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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Silver Bracelets
By Ruth Neilson


The sun is setting and I sigh as I began my preparations. It is promising to be another long night. Rent is due and Uncle is demanding his share of the profits.

Short skirt, hosiery, low cut blouse.

I hate my life. I didn’t choose it. Uncle’s girls never do. He always finds his girls lost and alone in some street alley, trying to stay warm. He invites them to stay in his hotel for the night—seemingly free of charge.

The first night is always the best night under Uncle’s roof. Then morning dawns and his girls suddenly realize the hell into which they have descended.

Paint carefully applied to the face.

The promised safety came at a steep price. Whatever belongings his new girl had with her were gone—stolen during the night. And Uncle wants his money for the bed. His always gives his new girl an option of how to pay...up front or work for him until her debt is paid off.

Most of Uncle’s new girls are always naïve and didn’t know what Uncle is talking about. And they would often ask to pay off their debt.

Careful hands work the curler through thinning hair.

Her first night is always the worst. It begins the cycle from which there is no escaping from...she has no where else to go.

She didn’t bargain for this life. I didn’t want this life.

Uncle is here for his rent...again.

Smooth hand lifts her chin as beady eyes study her.

God, please...rescue me! I would sell my soul for my real uncle to rescue me...though he’d hafta arrest me because of what I have become. But it’d be worth it; I’d be free.

I carefully count out the green bills and place them in Uncle’s waiting, carefully manicured fingers. He nods and gives me one of his award winning smiles. I am one of his more profitable women...and that is something I’m ashamed of being.

I close my eyes as he leaves my prison and I wait. Trying to escape at the beginning of the night is stupid—it only brings beating and more money stolen away from me. I take a seat, and wait for my first John of the evening.

The sound of footsteps fills the hallway. From the sound of it, I know its going to be a busy night. I touch my hair, making sure it is perfect for my company. Then I stand, striking a pose for my visitor.

Silence fills Uncle’s house and then everything breaks loose. The door to my prison is kicked open and men’s voices fill the air.

“Freeze! Police!”

Shaky legs collapse underneath me and I find myself on the floor as a helmeted man rushes forward to me. Tearfully, I hold my wrists up, knowing the drill, but praying that maybe this time I might be able to escape my life.

The man kneels next to me and tearfully, he snaps silver bracelets around my wrists. I blink several times as I gaze through his face shield.

My hero, my uncle! For the first time in weeks, I know that I am safe and he will protect me.

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This article has been read 810 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/24/08
You've chosen to show another "side" of life for this topic. This form of slavery is so tragic. I'm glad there is a Righteous Judge. You are a very gifted writer. I like how you progressed the story with the italic lines of thoughts and action. You've told this story seamlessly.
Laury Hubrich 04/25/08
Oh, what an awesome entry. Your title is so very fitting.
Jason Swiney04/25/08
I agree with everything Beth said above, and what a clever, clever title. This one definitely struck a nerve and made me think, and that is what a good writer is suppose to do.
Peter Stone04/25/08
Great story revealing an all too tragic story that keeps repeating itself throughout society. Great ending, as she rejoices at way in which true freedom comes.
Yvonne Blake 04/26/08
What a description of emotions! Well done, I could feel the tension building. Great writing.
Joshua Janoski04/27/08
This was a very unique take on the topic. The descriptions of her nightly preparations was excellent, and I liked how you blended it in with the rest of the story.

I felt like the ending was predictable after you mentioned that she wished her real uncle would rescue her. However, that didn't stop this story from being an enjoyable read. I appreciate you sharing it. :)
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
Excellent! I loved being misled about the title--I'd assumed that with all of her preparations, the silver bracelets were part of her professional attire. Great aha! moment.
Lynda Schultz 04/28/08
I'm a little slow—didn't connect the title to the end of the story. Now that the light has dawned, it was very clever. I kept wondering why she hadn't gone to her uncle for help before getting in so deeply with "Uncle." Well done.
Joanne Sher 04/28/08
I agree with Jan about the title - just THAT is masterful in itself, and the rest of the story is wonderfully told. Excellent.
Chely Roach04/28/08
Wow! Bad uncle..bad, bad uncle. What a story with our teeny tiny word allotment. Awesome stuff!
Willena Flewelling 04/28/08
I didn't make the connection between the title and end of the story either! Very clever... and a great story.
Debbie Wistrom04/29/08
I appreciate you leaving the safe subject going out into the real world. Well done! I too agree how perfect your title is for this piece.
Dee Yoder 04/29/08
What a sad story and so true for many women, as well as children. I like the way you ended the story, too.