Earlier this year I had a task to fulfill: Write a one-page short story, not more than 400 words, Fiction/Drama. I did that, submitted it, and waited. A while later the reading was ready. It took quite some time until the information got to me, but finally, it’s here. Listen to the Short Story Reading below.
A Child’s Nightmare By Aurora Jean Alexander
I waited in my grandmother’s salon. The entire house seemed to walk on tiptoes. Did they really think I didn’t know what my parents wanted to tell me?
I was in the living room yesterday when they broke out in one of their arguments.
“I think we should take Stephanie to that boarding school. It would be easiest for her not to see her home being sold, our belongings split up, and us moving to different cities.” My father had said.
My mother replied acidly: “Yes, like you cared a lot about our girl, when you came home, day and night, drunk, reeking of perfume and other women.” My father yelled. “Stephanie never saw anything like it.” He lifted his hand as he wanted to slap her, but my mother screamed fearfully: “Don’t you dare to hit me again, not in my house!”
A calm and controlled voice behind her said: “The way I see it, this is still my house, daughter. I don’t want to hear one more word about it. As for you, soon-to-be-former-son. I don’t want to see you ever lifting your hand again against my daughter or anyone else in this family. It is time you both move on with your plans. Does Stephanie even know you separated and will get a divorce? You cannot just ship her out like a package and expect her to accept everything upon her return.”
My mother replied sourly: “It was his job to tell her. But we all know he is a coward.” My father hissed at her. “How dare you saying that.”
My grandmother shook her head and made up her mind: “I’ll tell her tomorrow.”
Now I stood in front of her in the salon. The door to the back fields stood wide open. My grandmother explained in a few words: “Listen, child. Your father and mother will get a divorce. They planned to have you go to school somewhere else to save you the trouble of listening to their arguments any longer. But I insisted you stay here instead, live with me for the time being. Is that okay?”
I nodded. “Yes, grandmother.”, tears streaming down my face. Then I turned around, darted through that open door, and did what I would do all my life. I ran towards the sun and light, into freedom, away from those who caused me pain and darkness.
(Copyright, March 2021)