Posts tagged ‘family’

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Xia reached over and grabbed her daughter, frantic to quiet her cries. No one could know about this little one. No one.

A rushed and mumbled lullaby filled the room. The din of voices from the neighbors t.v. sifted through the wall and almost drowned out her words. Lei still cried, so Xia sang louder, afraid that someone might hear them.

Soft light shone through the thin curtain, and Lei calmed. Her dark eyes locked on her mother’s face. Xia knew her daughter was smiling, but it wouldn’t be obvious to others. Lei was missing most of her upper lip.

A freezing wind blew through the room as the door opened. Shen ran in with the cold and sat down in front of the wood stove, holding his hands out toward the warmth. Jin closed the door and sulked to the range, where he readied a teapot.

“I am sorry I did not get that for you. Lei was crying, I could not leave her.”

“I did not expect it.” Jin sat next to Xia on their bed and took Lei from her arms. He tucked her blanket around her and touched the dark, soft hairs on her head.

“She is lucky to have you. Others would have abandoned her, made their wives get rid of her.”

“She is ours, same as Shen.”

“They will fine us for keeping her.”

“We can’t pay.”

“They will take her then!” Shen turned from the warm stove.

Jin and Xia looked at Shen, pained that their young boy had to live with their same fears.

Shen continued, “I know what they do. I hear boys at school, they say horrible things.”

Xia went to her son, and placing a hand on his shoulder said, “Only listen to your father, he is the one with a good heart. You learn many things from him, all good.”

“I will work to pay the fines. I want Lei to stay.” Shen cried.

Jin’s voice rose from the bed. “No. You will go to school and get a good job. Do you want to walk miles every day in this freezing weather to find work? No. You will stay in school.”

“But Lei -”

“Lei will not be taken!”

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October 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

doorbells bring holiday sneers (flash fiction)

photo courtesy of: stock.xchng - Neo-classical doors II

doorbells bring holiday sneers

The doorbell rang, my daughter went sliding across the wood floor.

“Got it!” Her enthusiasm reverberated through the house. “Got it! My cousins are heeeerrrre!” Camry flung the door open. “You’re here. Finally.”

My sister-in-law nodded. “Mmm – hmmm.”

Her kids ran past me, pushing me out of the way while my “Hello’s” went unnoticed. Shelly dropped everyone’s bags in the entryway.

“Here. I’ll help you with those.” I slipped several handles over my arms.

“Ugh, she makes me so mad. All I wanted to do was get settled in our rooms, let the kids run around. They were stuck in a car for three hours. Three hours! She just doesn’t get it. She always wants to do her thing, her way!”

“Okay…” I had no idea what to say. Shelly got along fabulously with her mom when she wasn’t in the same town, and if I joined this rant, I’d have hell to pay later.

“What room are we in?”

“Just down the hall.” I led the way.

“Is it next to the bathroom? Because I know how old houses have noisy plumbing… it keeps me up and I can’t lose sleep. Ugh, then my kids climb in my bed, and I hate that.”

“Right. Well, the plumbing shouldn’t be a problem unless you plug the toilet. Then noise won’t be an issue.” I set their luggage down as nicely as I could and headed for my bedroom.

Quietly I closed the door, leaned against it and took a deep breath. I walked to the tall window that overlooked a thick forest of pine, and reminded myself to focus on what the holiday meant, and that I had my immediate family to celebrate it with.

Then ever so gently the snow began to fall.

——-

This came from a Write on Edge prompt: Red Writing Hood – The Doorbell
Craft a piece of fiction around the holiday season. Begin the piece with “The doorbell rang,” and end with “snow began to fall.” The middle is up to you.
The entire thing should be under 300 words.

March 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm 2 comments


Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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