This post is in response to Justine’s Story Prompt over at Eclectic Corner. It’s a cool place over there, with various fun challenges and games to get involved in, please check it out and join in. This time, Justine gave us a photo to use as a prompt for a story. I love this photo that she took – I originally thought to write about the dog being an evil monster at the bottom of the stairs, but when I started to write, this little snippet tumbled out. I am not a writer and this is probably my first real attempt since I was at school, so please forgive my writing!
As the big kid’s fist ploughed into his stomach, Tommy crumpled and fell back into the dirt. The kids laughed, sneering as they upended his schoolbag in a puddle before running off, leaving him with a sodden mess. It had been the same thing every day, they would follow him on his long walk home from school, taunting him all the way. “You’ve got no da-ad!”… “Your mum’s a looney!!” Tommy was conflicted, he was mad at himself for being mad at his parents. His dad had died in a car accident just a few months ago and his mama hadn’t coped well at first. He felt annoyed at his mama sometimes, but then felt so bad for feeling that way. He loved her really, but it was just the two of them, there was no one else to blame. Sometimes, when he was alone, he blamed his dad for leaving them, then he would cry at what a wicked child he was becoming. Poor Tommy, he was so sad, so alone…
He picked up his things and started walking home. His mum had seemed better these last few weeks. This morning she was especially bright and had asked him about his school work while she made a list for dinner. He hadn’t told her about his problems at school, even when she lightly scolded him for coming home in dirty and sometimes torn clothing. He didn’t want to give her anything else to worry about.
As he opened the rusting gate, he could hear music playing in the house, the windows were open with the curtains blowing in the breeze. It was still sunny and a little warm – he thought he might go down to the creek and have a swim. He trudged up the stairs…”Hi Mama, I’m home!”
“Downstairs love!” was her happy reply. He brightened, she sounded good. He could smell dinner cooking, roast chicken, yum! He dropped his bag, kicked off his shoes and tentatively opened the back door. His mama was in the garden waving to him. “Happy birthday darling boy”, she cried, pointing to the bottom of the stairs. Tommy looked down and saw a happy little white dog with black patches. The puppy was looking up at him, panting slightly, making him look like he was smiling at Tommy. For the first time in months, Tommy’s face cracked a smile and then a big grin. With tears of happiness in his eyes, he looked at his mama and then back to the dog and back to her. “He’s yours love” said his mama.
“You remembered!! Is he really mine!?! Thank you mama!” She laughed and nodded as Tommy ran down the stairs and the little dog bounded up to greet him. As he sank down on the step, giggling while the puppy licked the tears from his face, he didn’t see his mama take a deep breath and lean back to gaze up at the sky. She had sorted things out, her head had been clear for weeks now and as she drank in the sight of her son with his dog, she just knew that everything was finally going to be ok.