Today’s wonderful photo prompt comes from Julie Jordan Scott and to go with it I have chosen a prompt (in bold at the beginning of the story) by good friend and fellow writer/blogger Michelle Wallace. No particular reason other than that I’m a naive upstart with a taste for challenges, and an unshakeable faith in the capability of a story to write itself! Here goes:
I’m the exception, thought Lisa, , walking through the rolling fields of grass, I’ll live. The afternoon sun kissed her pretty but weathered face much as her husband had done minutes before, when he’d strolled off, sated, for a cigarette.
This whole picnic was his idea. The wine, the satin sheets, the velvet cushions, the lovemaking under open skies in broad daylight, all in an attempt at leaving everything behind after a nightmarish year.
She kept walking, her eyes dazed by the sun, her bare legs scratched by the drying grass, her eyes seeking the horizon where sky met ocean, far below.
But as she walked, she saw her girl dancing ahead of her, her gangly thirteen-year-old legs skipping her ahead like a grasshopper, then fading like a mist in the seaside air. Her girl would never walk in this warm grass, never feel this breeze in her hair, never watch eagles wheeling in the blue air, nor hear their piercing cries.
Because her friend had proven to be not her friend, Lisa’s only child had chosen to hang herself rather than face a loveless world. A few facebook messages from a gang of tramps pretending to be a boy in her school had driven that little girl to distraction. Jeers, taunts and gossip had done the rest.
Lisa turned to look for her husband, as she balanced at the edge. She saw rather than heard the surf on the rocks far below. Her daughter would never know the thrill of kicking pebbles down and watch them melt into the distance, nor stand in awe of that pounding surf that would one day reduce those rocks to dust.
When Lisa fell, it was somewhere between intention and accident. She was not the exception, after all.
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.
What a beautiful story yet so heart wrenching.
It is true however such a pity these cruel words need to be spoken at all.
Having the a cruel thought is damaging itself, without giving it a direction!
Thanks everyone once again for the generous comments–I'm on a roll with thee sad stories—hope the sadness will reduce as we make our way to Z!
Such sadness! Heartbreaking that it starts off with hope, and yet no matter what she thought, she can't get past it. She can't live.
Can't stand gossip! It's good that you wrote about it, as this is an important issue to be addressed in our world. I'm particularly glad that you mentioned facebook (and social networking) gossip. Gossip has the power to destroy people, and many of its victims will never be the same again. Thank you!
So sad, Damyanti. She probably never thought about what she was leaving behind.
Oh man. Such a sorrowful tale.
An open verdict – poor Lisa. I can't imagine the pain and the turmoil that afflicts the mother of a child driven to suicide.
I love how the beginning ties into the end. Excellent short story.
Like Michael says I do not worry about what people think of me. The fact is no matter what we do, there will always be some one to gossip and talk against people. So why worry?
Your really well-written short made my heart and stomach ache. Nice going. 😉 But seriously, well done.
Some Dark Romantic
Thank you for a thoughtful & sad story 🙂
The lovemaking under open skies in broad daylight…?
I wanna go to that park.
Very powerful. Cyber bullying is such a huge problem. Great flash fiction!
Hey read all of your A to Z posts. I am at loss of words to describe how good your stories are. All I can say is I will remember each of them for a really long time for they have a high surprise element, sad or sweet, but quite hair-raising. A quality that writers struggle hard to achieve, but it comes so naturally to your masterpieces 🙂
Love the way the ending is a callback to the beginning, and it's really unclear if it was accident, or intentional.
Losing a child is probably the hardest thing any parent will ever face – losing one in a particularly ugly way, even worse. Great little short story.
So sad. Very well written, great insight.
What a remarkably sad and chilling story. It is sad that things like that happen all to often today. I loved it. You are a gifted and talented writer!!
What a sad story. But also a cautionary tale to those who play mindless pranks on others. Well-written. Great structure. Chilling.
What a sad one.
Me despises bullying with a passion. I wish something could be done to wipe such behaviour off the face of this Earth. Good story. Will be back to read some of the earlier entries I missed. Ciaos.
E is for 'East of the Sun and West of the Moon'
Loved this story. Even though I thought it would end on a romantic note, it really hit close to home. I live in a small town and we had 5young children last year lose their lives for this very reason.
That was powerful and unexpected. I don't understand why it's true that "children can be so cruel sometimes".
Oh I really wasn't expecting that! Good Post!
Oh my, that one really gave me a chill at the end. Well done…
Oh. I was expecting a happy ending. Her poor husband. To lose both of them.
Oh my. I wasn't expecting the ending at all. I love that last line, though – somewhere between intention and accident. Chilling!
– Lauren @Word Art
Wow. Powerful. Thanks.
The Growing Writer
I love this story! If…strike that… when I make it through this challenge, I would like to do next years the same way you did… with short stories.
A sad and tragic story. Very well written.
Such a tragic yet beautifully written story. With the way things started, as a reader, I would't have seen the ending. But, that is a great sign of marvelous writing.
Lovely sad and evocative story that resonates in the world of techno-bullying. How could she live?
Tragic tale… but beautifully crafted!
I'm so excited that you used my prompt… and you did an excellent job.
A poignant tale, thought provoking and sad
That one is really sad…
A thoughtful and poignant story to accompany the photo and title prompts. Well done for the Letter 'G'.
Thanks for co-hosting…your time and efforts are appreciated…Sue
I can only pray, when I hear these sad, sad, tales.
That they fall straight into the arms of Jesus and that those left behind can still find the beauty in this fallen world.
That was a gripping piece Damyanti. You gave us enough to keep us on the edge, until Lisa fell. Very nicely written.
A-Z 2012 (#49) – Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 – Poetry
A-Z 2012 (#861) – Bloggit Write A-Z 2012 – Haiku
Extremely thought provoking and very touching. In today's society everyone knows about bullying but there are only a few people that are willing to do something real to stop it.
Heartbreaking, especially after hearing of the girl in CA who is missing, supposedly after an internet prompted meeting.
Very creative though, and I enjoyed your story for "f" as well. Thanks!
gossip no matter how trivial or enjoyable it may be–can never lead to good–important post
Oh and I forgot to compliment the story, it is beautiful and well-written. And touches on a subject (aside from my snarky comment above) which is important for people to be aware of.
I gossip all the time with Matthew MacNish. We cluck like hens and talk trash about ppl like it's no tomorrow.
Only here's the rub…I could be lying.
You will never know the truth.
But maybe you should gossip about it. I'd like to know I was the topic of conversation. When it boils down to it, I honestly don't care what people think of me.
An incredible story that is all too real these days. Bullying is a worldwide curse that's got to be stopped.
Wow. Great, sad story.
Paula, Anna, Marian, thanks!!
To everyone: PLEASE ensure you leave a good link to your posts so I can visit you back. Those who have changed to the new blogger are leaving their Google+ profiles, but since I am not on Google plus with this account, I can't find you.
As a co-host for this challenge, am too overwhelmed to google those I can't find immediately.
Thanks for your understanding 🙂
Oh, true, true, and true! Bullying hurts and sometimes kills, suicide is so often not a solo action, and nobody completely survives the death of a child.
I would say, "How amazing" that you've communicated all of that so compactly, but amazing is what you DO. 🙂
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes
Oh my goodness that was amazing. It is a terrible shame that these things are actually happening though 🙂
Wow, such a chilling tale – but sadly, it is happening to some of our teenagers in today's internet bullying age.