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V for Vulnerable was not the first word : atozchallenge fiction

Today’s word prompt (at the begining of the story below) comes from Jaye Robin Brown and I’ve matched it with a photo prompt courtesy Michelle Wallace.

Vulnerable was not the first word that came to mind when you saw Blythe.

Her pinched waist, her plump breasts, her long legs, her short clothes, her straight blonde hair, and last but not the least, her vacant eyes, might remind you of Barbie. And you would be right. 
That is all Blythe had dreamt of, all her life, since she was six and watched her mother take more care of her Barbie dolls than of her breakfast, bedtime and all the times in between. Blythe wanted to be Barbie.
They sent her mother away, because Dad said she was sick. She and Dad visited mother on Sundays in different white rooms that smelt of soap, cough medicine, and fear. Surrounded by white walls, white sheets and white flowers, mother seemed a little more wrinkled each time, afraid to touch anything other than the Barbies she lived with.

But all that would change today. 

After two years away from mother, spent in hospital rooms and clinics that looked much like her mother’s prison; hours, weeks, months spent recovering from cuts, sores, nips, tucks, pulls, agonies, implants, Blythe now hoped mother would look at her. Really look, and smile. She might even give Blythe a hug, or comb her meticulously ironed hair. Or kiss her porcelain-white cheek.

Blythe walked past the swinging glass doors of the facility that had housed her mother for more than twenty years, and into the lobby restroom. She gave herself a once over in the bathroom mirror. Her large, blue, unseeing eyes stared back at her. She moved up her skinny arm to pat her hair, and wondered what would happen if her arms came off, or her legs. 

Worse still, what if mother found out they wouldn’t come off? And that she had nipples, and a dark, soft cave between her legs? That she really wasn’t Barbie, after all, but faltering, imperfect Blythe?

No. She would be quiet, and stay out of mother’s reach. That way, mother would grin, call out to the life-sized Barbie doll. Blythe’s dream would come true. She gave herself a stiff smile in the mirror, and walked to her mother’s room, hips swaying, in determined steps.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death

If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Posts of 2012 will start on Monday May 7th.  The Linky list will go up on that day so you can enter the link for that post on the list.

You can tell us what you thought were the highlights of your April Challenge, what you learned, what changes you might make next time, or what surprised you most.   Let us know about special bloggers you met in your A to Z journey or about a post or posts that especially moved or impressed you.  There are no limits as to what your Challenge experience might have been so tell us in your best way how you felt about the April A to Z Challenge of 2012.  

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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