FFfAW: A Child’s Joy

This post if for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) Challenge, run by Priceless Joy. This week’s picture was provided by Ady. The challenge is that you write a story of 75-175 words inspired by the photo prompt below. Here’s my entry.  I hope you like it.

Photo Prompt: © Priceless Joy
Photo Prompt: © Priceless Joy

A Child’s Joy

Billy’s laughter echoed over the water as they tossed the last scraps of bread to the squabbling birds.

“All gone now, little duckys,” he shouted. “Bye bye!”

Sarah smiled at her son’s infectious delight – she loved seeing him so animated. Too often lately the spark had been missing from his eyes and it made her heart ache to see him so quiet and withdrawn. As much as she shielded him from his father’s anger, she knew he was affected by the tension in the house.

For too long she’d told herself that things would change; that it was just the stress, a passing phase. She’d told herself he loved her, that he didn’t mean to make her cry. She’d told herself she deserved his blows.

She’d told herself many things, blind to ugly truth: it was only going to get worse. And sooner or later Billy would feel his fists.

She would not let that happen.

“Hey, Billy?” she asked. “How about a visit to Grandma and Grandad’s house?”

His eyes sparked with happiness.

Word Count: 175

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Research estimates that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Too many people put up with it for too long. Whatever reason this may be for – because they feel they have to remain in the relationship for emotional or financial reasons, because they think they deserve the abuse or because they feel they are unable to escape – it is a horrendous situation.

Nobody deserves to live their life in fear.

Abuse can be physical or emotional. It is classed as abuse if your partner threatens you or makes you fear for your safety, shoves or pushes you, puts you down, attempts to undermine your self esteem, controls you or is jealous and possessive. It also includes forced marriage and ‘honour crimes’.

If anyone reading this is in an abusive relationship – please seek help. Talk to your doctor or call a helpline.

Women

Men

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43 thoughts on “FFfAW: A Child’s Joy

  1. Excellent story! This really does need to be in the forefront of people’s minds so women will come out from hiding – meaning, hiding the person that is abusing them and get out of that situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. It must be so terrible to be in that position. I’m glad she’s starting to realise that he’s no good and she’s trying to get out before Billy finds himself in the firing line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a terrible position that far too many people find themselves in. The main thing I felt while writing it was that without the threat to Billy she may well have stayed with him a lot longer. I’m glad you enjoyed he story. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. A terrific story, highlighting a very real problem. No body needs to compromise and live with an abusive partner due to embarrassment or the fear of social rejection. And like you say in your story, it rubs off badly on kids. Very well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked the story. There are too many children living in fear of abuse. At least an adult generally has the choice to stay or go, even if leaving is not easy. A child has no choice. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw, this is so true. As much as mothers try to shield the kids, it still finds a way of affecting them. I love how you displayed the tragic reality of victims feeling like they deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a heartbreaking situation. Usually mothers in this situation try to do everything they can to keep the children away from the abuse. You gave a very vivid description of the scene. Glad grandparents are still there to take the pain away

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent story and message Louise, I’m so glad to see you include those help line numbers at the end……I agree with you that domestic violence is hidden by so many…….I can attest to that……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My heart goes out to anyone who’s ever had to deal with abuse in any form. More people need to be aware of the horrors that some people live with. Thanks for visiting.

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  7. Awesome story. It’s great that she recognised the danger the child was in and removed him from it. Even if he had not been physically abused, he was probably feeling the psychological ramifications of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Children are a lot more sensitive the the atmosphere in situations such as these than many adults would like to think. I’m glad you liked the story.

      Like

  8. Well-written, touching story with an important message.
    When I was little, one of our neighbours was an old lady who lived with her bachelor son. The son was a grade A scumbag who abused his mother verbally and sometimes physically. My mother (and some of the other neighbours) called the police many time. The old lady would always defend her son. It was heartbreaking.

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    1. Thank you, Sonya. I think those are probably the saddest cases – when the woman, for whatever reason, chooses to stay when given an opportunity to escape, continuing to put up with the abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A brilliant description of a very sad fact ~ The facts at the end with the help line numbers are very well researched and an excellent inclusion. Thank God for Grandma and Granddad to help shield Billy from following in Father’s footsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for your discussion of domestic abuse and the dialogue it created. It was a heart-breaking and contained such an important message.
    Domestic and child abuse happens within any socio-economic class, ethnicity, position within the community.
    Another reason that the abused may stay is threats by the abuser to hurt other members of the family or friends. Since the person being abused knows the anger, she/he will want to protect those within the sights of the abuser. Or the abuser threatens to find the abused wherever she/he goes. There are so many sad tales of the abuser using murder to get revenge.
    Another source of help and guidance for women is the local woman’s shelter.
    Again, thank you. And for mentioning verbal abuse. I know someone who is in that situation and has to stay due to financial circumstances and lack of a support network. I encourage her to seek help. Maybe some day . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such an in depth comment and the extra information you’ve provided. Domestic abuse is a dreadful thing made even worse by the fact that so much of it occurs behind closed doors. I hope your friend someday seeks help.

      Like

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