General Fiction posted February 14, 2022


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Being alone is not necessarily mean you are lonely

Cloud Stories

by Flyaway1













It was a warm summer day, too hot to stay inside. Feeling bothered by the heat, I went outside. At least there was a slight wind.  I discovered a pleasant spot to sit down to sky gaze.  Soon, I was giving each cloud a name and writing stories in my mind. My thoughts swirled around me, keeping me safe. I was hoping Dad would forget that he wanted me to be out with friends. 

I hadn’t been outside for long before my dad found me. Why couldn’t he let me alone? I was just being me. Dad told me that since I did not wish to play with a friend, I would have to go to the library. He thought it was unhealthy for me to be lying around.  So, the plan was to spend my afternoon walking to the library and back. I was told to check out nine books, which was the most you could check out and return home. It was going to be a long, warm walk. Dad told me that I better get started. What can I say? Dad always won.

It was now hot, but a decision was made. Starting down the sidewalk to the library, there was the dreaded fact that the library was on Main Street. The thought of being seen downtown filled me with anxiety. I knew I looked strange walking alone without friends. People would notice that-you know. Even worse, I would be carrying books on the return trip. The embarrassment of carrying books home made me feel foolish.  People would see a young girl walking down Main Street and wonder why she was alone, carrying nine books on such a warm day. I knew this was punishment for not playing the game. I did what I was told, because that was how it all worked. 




This was not the story I intended to write. It is what came out in the end. In the retelling, I see how abusive it was. Who does that too a little girl? I was probably about 8.
I tried to remember my exact feelings that day, trying not to insert my adult understanding. We did not have words like shame.
I know as an adult that this experience made me feel ashamed.

I did look up the distance on google maps and the library was 1.4 miles one way. Of course, that does not include the hilly geography of Ma.
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