Flash Ficiton Challenge the Power of Words Image

Inspired by Chuck Wendig’s blog post on Terrible Minds, I’ve decided to write a fictional story based on the third writing seed mentioned.

Hello. My name is Kayla. I am a really young girl, elementary school age to be exact. Today has been a really strange day, but in the most exciting way possible. I don’t know how to explain it other than for the first time in my life, I feel hopeful. I believe that anything is possible, that miracles do happen.

It all started when I left school. My family, though very poor, is rich in all of the ways that matter. Even though we don’t have much, my family believes in the value of education. Of reading and learning as much as we can. Since I was born, I was raised on the foundation of a love of literature. My family had me reading the most sophisticated of children’s literature and even went so far as to get me a library card so as to continue expanding my reading knowledge.

Loving literature as much as I did, Mom knew to bring me to the library every day. Otherwise, my mind was a growing black hole filled with curious questions about the world outside of my human perspective. Mom knew she couldn’t maintain my growing curiosity so she gave in to my book needs, making sure I get some reading material each day. Once at home, I immediately set out to read the new books I obtained.

But reading wasn’t my only interest. As much reading as I did, I also discovered the power of words. I discovered my love in writing around the same time I found my love in literature. When I’m not reading books from the library, I’m writing short stories of my own, opening my imagination to the possibilities literature offers. That’s part of the reason I’m here too. Not only to get some more books, but the library here also offers young children who are passionate about the written word journals to express their thoughts and feelings. They are free, available at the front desk in a nice display case that only the librarians have access to.

I’ve been interested in getting one for a long time now. I usually write the stories I’ve created in a notebook, but I also want to write about myself too. Not in a notebook like the one I keep all of my stories, but something more durable, something I can keep more private to myself. But my family wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. Not because they don’t support my growing mind and imagination, but because we can’t afford a whole lot right now as it is. That was before they realized the library had journals for kids and anyone who wanted one, that they realized they wouldn’t have to pay to buy me one with the small amount of money we have for food, the clothing on our backs, and our home.

We weren’t always poor like we are now. It didn’t start until a year after I was born. Dad had gotten into a car accident that left him paralyzed to the point where he needed to get new medication almost every week, causing our expenses to build up until we had very little money left. It didn’t help Dad would have to travel in order to visit some of his doctors because none of the doctors close to here knew what to do, causing us to spend even more money when we couldn’t afford to. Because of these expenses, Mother was always working, supporting both us at home, trying to make as much money as she could. Since Mom was always working, I had to fend for myself, had to learn how to cook food, clean and took care of Dad as best I could. But I wasn’t left just to fend for myself. Mom had taught me to clean and cook as soon as I could walk and talk so I could help Dad if he needed anything. So I grew up early on, realizing how unfair life could be to the best of people. I accepted this philosophy early in life because of my own experiences and seeing how hard Mom worked all for naught. I just wished there was something I could do to help ease Dad and Mom’s pain, make life easier for all of us here.

What I didn’t realize was how soon that wish would come true. It started when I got to the library. Mom and I walked together through the double swinging doors of the library into this big open space filled to the brim with books everywhere. I looked around in awe like I always did every time I came to the library. I’m never going to get used to how big this library is, probably the biggest library I’ll ever see in my life. Shelves upon shelves of books were stacked on each shelf with wooden ladders on display for visitors to climb to access more books.

I separated from Mom to look at the books on the shelves before going to inquire about getting a journal. Yes, I was excited about getting a new journal, but also wanted to look at more books to read first. So I weaved in between shelves, looking at all of the different books my hands glided across. I headed directly towards the children’s section where all of the books I read could be found. But as I touched one of the books on the shelves on the way there, my hand accidentally plucked a leather bound brown book off the shelf, which resulted on me tripping and falling flat on my face, the book on the ground inches from my feet.

Disoriented from the fall, I got up to find the source of my clumsy falter. The leather bound book lay right beside my feet where I could see it from the corner of my eye. The brown cover looked very wear and tear, as if it survived many storms to make it here. It looked smaller than the notebook that carried most of my writings at home, but like the size of the journals the librarians kept at the front desk. Intrigued by this leather bound book on the floor, I quickly picked it up and observed its empty pages. Lines upon lines were found on each of the pages of the book like the type you normally find in a journal. Despite its small size, this book felt heavy as if all of the troubles in the world could be found within its pages.

Upon picking up this book, I was immediately interested in it. I could tell from what I’d seen of it so far that it is in fact a journal. But why was this journal so old looking and not with the other journals at the front desk? And why was it left here on this shelf with these other books?

No longer interested in getting any more books from the library, I held onto this book and went to the front desk to check it out before Mom and I headed home.

Later tonight, I inspected the book in my room. I had to make dinner as soon as we got home because my stomach growled and Dad also wanted something to eat. Just made some hot dogs with macaroni & cheese, something quick and easy so I could then go in my room and better inspect my new journal.

Once dinner was eaten and dishes done, I went into my room, closing the door slowly behind me, the leather bound book in my hands. Excited, I laid across my bed, taking a pen off of the small bookshelf I had in my room to begin writing in my new journal.

Today, I wrote, I just acquired this new journal. I found it on a bookshelf at the local library I go to, of all places. It literally fell onto my lap as I was going to look at some of the children’s books I read.

Hello, by the way. My name is Kayla. I live in this little town where most of the people who live here can barely afford the food on the table and the clothes on their back. We’ve lived here since right after I was born. My father got into a car accident when I was a year old, which paralyzed him to the point where we need to get him new medication almost every week and make expensive travels to get him to the right doctors who can help him.

The words flooded out of me like a river. It felt good to write about myself, to share my personal story somewhere so private only I was the only one able to see it. To share my feelings and fears without having someone judge me for it. The whole experience felt magical, like I was telling another person’s story even though I was the one who lived through it all. It felt very natural, almost like I was confiding in a friend. A friend I couldn’t personally speak to, but someone I felt comfortable being around.

Despite how thankful I should be about what I do have now, I continued to write, I do wish things had turned out differently. What I mean is that I wish Dad wasn’t paralyzed, that he could be himself and our family could live in peace. Dad hasn’t been himself since the accident. He’s more prone to frustration and anger because he feels helpless that he can’t do anything like he used to. He feels guilty that Mother has to do everything to make sure we stay afloat and that we don’t run out of money and that I have to be the one to take care of everything at home. He wants to help, but can’t and feels betrayed by his own body. I want to help him. I want to take away his pain and stop him from feeling this type of pain anymore. I love Mom and Dad and want them both to be happy.

As I finish writing this next paragraph, I hear this light bell-like sound tingling through the air. Then as quickly as the sound comes, its gone. As I put my pen down, I hear a happy yell coming from our small living room.

I leave my room to investigate, cautiously wondering what’s going on in our house. And what I see in our living room catches me completely off guard. My Dad is off the couch, completely walking around in the living room without the use of his cane. He looks completely at ease, as if each and every one of his leg muscles aren’t hurting him anymore. And he’s smiling. He’s actually smiling, like a child taking his big step for the first time.

Mom watches as Dad walks around the living room, her mouth open in awe.

“Dad?” I question as I continue to watch him from where I stand upon entering the living room as he walks around without the use of his cane. He looks as if he doesn’t have a care in the world, as if he’s the happiest he’s ever been since I was born.

“Honey,” Dad addresses to both of us as he turns first to look at Mom then at me. “Look, I can walk again! I can walk again!”

He can’t seem to stop smiling, the grin on his face getting wider and wider. We all laugh, happy to see him doing so well.

But at the same time, I’m still in shock.

How’d this happen? I think to myself. Just this morning, he was sitting on the couch, reading a magazine unable to get up without his cane. Now, he can move again, as if he’s not in any pain. So what happened? What changed between this morning and now?

I watch as my Mom and Dad are laughing, giggling in excitement at Dad’s miraculous recovery. Not to say I’m not excited too. I definitely am. But I also want to know what’s up too. So I go in my room and turn to the page in my journal where I began to write all of my thoughts down. Only to discover everything I’d written just a few short minutes ago has been completely erased from existence.