Each morning Beatrice goes down to the sea to collect pieces of glass –
thrown among the driftwood by high tide –
and strings the colored fragments into necklaces and bangles for her arms.

She makes her dresses of silk and satin, corduroy and canvas,
and decorates them with pelts from wolves, bear, and elk.
Village children dare each other to touch her hair
which shimmers like star dust blended with thin threads of gold.
She pays no heed.

After three months her bruises are gone,
the fingers Spencer broke before leaving are beginning to mend –
but her mind remains fragile and bent.

  1. Elizabeth says:

    poor girl, a wild creature that need to find her place in the world.


  2. elmowrites says:

    What beautiful and vivid descriptions. The children are just being children, but I hope their touch and innocence can guide her back to reality in time.


  3. Your story makes me want to know more about her. I don’t know if you keep a character notebook but if you do she needs to go in it.


    • I actually pulled her out of a notebook I keep of my scribbles during a writing practice group that meets the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. We get written prompts and have 5 to 15 minutes to write a flash fiction story using different writing methods.. Beatrice showed up in my notebook a couple of weeks ago but just got her name today. Glad you like her.


  4. Dear Alicia,

    Beautiful descriptions of Beatrice. This story reminds me a little of the song Helen Reddy sang, “Delta Dawn.” I realize it’s two different scenarios, but the thread is that both ladies are a bit off kilter after the damage inflicted by men.

    Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  5. You told so much in this story, nicely composed and executed.


  6. Such a sad story, Alicia. I winced at the glass necklaces and bangles. Do they cut her or have they all been rolled to smooth edges? This makes a huge difference to how I see her and how disturbed I think she is. Powerful story.


  7. wildbilbo says:

    I thought of the Pearl Jam song Crazy Mary, but Delta Dawn fits well too. A strong story about a wounded person.


  8. A gorgeous piece, Alicia. The end threw me off… as the beauty of the imagery before that, had pulled me into a beautiful fairy tale. Wonderful writing!


  9. Sandra says:

    Such great images here. Very well done.


  10. From the sublime to everyday violence and desperation in such a small space. Those first two stanzas seemed so full of beauty! Bravo.


  11. draliman says:

    It sounded such a nice description of a quiet, simple life until your last paragraph showed us what has brought her to this.
    I hope time can heal her.


  12. Honie Briggs says:

    Always a catch, isn’t there? A scene seeming so simple moved to the complex. Very nicely written.


  13. Jan Brown says:

    What an amazing mood you have created, with vivid visuals and insight into the beautiful but damaged young woman. Very well done.


  14. This one sends shivers down my spine.. weirdness sometimes hides darker secrets.. I wonder if she could ever mend…..


  15. Nice piece, building her up as almost a mythological figure and then revealing how the same words we’ve read could mean exactly the opposite of what we thought. Excellent and subtle writing.


  16. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    A beautiful piece with a sad and serious under layer. Your descriptions were marvelous and your message sobering. Well done.




  17. Caerlynn Nash says:

    What trauma can do to the psyche… So sad, but beautifully written.


  18. Excellent! I enjoyed reading this.


  19. Alicia, I hope in time she gets help and her mind begins to heal like her physical injuries. Sad story but true to life. Well written. — Susan


  20. Margaret says:

    Her fragility is evident from the beginning in the gentle tone of your descriptions, but the reason for it comes with a hard punch at the end. Well told.


  21. I feel for this character right from the start of your piece. I would love to read her process going forward.


  22. Sarah Ann says:

    The first two paragraphs are so full of warmth and colour that the third came as a shock. But it’s clear Beatrice is a survivor – and a character to learn more about.


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