more towards than at her, “you need to take this, you understand?”
But she did understand. She may have been only 10, but she had seen those pills before.
“Yes,” she said slowly, “Yes, sir, I understand.”
He looked relieved.
“Good,” he said, “And don’t scream anymore, they’ll hear! They’ll take you away!” He pointed towards the door, where she could see more men walking. They must have been soldiers.
“Daddy,” she said, finding it hard to believe he was once in the war, years ago.
“Yes,” he said, “Now be a good girl like your daddy told you so, and take the pill.”
“Yes,” she said, “Yes, don’t shout, I’ll take the pill.”
He smiled again, with a grin of triumph. She put the clear cup to her lips, and looked at him.
“Go on,” his eyes coaxed, “take the medicine.”
Suddenly, as his body drew nearer and he stooped to take the glass away, she hurled the glass against his face, cracking it upon his cheekbones.
“AhHHghhh!” he screamed, pulling away, and touching his cheek that was now flickering with a fresh red stream of blood.
“You’ll pay for this! You’re in trouble now!” He ran out of the room to meet a swarm of people that had already come to his aid.
She sat, still stuck in the bed, trembling. He was not her father, and her father was probably dead. If she could only know what was happening to her!
Dozens of hostile-looking people came in. It was such a frenzy.
“That’s it, you’ll have to leave.”
“How dare you!”
“You idiot!” They all shouted at once, glaring at her, touching her, pulling her, hissing.
When they left, she thought she might try to get out of bed. But she could not even lift her head from the pillow.
The man had told her she would pay for what she had done. What did he plan to do?
She sat staring at the ceiling at silence, smelling the warm latex, thinking of the mustard scented gas, and wondering what it all meant. Was it really the end of times, and would she die that night?
A fan was mounted on the ceiling, but it didn’t move. Instead, the room was still and stuffy.
“If only they’d come and finish it!” the daughter thought.
When they did come, she felt she was one hundred years old. The two-hour wait passed as quickly as a lifetime.
“You’re going to have to leave this facility,” a Wagnerian woman hissed in her ears, “and I won’t shed a tear.”
As the woman wheeled her gurney away, the daughter looked and realized that the small-voiced girl had been lying in a bed across the room from her.
“You did it, they got you,” her face said, and she lifted her small hands to wave goodbye.
She was lead into an open room, full of windows, and sick people, and ceiling fans that actually spun.
It must have been the war hospital.
“Miss, your family is here to see you,” another terrifying woman told her plainly.
She looked around, but she didn’t see her mother. The men she saw were nearly in the grave their hairs were so grey, and bodies so wrinkled, that they couldn’t have been her absent father.
She muttered, but was afraid to say anything, so they wouldn’t put her back in the awful room, which must have been a POW prison. She shivered.
A young woman, much too young to be her mother, and much too old to be a friend, leaned down on her knees near the gurney, tears in her eyes. “Happy Birthday,” she said softly, extending a small cupcake with a candle on top.
“You’re, you’re not my mother,” she replied, looking everywhere but at the cupcake.
“No, mom, I’m your daughter,” the woman said wistfully, “Mom, I’m Kellsie.”
No, no, that woman wasn’t Kellsie.
The Kellsie-impostor got up from the floor, and wiped her eyes. “See, I brought Sara and Dillon to see you. Say hi to grandma.” The small children said hello, but she had not seen children in years. She was only 10 and couldn’t have grandchildren.She started to cry.
Kellsie eyes got so big they looked like a fawns. “Mama, don’t—it’s me—“
“Listen, I lost…I lost my mama,” she said quickly, clinging tightly to Kellsie arm, “She’s gone. I saw her yesterday. Have you seen her? They won’t tell me, they’ve locked me up.”
Tears streamed down Kellsie’s eyes and she turned away.“How long has she been like this?” she whispered to the frightening woman who stood beside the bed.
“She’s getting worse. She hit one of the nurses again.”
“She doesn’t remember me! She’s talking about grandma still. She knows grandma didn’t make it in the war.”
“It’s alright, she’s being taken excellent care of,” the other woman reassured Kellsie, “she loves it here.”
“It’s all right. You’re doing all you can. Alzheimer’s hurts the loved ones more than anyone else. She is perfectly happy, see she’s got a dolly. You’re the only one who’s suffering here, Kellsie.”
Meanwhile, she was struggling on her bed. The door was so close to her. If only she could reach it.
“Where are you taking her?” Kellsie said.
“She needs to go to a better facility—with more care. Right now, she can stay in her own room.”
“She can’t be isolated!” Kellsie persisted, “Mama loves to socialize.”
The Wagnerian woman looked at her cynically, but said nothing.
“Good-bye, Mama,” Kellsie said, giving her a kiss as they took her away.
But she wasn’t Kellsie’s mama! She was only ten years old and she saw her mother yesterday. A scary man had just tried to hurt her in the other room, and now she was being taken away to prison again. Her father must have been coming for her. Perhaps he had gone to save mother first. Hopefully she could find out how to escape from the bed before the bombs came. The bombs always came at night.