Step on a crack – Broken Back

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , , ,


How could Emily have avoided the cracks? Even with the feet of a six year old the bricks were too close together.
“You’ll break your mother’s back,” Grandma had said. Did Emily want that? Sometimes – when she was very mad.
Had she made it happen? Maybe. She knew she’d purposely made Father angry.
Told him about the man Mother met for lunch.”They hugged, Daddy.”
He had roared and pushed Mother this way and that until she tumbled down the stairs.
Grandma came after the ambulance left. “Don’t cry, little one, your uncle is in town. He’ll watch over your mother.”

  1. Neat twist to explain all.
    Cleverly done.


  2. Wow, there is a lot going on in that 100 words!


  3. Children can be so cruel and you captured that so well.


  4. wildbilbo says:

    Ouch, that’s a hard ending. Excellent twist.


  5. draliman says:

    That’s a dark tale. It’s a shame the little girl thinks that the old superstition of stepping on pavement cracks contributed to her mother’s tumble, but she did make her dad mad on purpose.


  6. hafong says:

    I feel I could be that child! When you are small, you have no power at all, so you act out. Well, I do feel like a bad child sometimes. 🙂



  7. Big story in 100 words, Alicia. Nice job getting into the mind of a six year old!


  8. Dear Alicia,

    I can’t help wondering how her uncle’s going to ‘watch out for her.’ Very sad tale and well told from the six-year-old’s point of view.




  9. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    Great story. You led us along masterfully until her uncle showed up. Still trying to see how that added to your narrative. Will keep reading comments to see what I missed. The POV of a six year old was unique and pulled off deftly.



    Liked by 1 person

    • The uncle was the man who Mom hugged at lunch. I wondered if that would work and almost went over my 100 word limit to make it so. Instead I played with the last sentence – maybe not enough. Thanks for reading and asking questions, Doug


  10. rgayer55 says:

    My guess is the uncle is who Mom was hugging–if that did indeed happen. Of course, Emily knew how Dad was going to react so the whole thing could have been fabricated. Sounds like this family could have their own reality show.


  11. Papa’s got a real short fuse.
    Surprised he didn’t take it out on the daughter, too.
    Hope charges are filed on papa.


  12. subroto says:

    Daddy has deeper issues than the little child. Clever story, I liked it.


  13. Alicia, I also thought it was the uncle the mom hugged. When a child is raised in a home with people who have such problems, how can she not also have problems. Dad seems to be a violent wife beater. It’s probably not the first time he’s treated his wife that way. A reasonable husband would have questioned his wife about the incident. Good and well-written story. — Susan


  14. Susan – thanks for the insightful comment. Glad you liked the story. Have a wonderful day. Alicia


  15. Amy Reese says:

    So sad she really got a broken back, but I’m glad she’s still alive and in the hands of caring relative, or he something more? Nice job!


  16. Margaret says:

    Layer upon layer in this story. It’s even possible that Mother wasn’t so innocent, that the uncle was an ‘uncle’ in a more general sense, and Grandma was in the know.


  17. Sarah Ann says:

    Innocent sayings can play such havoc in a child’s mind. I hope Emily voices her fears so Grandma can reassure her that it wasn’t her fault. Hope that uncle sticks around now things have got difficult too. You packed so much story in here – am very envious.


  18. That was so sad! In the classic way that children always blame themselves for what happens, this child is trapped by her “magical thinking.” Powerful story!


  19. Blake says:

    The tone here is so well-judged: to move from a kids’ game to such a tangled drama of adult issues, while maintaining the wide-eyed perspective of a child – it’s very skilfully done.


  20. Thanks for sending the link. I’ll check into it. Taking a break is a good idea. It refreshes the mind. I was just worried I was missing your FF submissions, I always enjoy them. Will look forward to your return. Happy holidays. Alicia


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