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The Fruits of a Broken Family Tree

Today’s writing prompt word is “Awkward“.

The Fruits of a Broken Family Tree

The room was filled with the raucous thundering of too many converging conversations. It wasn’t a place for children but it was where everyone said they needed to be. Despite all of the elbow bumping of the cramped little living room, the children sat in a space of their own, devoid of the adults’ attention while still being subjected to the comments and stories of how the black-garbed group had come to see it all coming and had done nothing to help.

It was her fault. It was his fault. It was their fault. It was no one’s fault.

It was stress. It was depression. It was anxiety. It was rage.

The children sat in the humid bubble of too many voices while seemingly untouched by it at all.

It was enough, more than enough, it was too much, and the still calm of the children dissolved; the boy into tears and the girl into fury. He flew himself into a corner and sobbed. She climbed atop a table and pummeled it with her heel to quiet the crowd.

In the silence that followed, she announced “It’s okay. I asked him if he still loved her and he said yes.”

The crowd’s angry faces had gone blank, and then confused, and then unsure as she stood atop her impromptu pedestal beaming with as she stood in the glory that her knowledge had just saved them all.

Then, the whispers began…
“Doesn’t she know?”
“Someone has to tell her.”
“It’s not my place to tell her.”
“How could she not know?”

And from a corner in the back, the little boy stepped up into the light as his tears streamed down his face. “It’s not going to be okay. She’s dead.” He wailed.

“But Daddy said he still loved her.” The girl insisted.

“No!” Was the answering word, torn from the seized throat of an anguished little soul.

And the rift between the two children grew as the crowd stood in it, mumbling and muttering and fumbling about in their emotional incompetence.


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