This week’s 400 word or less writing prompt from ISmithWords is: Escape. Thanks again for the inspiration!
You can’t escape family. They are tied by blood and synaptic connections and loyalties that are expected whether they’re deserved or not.
The old man prattled on about his family, his racist wit sharp as ever as he laughed at the jokes he made about the immigrants working the vineyards and stables at his daughter’s house. You scrub at the day’s dishes, already a full sink high, while his great grandchildren, your children, run around the house squealing and earning disapproving looks and comments regarding your parenting from your elderly charge.
The house smells of “old”, the kind you smell in hospitals when you see someone before they die. The smell hits too close to home, too close to the close calls you had as a kid. It makes you want to vomit, and it never goes away, it’s part of the house after all these years. You’ve tried to cleanse the house, but it’s permeated down to the foundations, seeped into the walls and rafters.
Regret isn’t reserved for the old, it isn’t even reserved for those who deserve it, it creeps into your mind like that malodorousness and clings to the walls of your mind reaching out to suffocate you when you try to venture beyond your borders. It’s ensnaring and suffocating.
The non-stop chatter of children and undying illiberalism is a constant grating on your nerves as the days drag on. Your children’s laughter was once a blessing, something you joined in with and enjoyed, now it was just another noise, a score to which you are scrubbing your life away cleaning up too many people’s bodily fluids.
“Nigger?” Your youngest asks pointing your husband’s black dog lounging in a patch of sunlight.
Anger, all your repressed aggravations, every little comment and quip that grated against your sensibilities come bubbling to the surface.
That’s it. Grandpa’s gotta go.
I’ve had a really hard time with this prompt, probably because I am feeling so trapped. You would think that this prompt would be a perfect and healthy outlet for this… state of mind, but I’ve found myself at a total loss. Our little family has been clinging together through the hardships but it feels like we’re grasping at the fog hoping to find substance. Here’s to finding freedom, one way or another.
P.S. I don’t actually plan on killing anyone, just FYI.