#85 Katie

by Christopher H. Mitchell

Gold. It was everywhere, in the sunflowers in her hand and the curls framing the pale face. A frilly dress completed the look, lace matching the Baby’s Breath spray. She was most beautiful girl in the world.

It seemed like yesterday the squalling mess came into her life. A gift like no other, she was the light against the dark of his abuse. The opposite everything Father had been. The growing life was a threat to his dominion. There were demands on who had trod so horridly in his territory. Jealous, he had tried to beat the baby out of Melissa. For once, her milquetoast Mother stood up to him and he was sent to jail. The boy she had slept with stayed far away.

It didn’t matter. The late nights and minor upsets were fertilizer in her barren garden. Melissa grew with Katie and opened toward the sun. The trailers and broken cars n the yard didn’t matter. Neither did her pudgy, pocked face. Only the wide, blue eyes and sunflower curls did, the scent of her body transporting them both to palaces and riches.

But all days end. Father came back to them as sure as a storm at sunset, shadows with lightning and thunder as she screamed for Katie. A flash of a gun once, then again and it was all over.

The preacher speaks briefly and Melissa watches her flower being pressed into the scrapbook of time, closing with the lid of her coffin.

1 comment:

Daren Despot said...

i like that you were able to narrate a sequence of events that would have spanned months, in only 250 words. it feels like a story that the reader can care about, even though it must happen nearly every day in the world.