This week, write a post based on this image:
Photo by Michelle Weber.
A fictional story based on the photo would be great (Who is this little girl? Where is she? What is she waiting for? Where is her family?), but we also look forward to non-fiction posts inspired by the photo. How does the image make you feel? Does the girl remind you of anyone in your life, or of yourself? Are you as scared of the unidentifiable green creature as we are, and is that a nose or a beak? The challenge is called “1,000 Words” after the famous phrase, but don’t feel that you need to write that much (or that little) — however many words your story requires is the right number of words.
As I sat on the broken merry go-round, I thought about all the things I could be when I was older. That’s what Moulder had told me to do anyhow. I was to stay put and think about all the very best things I could be when I was all grown up.
“Can I be a Policeman!” I belted, holding on to the dirty cuff of his brown leather jacket that had torn a pocket on the left breast. The look Moulder gave me erred on impatience, but if he looked at me long enough, a smile would always appear. “You can be a Police-woman, if you want. I’d bet you’d be the finest blue on the beat.” He returned my hand to me and turned his attention to something in the distance, his right arm moved behind his back to underneath his shirt, and stayed there for a while. I was still interested in knowing what other dreams he could indulge me with.
“I want to be a chocolate maker too …I think.” I licked my lips at the thought of it, “Can I be that too Moulder? Can I be a chocolate maker and a Policeman? …”, I jumped off the broken ride and reached out to embrace his waist, my short arms unsuccessfully grappled with the top of his baggy jeans; he was deceptively bigger when he was fully clothed, but something happened when I touched him – “Get back and sit!” In one quick movement he tugged me off of him and parked me firmly back on the merry-go-round. It creaked and jerked to the right, under the force in which my weight had been placed on it. The shock and slight pain he had caused me sent my heart racing, “I already told you, you stay put and you think about it.” he avoided my watery glare, “…Stop asking me dumb questions and just think …got it?” His bony fingers had left a throbbing pain where he had grabbed me, so I did the only thing I knew would cause him as much embarrassment as he had caused me. I cried.
Moulder never knew what to do in a tantrum situation, it’d always been left to my mother to deal with me in this state; mainly because she scared the life out of me and because Moulder was still only 17, and a child himself. His face turned ashy, I wanted to stop, but I was still angry “You little shit, if you don’t stop crying now, I’m going to make sure you never become anything when you grow up.” His statement only spurred me on, “I will end you right now, and you’ll be a ghost forever” , the venom in his voice really scared me and looking at Moulder right then, I didn’t recognising him at all. I lowered my gaze when he attempted to lock me in a steely stare – he needed to know that I was sorry, that I would never cross him again, that’s how it’d worked with mother. I know he felt bad because he exhaled deeply and the tension lifted slightly. He didn’t speak to me for a little while after, allowing us both to cool off whilst he also took advantage of my silence to make some calls. When he returned he dug low into his baggy jeans, pulled out a tissue and extended it to my face. “No way it’s got bogeys” I wrestled his gesture aside ruining what would be his only attempt at reconciliation. “Fine. Stay your little butt down, if you move at all – I. will. hurt. you.” He backed away, making sure to he caught my glare, holding it so he knew I knew he meant it. I knew he meant it – there was a manic look behind his dark eyes. He turned and ambled towards the two young men now hovering in front of the shop I always saw old men with tickets and money staggering in and out of. The three of them huddled and creeped into the shop, one after the other.
Moulder’s words had affected me, I knew that much. I’d been beat before, but usually by people I didn’t like and that didn’t like me. Moulder loved me, he always had – he’d even told me so once. When my mother went away for days sometimes weeks, without telling us, Moulder would make sure I was looked after. Usually he would make his girlfriends do it “How many girlfriends you got Moulder?” I asked him one day. He wasn’t happy with that question, and neither was the girlfriend who was present. I had nice clothes and some cool toys, I even had him braiding my hair. I loved Moulder so much it always hurt so much when my mother would come back and he would go away. I will hurt you, I couldn’t believe he’d really hurt me. He just wanted to scare me into doing what he wanted like my mother always did.
Policeman, that’s what I would decide to be. Racing along in my car with the blue and red flashing lights. I once saw a man on TV riding one so fast to catch a bad man that he sent the car soaring into the sky. I could even hear the distant sounds of the sirens now…
It hadn’t occurred to me that there was screaming coming from inside the shop Moulder had entered just minutes earlier. I hadn’t noticed the crowds hovering by the shops on either side and across the road. “Hey you, where’s your mummy?” I looked at the stranger’s face. Moulder told me to stay away from strangers’, especially the type that looked like this old man. I hung my head and ignored his questions. “You need to be with your mummy right now – is she in one of the shops?” He sounded like he cared, but that didn’t matter, he was still a stranger. Suddenly the people in the street cowered and screamed, everyone ran for cover in all directions. I was familiar with the sounds of gun shots, I’d just only ever heard them on tv. The old man tried to make a grab for me as I instinctively leapt from the merry go-round and made a run for the shop I knew Moulder was in. I wanted to be near him, I had to be.
The sirens grew closer, sending my senses into chaos. I tried to run straight, but there were people in the way, people who looked like they wanted to hurt me. “MOULDER” I cried out, my little legs failing under the dexterity in which they had managed to obstruct my every path. “MOULDER, MOULDER, MOULDER” I screamed long and hard until my voice broke under the strain.
A short policeman with a sour face broke rank and crept into the circle they’d enclosed me in “Come here little girl, it’s alright – we’ll keep you safe”, she was smiling but something told me she didn’t do it often. Two large vans had joined the fanfare. The doors swung open as three …four …ten other policemen with guns shooed the normal people to the sides, out of my view. The other van disposed more policemen; this group ran straight into the shop Moulder was in. Almost immediately a series of gun shots rung out like bb gun pellets. I hated bb guns, I’d been on the receiving end of one once – Moulder had seen to it that kid never looked at me again. I tried to make another break for it, but the policeman, she was too quick. “Moulder” I whimpered, falling to the ground, tired and overcome with a sadness I didn’t really understand. Looking back, I think I knew that I wasn’t going to see Moulder again. The world passed by in a blur as I was passed along numerous pairs of arms until I was – as the bespectacled skinny Policeman exclaimed over me – “Clear”.