The Trip I Said I’d Never Take


I didn’t know why I was going. Not really. I needed to return to the place of devastation. It’s changed since Papa lived there. What did I expect to find?



These words meant the wrong things to me when I was a child. No one told me I didn’t understand. I thought ‘liquidation’ was something to do with cooking.

Stupid little girl.

I heard the grown-ups talking and tasted sadness under the anger. I became sad, too. Their shattered lives broke me as I grew to understand.

But I could never understand.

I lived in Sorrow’s shadow.


Sarah B sorrow's shadow - B&W



Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

September 30 prompt: Returning to one’s roots – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a return to home. What does it mean to return? Is it to reconnect, discover or let go? It can be a town, house, farm, castle or ruins. It can be a country or family, one of origin or one adopted. What does the return impart?


27 thoughts on “The Trip I Said I’d Never Take

  1. That’s a hard one Sarah. Such sadness in the older folk that transmits itself to the child although she can never understand it, either literally at first and then emotionally. Your last line is fantastic “I lived in Sorrow’s shadow.” Personalising Sorrow made it that much more cutting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charli. What a beautiful comment. The weaving of sorrow and shadows throughout the story… Kind of what I was going for though, as I mentioned to Irene, it was tough to write and I’m still not sure it’s quite right.
      Thanks. ❤


  2. I was just talking yesterday with my SO about the generations that followed and lived as you so eloquently expressed in “Sorrow’s shadow,” a Sorrow one could never understand but was part of one’s own history. Wonderful and haunting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So often we live in the shadows as children. I was kept in the dark about much sadness in my family. And then just when I was brave enough to ask questions… the only person who could give me answers – died.

    While different from the generation before him, I still think my own father believed that children should be seen and not heard. Often if adults don’t see the child in their sights they think the child isn’t listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s terrible. I’m so sorry, Jules. Crap, many families keep their kids in the dark while others talk and act as if they weren’t there. (Or don’t think they hear…)
      When something so horrific as this permeates a family, it’s kind of hard not to have the kids become a part of it. Even if they have to live in the shadows, I think it’s better to learn age-appropriate parts. It’s better than knowing something is really wrong and not knowing what it is. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Return to Home « Carrot Ranch Communications

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