The Weed

My entry in this week’s Flash! Friday. Same drill as always, 160 word max, use the picture prompt below and incorporate your interpretation of “coming of age” somewhere in the story. My story appeared on the winners page as a special mention. If you love writing flash, this contest is probably for you. Come join us every Friday, good people, great writing and it’s quite challenging.

Past and Present, No. 2 1858 by Augustus Leopold Egg 1816-1863

She let the sponge linger over her mother’s twisted mouth for a beat, a millisecond, before moving on to her arms. A quote from her youth, delivered by the near-lifeless carcass she was washing, fueled the machinations of the sponge.

The words began to lacerate. Her brother was the oak tree or redwood, stately and resilient. Her sister was likened to an orchid, cultured and pristine. A fragile beauty of sorts. Captivating.

“What about me momma, what am I like?”

“A weed, dear. A weed.”

She carried those barbed words into adulthood, when the impact of her dismissal opened wounds. A puncturing of her innocence.

A weed. Untended and wild, a nuisance. A blight on land and family, valueless.

She lightly guided the soapy sponge over her mother’s warped legs.

“Where’s Josh and Lily? I need them here.”

“They couldn’t make it, momma, they’re busy.”

Abby dipped her hand into the bucket, rinsing away decades of filth and silence.

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