Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prompt: Make-Believe Princess, Part 1

Miriam kept her mother in sight as she skipped down the grocery aisle, sweeping her green tulle tutu with her swinging hands. She curtsied to a lady looking at pasta sauce, but the lady didn’t see her. She skipped on. At the end of the aisle, she crept close to the shelves and spied around the edge.

There was a man pushing his cart toward her. His face looked funny. She looked closer. He had scars on one cheek that pulled up to his eye, and more that pulled his lips down on that side. It made him look like he was frowning, but the other side was normal, and when he spied her through the boxes on the shelf, he smiled and nodded before he turned down the next aisle over.

Miriam crept around the edge to watch him, but she waited for her mother to reach the end before she turned into the aisle. Skipping ahead of her mother again, she quickly caught up with the man. She curtsied, and he bowed. He held his arm stiffly, and she saw more scarring on his hand. “What happened to you?” she asked bluntly.

He blinked and said, “I was burned.”

“A long time ago?”


“It hurt you,” she said, not a question.

He kneeled down to come to her eye level. “Yes. It did.”

She reached out toward his face, and when he did not move, she touched it oh-so-gently with her fingers. Moving them across his cheek, she asked, “It still hurts you?”

He nodded slightly, not moving away from her soft touch. “Yes. It does.”

She stepped closer and put both her hands on his scarred hand, then leaned in and kissed his cheek.

Would she have said anything, if her mother had not come rushing up with an apology for her forward behavior? The man stood and assured her it was all right. He bowed to Miriam and continued on to another aisle.

Did the man feel less pain? Did the pinching across his face and neck and shoulder lessen? Did the headache that kept him near constant company fade? Did the scarred tissue loosen and his fingers become more limber? We don’t know. This is not his story. This is Miriam’s story.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Malachi

Time writing
~40 minutes

March word count

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