Home Again

Home Again

January 12, 2012 Writing 49

I sit in my rocking chair enveloped in darkness. A small slit of sunlight shimmers on the cold linoleum beneath my feet. If I listen hard enough I can hear them calling my name..


“Lucy, are you ready to go?” my mother said, her blondness a slim shadow on the far wall I was desperate to ignore.

“Lucy?” she called again, temper peppering her voice. I didn’t care. All I wanted was to sit here wallowing in sullen misery in the dark. She never let me just be. I’m not like her, all peppy and perky and social.

No, I’m about as anti-social as they come, more by choice than anything else. I could have friends if I wanted them, but having friends was too much work. It required plastering on fake smiles and exchanging insincere pleasantries I could do without.

My mom didn’t understand this, though, and tried to force me into activities that were neither interesting nor fun. I wasn’t graced with athletic skills. Roller skating caused me pain. Church youth groups were too chipper. Sporting events held in too bright gymnasiums that smelled eternally like sauerkraut and wet dog made me retch. The darkness under the bleachers gave way to illegal activities I wanted no part of.

No, I’m rather content just being me. I do my greatest thinking alone. I’m at my best when I’m alone. People like me? We’re a dying breed. The rest of the world just doesn’t get us. They think we need fixing or something. Solitude does not equal broken.

The last time she took me to a sporting event she discovered the brutal lines carved on my arms. They were a mixture of red and pink, old and new, evidence of my fascination with self-inflicted pain.  There’s just something about the merlot colored liquid weeping from white flesh that arouses me. Of course, she didn’t understand that either.

My mom finally had enough. She made an appointment with some quack who rented a corner office in the building where she worked. After spending a mere fifteen silent minutes with me, he questioned my mother’s capabilities in providing for me. Their shouts echoed through the empty hallway.  My mom shut the door to his office so hard as she left it made the doorknob rattle. I’d never seen her so alive. When it was all said and done though, she surrendered me to his trust.

“Lucy!” Her voice was red hot now. I stared at her shadow for a minute more before acknowledging her. She softened and sighed.

“I don’t know what else to do with you. You’ve wandered so far away, I fear you’ll never find your way home again.”


I sit in my rocking chair enveloped in darkness. A small slit of sunlight shimmers on the cold linoleum beneath my feet. The fancy white shade is pulled almost all the way down, just the way I like it, revealing only a small portion of my entombed reality. The gold field beyond the wired window fades away into the rolling green hills edging the horizon, enticing me.  If I listen hard enough, I can hear them calling my name…


The picture at the beginning of the story was the prompt from Bloggy Moms Writers Workshop this week. Are you a blogging mom? Come join the workshop!! You’ll find useful writing tips and weekly prompt there with week long linkups to showcase your writing.

This is also a response to the StoryDam Weekly Challenge: “where is it?” in which we were instructed to write a fictional (or non-fictional) piece in which your character has lost something important.

Do you know what my character lost?’

I also worked in the 3 Word Wednesday prompts from this site also according to the definitions they offered for them: Brutal, Sullen, Trust.

And finally, I also utilized Trifecta‘s word prompt this week, though I did neither the 33 nor the 333 word count requirements. The word this week was “Weep” using the 3rd definition of: to exude (a fluid) slowly : ooze <a tree weeping sap>

And man, was it a blast. This story comes in just over 500 words. I’m always looking for good, honest critique on my pieces, and I’d really like to know what you think on this one. What did Lucy lose? Will she ever find it again?


49 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    Hmmm…what has she lost…her grip on reality? Her sense of being human?

    Regardless, a haunting tale. And the fact you fit in all those prompts (even though you didn’t meet the trifecta rules) is quite an accomplishment

    • SAM says:

      it was fun!! And the words were easy to fit into the story anyway. And I think that definition of weep is my new favorite word. I love the images it evokes!

  2. Imelda says:

    What did Lucy lose? First, she lost her sense of life, her sense of meaning, joy, etc. Maybe, she never had it. Then she lost her mind, slowly. And now, she is losing her life, her physical life.

    You are sooo prolific. 🙂 The prompts were all used seamlessly.

  3. Donna says:

    WOW! The combination of four writing prompts equals one powerhouse of a story!! Excellent take on all four. You packed a ton of emotion in those 500 words! The pain of both Lucy and her mother was palpable. My only critique is minor: When Lucy’s mother slammed the door, I could feel her frustration and desperation in the moment, but I couldn’t picture if she was slamming herself inside the office to continue arguing with the doctor about how best to help Lucy, or if she was slamming her way out and then later reconsidered. Not knowing left a little gap in my broad picture vision of the story.

  4. ThomG says:

    Welcome to 3WW. This is a great piece and I’m glad you’ve found us.

    • SAM says:

      Thank you!! I’ve eyed your site for about a month now but this was the first time I’ve used it. I’ll definitely do it again!

  5. Renee says:

    Oh very good! I’ve barely got a glimmer of an idea for one prompt. And you did a basketful.

    To me, Lucy lost her joy. She tries to find it with the cutting. But it’s not really there either.

  6. I love your opening graph and the repetition at the end. One thing got me:
    Lucy, are you ready to go?” my mother said, her blondness a slim shadow on the far wall I am desperate to ignore. I am desperate to ignore. Are you still in transition from present to past here?

  7. Tara R. says:

    There toward the end it seems like your MC may have lost her mind, but I definitely think she has lost her way.

  8. Alexis says:

    I love word pictures. Mine always feel silly like the-dogs-playing-poker painting. Yours are genuine — “her blondness a slim shadow on the far wall.” I love it. Beautiful writing. Thanks for sharing.

  9. A very sad piece. Great stuff!

  10. Satu says:

    A great piece. I’m still brooding over the Trifecta challenge. 😀 Very dense writing.

    • SAM says:

      I mentioned it in another comment but I”m in love with the image of “weep” according to the 3rd definition. I think that sentence that I used it in is my favorite sentence ever that I have written.

  11. Steeven Orr says:

    “There’s just something about the merlot colored liquid weeping from white flesh that arouses me.”

    I love that line.

    I too did the Story Dam prompt and also did a story on someone losing their sanity. I loke yours better.

    I think you did a really nice job of letting the reader feel the emotion.

    • SAM says:

      I think that line just might be my favorite of all time. Thank you for stopping by and reading and offering your feedback.. I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance!

  12. I can’t believe you were able to fit in 4 writing prompts and make it work! That’s quite an accomplishment! However, while I did like the story…it left me feeling so sad for the girl. Made me want to reach out to her, even though she is unreachable.

    • Sorry I had to add something. You know what I pictured when reading this? One of those people in an institution that sits in a chair, gazing out the window, never uttering a word; completely lost in their own head. That’s what the piece seemed like to me. We were catching a glimpse inside a girl, in this state’s, head. The memories she was reliving…. Make sense?

      • SAM says:

        Yes. It was the point behind the story. I wanted you to feel, so I am very happy that it was successful. This was a great prompt from Story Dam.

  13. I really loved this description, ” I’m not like her, all peppy and perky and social.” Well done.

  14. jesterqueen1 says:

    I’d say she’s lost her freedom and her hold on reality. Her voice rang truest when she was talking about the things her mother couldn’t understand, and I loved the part where her Mom had never seemed so alive as when she slammed the shrink’s door. The only part I really questioned was when Lucy acknowledges the choice to wallow in sullen misery. That seemed a bit forced – it seemed more like something her Mom would say than something she would actually feel. Wonderful story, though, with a highly plausible main character.

    • SAM says:

      Thank you for the feedback. I’ll give that sullen misery some thinking. Perhaps there is a better way to slide sullen in there.

  15. Laura says:

    Amazing work! I am amazed that you worked in all the writing challenges/prompts into the piece as well! You have an amazing gift!

  16. momfog says:

    The writing is solid and making it work for 4 writing prompts is impressive.

    “Solitude does not equal broken.” Maybe, but that’s not the case here.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Wow–on a number of fronts. I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said, but I tip my hat to you. Nicely done!

  18. debseeman says:

    Wow! I love love LOVE this! This line, “There’s just something about the merlot colored liquid weeping from white flesh that arouses me.” Made my tummy lurch. Very vivid!

    • SAM says:

      I have to agree. The definition chosen by Trifecta is incredibly vivid and I had so much fun using it. Thank you, Deb. It’s always nice to see you here.

  19. justlyd says:

    It always astounds me how you are able to weave everything together like that- this is fantastically sad….She’s lost her connection with the rest of the world, or she’s lost her mind? This is good look into the thinking of someone who has. I got a lot of what she as thinking too- which is a little disturbing, but I think she’s just relate-able. Great writing as always.

  20. Really intrigued by your piece – it leaves me wanting more! I can’t believe you were able to weave so many things into one piece!

  21. thommyg says:

    Some seriously good writing here. Thank you for including 3WW as a prompt. Well done.

  22. Brandi says:

    WOW! Great piece, love how you were able to work in all four prompts! Bravo!

    I hope she finds her way and her sanity, poor girl!

  23. inkpuddle says:

    She was right when she said that solitude does not equal broken, but I think in this case it’s a result of *something* in her that is. The emotion that screamed through to me was that of being alienated, along with a more subtle sense of apathy. In my mind, she seemed to feel like no one understood her. I didn’t get the sense that she was crazy or losing grip, and I’m glad. To me, being a loner and/or struggling with cutting shouldn’t automatically equal insanity.

    And I, too, am in awe of how many prompts you worked into one piece. Great job!

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

Scroll Up