Archive for the 'Fiction' Category

Fiction — Mother

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I have read in interviews with Stephen King that his least favourite question is “where do you get your ideas?” I am not sure where the idea of the story below came from but I can tell you when it arrived: it was a short movie that played in my head this morning as I drove to work. All I had to do was to fit words to the film in my mind and voila. By the time I arrived in the office I had mentally written the first and final paragraphs. It might not be fine art, but when something hits that quickly, the only way to exorcise it is to type it out. In honour of the upcoming holiday, here’s my Halloween story.

The five year old shrieked, shrinking into the mud at the bottom of the hole as if she could bury herself out of sight. The monsters had reappeared at the edge, ghastly faces peering over and pale arms swinging at her again and again. Their claws came within inches of her hair and she was frantic with fear.

As the shrill screams of “Mama! Mama!” still echoed, a woman appeared at the edge of the clearing. Her face was grim as she silently examined the scene before taking a slow step away from the trees, pausing to take two unlit torches from the pack she wore. Holding them in one hand she clicked a small lighter with the other. The sudden reddish glow startled the monsters and they whirled toward her, hissing through their lamprous mouths.

The mother slowly approached the hole, swinging the fiery torches left and right as she advanced. The monsters retreated, glaring with a seething rage, until she stood at its edge.

Carefully she laid the torches behind her, providing a barrier of fire while she rescued her daughter. On one knee, she reached into the dark to clasp the little girl’s hand and, rising, pulled her to ground level. The girl lay crumpled, muddy and sodden with terror, until the mother knelt again and pulled her to herself.

She held her daughter close, in return being clasped so hard around her neck that she could barely move. “Sweetie, I’m here, I’m here,” the mother cooed, petting her hair and kissing the side of her head again and again as the torches continued to blaze, providing a momentary haven. Finally loosening the girl’s grip she stood up, sweeping her daughter into her arms as though she were a baby, rocking her back and forth, murmuring “It’s all right, everything will be all right,” before tossing her to the waiting monsters.