Writing Dare: A Family With Three


It was the third time I had been summoned to the residence in two months. This was a surprise visit. When I knocked on the door and it opened, the parents were all smiles.
“Ms. Stevens, so nice to see you again.”
“I’m sure. May I come in?”
I conducted my inspection as thoroughly as any other home. They were squeaky clean, which meant they were hiding something. I went to have my chats with the children. Masey was three and a half: she wouldn’t offer much. Lydia was six and promising, but Andy was eight and a pathological liar. I couldn’t blame him.
I started with Lydia. She skipped in and plopped on her bed. 20 minutes, cats and ponies, but nothing seemed suspect. Next, Andy. In 20 minutes he had become the school president, but again nothing seemed suspect. Last, little Masey. 10 minutes and nothing unusual, until she slid off the bed to leave and her ankle length dress caught on the covers. The slip up revealed a large welt across her thighs and upper calf, likely made with a belt or handle of some sort. So, that was it, someone lost their temper on the baby again.
I recorded this in my notes then excused myself to phone in for back up. Since this wasn’t the first incident, the kiddos would have to be taken, at least overnight, to allow a thorough investigation of what happened. A daycare worker was called in who stated the accident had taken place on their playground equipment. The children were given back the next morning.
Two weeks later. I was at the hospital. Masey had a broken arm and a concussion, she was sedated when I arrived. No matter how hard I tried, that family could never be fixed.

Story Bandit: We dare you to write a 299-word story using this ending: That family could never be fixed.

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Paragraph Planet


Thanks to Becky Spence of Evening Scribbles, I discovered a fun site, Paragraph Planet, that accepts 75 word pieces.
I decided to write something for submission and excited to say it was accepted and featured for Friday (Nov. 21), which due to time zone differences, has already begun.  Please check out my “quietly atmospheric” piece here Paragraph Planet.

She Didn’t


© Image by L.A. Lanier


She Didn’t

Her fingernails were a prized asset of her hands.
They added the elegance she often lacked, but required maintenance she loathed.
The teenager retrieved her clippers and file.
“To manicure, or not to manicure?” She chuckled and turned on the flat screen TV. An hour went by. She still hadn’t touched her nails. She glanced at them, shrugged, and leaned back on her sofa.
She felt an itch in her nose and rubbed it. It didn’t go away.
She stuck her finger inside her nostril and dug around.
“OW!” She yanked her finger out, the tip was bright red.
“Seriously, right now?” She looked at the screen for a few seconds, then for something to plug up her nose until the next commercial break. She found a paper towel. Cramming and twisting it in, she believed the nose bleed would cease. At commercial, she forgot to check her state of affairs. Before she knew it, the show was back on. She felt a warmness on her upper lip. She removed the piece of paper towel and a mini river flowed down.
“Holy SHIT!” She ran to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with tissues. She dabbed and packed one into her nasal cavity. Hoping, even praying, it would stop. She pinched near the bridge of her nose and waited. She eased the tissue out, approached the mirror, and peered in. Some blood had dried around the opening, and further back seemed to be coagulating. She gave a sigh of relief, and proceeded to use a fresh moistened tissue to wipe away the dried blood. She sniffed, an involuntary reflex, and felt warmness inside her nose again.
“Oh for Pete’s sake!” It was slow coming out, but still it came. She tried the method all over again. Then looked at the waste basket to see how much blood she’d lost. She counted seven tissues plus the paper towel.
“Next time, I’ll just cut my freaking fingernails.”