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.
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 Too often lately the spark had been missing from his eyes and it made her heart ache to see him so quiet and withdrawn.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
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.
- UK: Women’s Aid 0808 2000 247
- US: National Domestic Violence Helpline 1-800-799-7233
- Australia: 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732.
- Worldwide: directory of helplines and agencies at International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies.
- UK: ManKind Initiative
- U.S. and Canada: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women
- Australia: One in Three Campaign