Friday, September 04, 2015

Something in the city

At this week's Sunday's Whirligig  we have been challenged to write a short story or poem using the following words; scarlet, play, pretend, stench, flying, verses, scars, holding, inscriptions, silence, shoes and demanding.  Here is mine.

Something in the city

You never knew did you? "She’s flying high, I’m so proud of her" you said. "She’s something in the city you know". Well, at least you got that right.

It wasn’t easy playing the perfect daughter, pretending I was everything you thought I was. You never saw my inner scars; you never really knew me.

Those that do call me Scarlet Susan. And you know what? I don’t mind. Whatever they demand is just fine by me. It’s only a job I tell myself. That’s all. I wear designer clothes, I eat in the finest restaurants, stay in exclusive hotels. And I get amply rewarded by politicians and businessmen for my services .....and my silence.

It’s cold today. Are you cold? I wish you could wrap me in a blanket and hold me like you used to when I was small. We'd sit gazing into each others eyes. Do you remember?

Look at all these miserable grey headstones; verses chosen because they sound nice. Your inscription is no different. Your stupid brother wrote it. ‘Those we love don’t go away; they walk beside us every day’. Please God, don’t let that be true.

Why did you leave me? Why did you die so young? Was it my punishment for deceiving you? Do you know about me now? Do you know what I really am? Do you? DO YOU....?

Look at me, sitting here holding a bunch of wilting flowers from the corner shop, my tarty high-heel shoes caked in mud, mascara running down my face.

I’d like to say I’ll change. But I won’t. I know that and you probably do now.

Please forgive me Mummy, please.

Picture: At Dills grave by N Deed at deviantART


  1. You wonder whether that little daughter is still there inside her or has her transformation been so great that she is a completely different person now that can never change. If that is the case why does she ask for forgiveness?

    1. I feel she's totally confused and living as two people, which I why I tried to switch back and forth with her thoughts. Thanks for dropping by Old Egg.

  2. It has to be hard to condone doing that which your parent has drilled into you as "bad" behaviour. It is so easy to stray from the path set for you.... I can imagine having the same conversation under the same circumstances you've set up in you "Something in the city".

    As for the jackass in "How ya doing?", some people never learn though you did take a lot of liberties with his vanity. LOL

  3. I like this new direction Keith - and the change of voice and perspective truly echoes internal confusion and despair - i think we all carry the little part of us that hoped to be nurtured and loved unconditionally and in our own way try to compensate though often that ends up causing more harm than insightful write...

  4. Heartbreaking. Lovely. This makes me grateful for my quiet little life and for the fact I still have my parents on this earthly plane.

  5. I like the way you took the intended comfort of ‘Those we love don’t go away; they walk beside us every day’ and turned it upside down into something that would be absolutely horrifying to her because of how she is living her life in such opposition to the way her mother would have wanted her to. Really strong write. Emotive.

  6. Leading with our emotions can get us into some very scary places. I like how you jump her back and forth, the questioning and the pondering really underscore the doubts and confusion about what we choose and why,


  7. What a poignant plea! I do hope the speaker finds the forgiveness she so desperately seeks.

    Strange Little Songs

  8. Ah ... such a terribly sad story ... and how often do we believe want we wish to believe, never looking too closely. Bravo.