Write…Edit…Publish post on the third Wednesday of every second month and the challenges are open to all. To join in, you submit your name to the list, write an entry for the prompt (1000 words or less) and edit it. Then on the date given, you publish it to your blog, stating your feedback preferences. You can also read and leave comments on the other entries and share the challenge far and wide on social media. Find out more here.
About my Entry
I wasn’t going to enter the challenge this month as nothing really came to mind for the prompt. But last night as I was going to bed an idea suddenly popped into my head so I quickly typed it into my phone at about 1 am! I haven’t edited the original draft much as I felt that ‘less is more’ in this instance. I’d be interested to hear what you think!
Word count: 321
Trigger warnings: Suggestion of domestic violence.
Critique preference: FCA
The Red Wheelbarrow
When the spacemen have finished exploring the garden, their leader takes off his mask and kneels in front of me. He smiles like Mummy does when she says that everything’s going to be okay.
“Tommy, do you know what this is?” He hands me a big, shiny picture. It’s a test, for little kids. But I’m big now.
“Um…a red wheelbarrow?”
“That’s right. Have you seen one like this before?”
I shake my head.
“You sure about that?”
The wheels squeak like hungry baby birds as Mummy rolls the wheelbarrow across the wet grass. I run to her and she stops, staring at me. There’s something sticky in her hair.
“Tommy, go back to bed,” she hisses.
“What are you doing, Mummy?”
“Nothing, nothing, honey. Just tidying up the shed. Back to bed now.”
“NOW, Tommy.” A tiny trickle as red as the wheelbarrow drips over her eye.
“Oh, I had a little bump. But I’ll be okay. I’ll pop a plaster on it soon.” She wipes her forehead with the back of her hand. “I hope you don’t inherit my clumsy genes, Tom-Tom.” She lets out a shriek of laughter, her whole body shaking.
“I’m scared, Mummy. I heard shouting. Where’s Daddy?”
She lets go of the wheelbarrow and wraps her arms around me, tight. I press my head against her, listening to the galloping hooves in her chest. She smells like salt and rust and dirt.
“He went to the pub. You better be in bed before he gets back. Understand?”
I nod and hurry back to the house. I run straight up the stairs and into bed, pulling the covers over my head. He won’t find me. He won’t find me.
“Did you hear me, Tommy? Perhaps your mother has one like that?”
The spaceman frowns and taps the picture. I look up into his searching eyes.
“No, sir. We don’t have a wheelbarrow.”
Check out the other entries
Before you go…
I’d love to hear your thoughts and constructive feedback.