Leaving town

“She had to know she’d cause a scandal,” Ralf paced across the porch, stopping occasionally to peel chips of paint from the dilapidated railing. “The Family couldn’t allow it.”

Hilda, Ralf’s common-law wife, was on the porch swing, a bowl of estate jewelry in her lap, meticulously prying gems out of their settings with a rusty pair of needle-nose pliers. Later, she’d melt the precious metal into one-ounce ingots.

“Maybe it’s just a phase.” Ralf raked long, tapering fingers through his wild, salt and pepper hair.

Sighing heavily, Hilda put down her tools, and set aside the bowl of deconstructed jewelry, patting the bench for Ralf to join her. Sitting down, he leaned over to lay his head on her shoulder. Pulling him in close, Hilda engulfed him in both arms.

Hilda stroked Ralf’s head, “she got in with that college crowd, and they turned her against us, convinced her the Family’s immoral.”

Ralf buried his face in the hollow of Hilda’s neck and began to cry softly.

Carrie, their only daughter and Family outcast, found them there when she came out of their house. All her clothes and belongings were packed into two worn, but sturdy leather duffel bags.

Ralf stood up, wiping his wet face on his T-shirt. Hilda went back to her work, ignoring Carrie.

“You’re leaving?” Ralf’s voice was thick with emotion.

“I have to,” Carrie shifted from one foot to the other. “Family Elders made it clear I’m not welcome.”

“You’re such a disappointment,” Hilda wouldn’t look at her. “You’ve rejected everything we’ve taught you, you’ve rejected us.”

Carrie shook her head, counting to ten before responding.

“I love you, I reject the Family,” Carrie pleaded. “I can’t keep lying and stealing. I want real friends, a real future. I’m tired of pulling up roots every time police discover the Family has infiltrated their town.”

Carrie picked up her bags, and descended the stairs. “Call me when you can,” and she was gone.

Rule of thirds

Trifecta, a weekly one-word prompt, challenges writers to use that word in its third definition form, using no less than 33 words or no more than 333. The week’s prompt is: Scandal [noun \ˈskan-dəl] 3: a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with it

Dam Burst

For Story Dam, an online writing community offering weekly and monthly writing prompts. This week’s theme is: change and transformation

20 thoughts on “Blacksheep

  1. Great piece, with a clever twist on the prompt. And great photography as always. Hope you can join us for the weekend prompt which is already up on the site. It’s community judging this weekend, so get your entry in and get voting!


  2. You have such a flair for great storytelling; and yet again, leave me having to claw my way out of the World you’ve drawn me into with this story…
    Thanks, and Great Job 🙂


  3. I like all of it. Something that jumped out at me in reading through a second time was the “worn” bags fitting well with “pulling up roots” at the end. Subtle tie in that reinforced the idea.


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