The Land of Cobblestones

Posted: April 11, 2019 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , ,

I must admit I’m addicted to Friday Fictioneers, so today I put aside an hour of editing my manuscript to add a story to this mix of wonderful flash fiction writers. Thanks to one and all who find time to read my story.

Siegert pulls the picture from his pocket.
He knows exactly how many cobbles create the path
from his old room to the gardens,
the rectory
to, well, anywhere on the grounds.
He’s counted each with his feet.

Excitement welled when Siegert heard adopted.
But soon he hears,
“The boy’s quite stupid. Rarely talks.”
Silence is golden, they told me so
“He stumbles.”
I cannot see out of my left eye
“No one actually likes him.”
Please, all I want is love

The train whistle blows.
Siegert knows it’s but a ten-hour trip back
to the land of cobblestones and priests.

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Comments
  1. Violet Lentz says:

    This poor child. I cannot even fathom what is going on in his littlemind. So excellently written.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. trentpmcd says:

    How sad, yet how it rings with truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Such a shame, surely they can’t return him like that, but then perhaps it is for the best if they aren’t going to love him. Strong stuff, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A patient at the dental office where I worked did this exact thing to a child she’d adopted from China. I don’t know the circumstances, but she dropped one hundred notches on my nice-person-meter. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. granonine says:

    Such thoughtlessness and hardness of heart. Such pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. draliman says:

    Poor little guy. He’s not a pair of shoes you can send back if they’re not perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James McEwan says:

    Some people can be rather puritanically selfish at times. Sad tale indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gahlearner says:

    Treating a child like a parcel from a warehouse that can be retrurned–heartbreaking for the boy. I’ve read in the comments that it is based on a real life event, but I was also reminded of the orphans that were sent to farms and treated as cheap workers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Or the littles sent to diamond mines… I wish every child could have the same childhood I did, full of laughter and running and tumbling with friends. But “If wishes were horses we all could ride.” Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

  8. A child is not something you test in your home and return if not satisfied. Some people are seriously lacking in empathy. This was heartrending but a good story, Alicia. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Lish.

    What a heartache of a story. His inner cry of “I want to be loved” made my heart hurt. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS Glad you took some time from editing for FF. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    Oh Alicia.
    This was so well done. And awful – the story, not the writing. I know a little boy (now a man with a family of his own) who was picked up and put back into his crib at the orphanage too many times to count. Each time was another rejection. The couple who finally did adopt him were not equipped to deal with such a child. He was a good kid but troubled (ya think?)

    Like

  11. Ouch! Your comment makes my heart hurt. I just can’t imagine. So often, after hearing all the “might have beens” in other people’s lives, I feel blessed that mine was so normal ~ loving parents, teasing sisters, a gang of neighborhood kids to wreak havoc with. Thanks for reading and sharing.

    Like

  12. Such a darkly sad tale. The child counting the cobbles and the hours,is so touching, and painful. And of course, now I’m wondering who at the office did this! Just an awful thing for any child. Great to hear your editing!! Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Margaret says:

    Heartbreaking, but at least he’s got somewhere familiar and somewhat comforting to return to, it seems. I really like how you coupled each of the family’s unkind comments with Siegert’s thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A poignant story, from the boy’s point of view.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. plaridel says:

    sadly, things don’t work out as expected sometimes and we have to suffer the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. kirizar says:

    Well that was heartbreaking. And weirdly reminiscent of my dream last night in which I pass a foster child along in the system because I can’t afford to keep him. I woke with imaginary guilt. Now your boy will haunt my thoughts as well.

    I’ve never been a foster parent, so no idea why my brain decided to make me one while I slept.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great piece Alicia, the pain of the poor boy comes across brilliantly along with the callousness of the adults.

    Like

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