Will Power

 

BlogBattle Sarah B Lollipop sig

 

We never have candy at home. “Waste of money,” Ma says. And there was some just sittin’ in a bowl, askin’ me to take it.

It was the kind I love, too. Those round lollipops wrapped in white paper with the flavors on ’em in different colors.

I wanted one real bad.

I tried to make myself small. Which isn’t that hard. I’m already sorta small. “Scrawny” some kids call me. I don’t get mad.

My teacher says I have no muscle tone. Can’t even ride a bike right. It always falls over ‘cuz I can’t pedal fast enough to keep it up.

I snuck a look over at Ma, then slid down in the chair a little. I kept my eyes on her and stuck my hand out to get one. She slapped my hand away without even lookin’ at me.

“You didn’t ask for one of them pops and, anyway, the answer woulda been ‘no’ if you did.”

“I’m sorry?” The man in the suit said to Ma.

“Are you?” She spat at him.

“What I meant, Mrs. Carter, is that I didn’t understand why you said…”

“I know what you meant,” she leaned forward so her chest was squished into the front of the desk. “I’m not stupid like you think I am. I know what’s goin’ on here.”

“I never implied you were…unintelligent. Nor did I say you were incapable of understanding the situation.”

This was not a good time to open my mouth. I knew that. But I did it. “Ma? Please can I have one of them pops?”

Now she did look at me. Not even out the corner of her eye. No. She turned her whole self to stare me down. I knew that look. Was expectin’ it even. But it still made me shake a little, sorry to say.

“Here you go,” the man reached across his desk and gave me a lollipop with little red fruit on it. I think it was strawberry. But I never tasted it.

Ma snatched that thing outta my hand so fast I didn’t barely feel the stick. She smashed it down on the desk so hard the thing musta cracked and I thought what a waste as I coulda’ been eatin’ it. Made me wanna cry.

I didn’t cry, though. I never cried. That’s a thing about me.

“You wanna give him candy?” Ma stood, palms spread out on the man’s desk staring him down now. “You think that’s makin’ up for what you’re doin’ here?”

The man held his hands up like he was tryin’ to catch raindrops on his fingertips. “I was only trying to give the child a treat, Mrs. Carter. There’s no need for dramatics. Please,” he poked his long nose to the chair, “have a seat.”

So then this is when it happened. All of it.

Ma walked over to the man, raised her arm like she was gonna hit him. She called him somethin’ made my ears go red. The man stood up so fast he dumped his chair right over, crashing into a shelf loaded with stuff that looked real classy, knockin’ some of it on the floor. And I took a lollipop. A fresh whole one with brown spots on the paper that I hoped so bad was root beer flavor.

The man shouted to the big windows behind me, Ma grabbed her bag, I stuffed the pop in my pocket and ran after her.

When we got outside, Ma was cryin’ big, fat tears. She was suckin’ in air. I thought she was gonna throw up. “He’s gone!” she hugged me so hard it hurt a little.

“I know, Ma. I know all that.”

“You don’t know,” she kept those tears goin’. “There’s no will, you understand? No paper sayin’ we get money now he’s gone. Your papa went and left us nothin’. We got no money.”

“I know, Ma.” I wanted so bad to cry with her. But I didn’t. I wiped her face with my sleeve and handed her my lollipop. “I think it’s root beer flavor,” I said. “Your favorite.”

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey – Join the fun every Tuesday

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Week 49 Prompt: Lollipops
Genre: Drama

 

BlogBattle

 

Empty

 

“It’s cool that you don’t say stupid shit like ‘How do you feel about that’ or whatever.” She picked up a grey rock from its shelf and examined it.

“Well,” he swiveled in his chair, “glad to hear that. But I do need you to talk to me.”

She turned the rock over in her hand, “Okay. I’ll talk. You have this like professional office with expensive leather couches and shit then there’s this ugly, little rock. Seems out of place.”

“It’s special.”

“Why?”

“My father gave it to me when I was a child.”

“Look at you. All sentimental and shit. Who knew? You one of those losers who still lives with his daddy?”

“He died last year. You think it’s ugly?”

She looked up. “Not anymore.”

“Why?”

“You know why. If it’s really your father’s.”

“True story. Still. Why does that make a difference? It’s the same rock.”

“Ha. You got me. Fine. I’m the same person.”

“Are you?”

“What the hell. Isn’t that what you’re saying?”

“Actually,” he leaned back, “it’s not.”

She gripped the rock, “Whatever. Not playing.”

“It’s not a game. That rock is the same rock but it has changed in your eyes because of its background just as you have changed in your eyes because of what happened.”

“Tick-tock. Look at the clock. Only like 20 minutes until I get to walk out of here.”

“The question now becomes whether you are going to return that rock to the shelf because it means something to me, drop it wherever in here because it’s just a stupid, ugly little rock anyway, or pocket it because it has become precious.”

“Screw. You.”

“What would happen if I said you could take it?”

“Fifteen minutes,” she pointed at the door. “Me. Walking.”

“Okay. You can have the rock.”

“Already in my pocket.”

“On one condition,” he added. “You return it to me when you finish the program. When you learn your worth and treat yourself accordingly.”

“Deal,” she smiled. “I like this rock and now it’s mine because that’s not happening and, oh, look, time to walk. Later.”

“Not by my watch it’s not.”

She stood up. “You didn’t even look at your stupid watch.”

“Marcia. I want that rock back. Understand?”

She looked over her shoulder before shuffling into the waiting room.

 

~~~

 

He rubbed his eyes. “Anything in particular you’d like to talk about today, Jon?”

“Yeah. What’s with this empty shelf? Run out of money to buy stuff?” The boy laughed.

“Something like that.”

 

Haiku: Postpartum

 

She didn’t give thought

To the infant becoming

The source of her pain

 

~~~

 

She jumped in the lake

Without so much as a thought

Her life found its source

 

 

 

This is part of a weekly haiku writing challenge which must be written in the English form of 5-7-5.

Hosted by RonovanWrites

#43 Prompt: Write a haiku using the words “thought” and “source”