The footprints | Short fiction | #StoryTellersBlogHop

12-year-old Sara was curled up in a fetal position on her bed. Her hands were shaking as she drew the blanket over her head, the bed was shaking as she trembled like a leaf in a storm.

Just outside her room, she could hear her father growling and her mother screaming back. Pots and pans came crashing down. The sounds of furniture being pushed around were getting louder even as her heart threatened to explode.

“I am going to kill you, how dare you speak to me like this?” her father snarled.

Her mother barked back, “You cannot scare me, you bastard! Try these tricks with your darling mistress, Rani. Your empty threats and depleted manhood don’t work on me anymore.”

He shouted, “You bitch!”

Her mother screamed loudly in agony as the sound of blows and punches rang through the crisp midnight air.

Tears were falling fast and Sara stuffed the blanket in her mouth to muffle her petrified whimpers. She wished her neighbors would come in and save the situation. But no one came… maybe because the fights and howling were a regular affair.

After a while, the screams stopped. Stone-cold silence filled the house.

Sara mustered up the courage to step out of her room. She felt weak. A hollow fear created a pit in her stomach.

She tiptoed out of her room into the hallway; it was dark. She stepped into something slippery; she switched on the lights and saw drops of blood leading up to her parent’s bedroom. She stepped back in horror, spreading the blood across the hallway.

One could cut the silence with a knife. She was scared to imagine what had transpired in this house that she couldn’t call home.

Their bedroom door was slightly ajar, and she peeped in. They lay there, cuddling and whispering sweet nothings to each other.

She shuffled her feet. Her eyes met her mom’s.

“Come here, beta!” her mother called out lovingly. There was a bandage on her forehead, her left eye was black and her swollen lips were bleeding slightly.

Her dad had a long and deep gash on his face. There were bruises all over his bare body. He smiled and gestured for her to come to the bed.

She hesitated at first and then ran into their arms.

They hugged her lovingly; she hugged back only because she was so scared. There was no one else to appease her, so this was her only option.

“Awww, did we scare you?” her father caressed her forehead fondly.

“Don’t worry beta! Your father and I are best friends. Best friends fight, don’t they?” said her mother kissed her affectionately.

“Go to your room and sleep. There is nothing to be worried about.” Her father said in a slightly firm voice. That tone was enough for Sara to slip out of their embrace and retrace her steps to her room.

She ignored how the bloodied footprints led to her door.

Once in her room, she hid her face in the pillow and sobbed like a baby. After a while, she slipped into a numbing slumber out of sheer weariness.

The next day, at school, Sara bragged about her experiences of the ‘amazing’ family weekend as her friends gaped in admiration.

“We played Snakes and Ladders on the car’s bonnet atop a hill! Mom had cooked the most delicious aloo parathas, and we munched on them while dad told us so many funny jokes! My cheeks are still hurting from all the laughing!” She excitedly spoke.

“Wow! You are so lucky! My family spent the weekend at a boring resort.” lamented Swati, her best friend.

Ashok quipped, “Maybe we can join you next weekend! I will ask my mom to speak to yours!”

Swati, Ashok, Lamiya, and Amit sang in a chorus, “Yes, let’s all go! Let’s go! LET’S GO!!!!”

Sara turned pale, wiped off the perspiration from her brow. In a split second, she changed her expression and said, “No! It’s an exclusive experience, for my family only!”

Her friends shouted loudly in protest and called her a mean pig.

“How dare you speak to me like this?” She growled and punched Ashok in the nose. The others pounced on her and they got into a squabble.

“Stop! You are turning into them!” A loud voice screamed in Sara’s head.

She pushed everyone away, apologized in between her tears, and ran home frantically.

Though her tears clouded her vision, her thoughts were crystal clear.

Penned by:

Mayura Amarkant

Copyright ©MayuraAmarkant. This article is the property of DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mayura Amarkant (DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

24 comments

  1. This is one of the ways how children get emotionally scared. I loved about the voice that stopped her.

    Like

  2. Sadly, there are many kids like Sara in our world today. Many take extreme steps because of such circumstances.
    Glad Sara reminded herself after listening to her conscience.
    Hope there are no bloodied footprints ever…
    Well narrated, Mayura.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, how beautifully you wrote about a girl’s agony and ambiguity. Loved every turn of this story. The beginning, the middle when she went to her parents and what was going on her mind. And most importantly, I loved how the story ended. This is what I love most in fiction writing. You could have ended the story with another ending, but how beautifully you ended it with a dash of hope. This reminded me of a popular tv series that portrayed teenagers in trapped situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This story tears the soul and is gut-wrenching with your personal signature on the dysfunctional family and on what childhood issues can lead to. I like the message, in the end, popping into Sara’s head and the gory blood where her parents speak. It’s scary but sends a strong message on scars. Well done, Mayura.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have spoken a lot without speaking. This is the finesse of a writer. I loved how you made the readers make out the climax. This is a deep topic. Again you spoke volumes about how domestic issues affect a child’s psyche. Beautiful rendition.

    Like

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