Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
- TITLE: Little Woman
By Laurel Rogers
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Ten year old Jasmine sat anxiously as the buss turned down the street to the intersection where she would disembark. “Oh please, let Momma be there.” If her mother was there, it was a good day and things would be okay for awhile. Maybe she could watch a little TV and then, do her homework in peace. As the bus pulled up to the corner of 5th and Elm, her heart raced. Her mother wasn’t there. She stepped off the bus and made the long trek down the hill to her house. As she came down the hill, she saw her father’s truck and a familiar chill ran over her. “He’s home,” she said to herself. As she got to the gate, she heard the familiar sounds of screaming and yelling. Slowly, she trudged up the walkway, wanting to run, run away forever, but knew she could not. Taking a deep breath, she opened the front door. “Heyyy Ba-ee-bee” came her mother’s slurred voice from the kitchen. “Hi Mom,” she said as she walked in, the familiar smell of stale whiskey and cigarettes engulfing her. She kissed her parents and went to her room as she waited the, soon to come, predictable events.
And come they did…within moments Jasmine heard the horrific cries of her mother. Rushing from the room, she saw as she had so many times before, the big hands of her father slamming into her mother’s face. As blood ran down her mother’s face, Jasmine pushed her father away. “Daddy stop!!!” her voice screamed as she pushed him backward away from her battered mom. He fell backward into the chair, still cussing. Gently, she took a cloth and cleaned the crimson mess from her mother’s face. Then, as she had done so many times before, she walked her mother to the bedroom and gently tucked her into bed.
As she came from the room, she realized it was quiet-her father had passed out at the table. Capitalizing on the moment, she rushed to her room and hurriedly did her homework-finishing it just as the screams of her father echoed again. He was coming up the hallway but in a saving moment, he entered the bedroom he shared with his wife and fell across the bed. He was out again.
Jasmine went back to her room and opened the window. She listened as the neighbor kids played ball on the corner lot. “I used to do that,” she thought, “when I was a child.” For a moment, she let her mind drift back to a happier time but just as quickly, she was back to reality. Her little brother and sister would be home soon and had supper to cook.
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