WEP/ISWG June Challenge - Caged Bird
WEP has joined forces with the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group). The collaboration has brought very welcome support to the WEP administrators and will also attract more entries. And this greedy reader loves that.
WEP is changing. Participating writers can now select their favourite entry and the only award is People's Choice. I have some reservations about that move, but will be happy to be proved wrong.
This month's challenge is Caged Bird. Fiction, non-fiction, photography and poetry are welcome, which gives us a lot of scope.
For a variety of reasons I have wimped out on the last few challenges but have joined in again this month.
STICKS AND STONES...
you led him on... you always did like it rough...you shouldn't have been out so late ... that skirt was too short... you have brought shame on us... no-one will believe you... you should have fought harder... you shouldn't have been drinking... it is just sex... you weren't a virgin anyway... it could have been worse... tell the truth, you fancied him... you need to get over it...why didn't you?... why did you?... you... you... you...
The words surround me. They overpower me. They are heavy, hard and loud. They bludgeon and bash me. Some cut deep, incisions that cannot be stitched. Even the softer words have rigid and inflexible cores. They form a barrier between me and the speakers. A wall between me and the person I thought I was. A blockade between me and the person I hoped to be. A cage. I shrink inside. I try to disappear.
this will teach her a lesson she won't forget... it is god's will... god's gift to you... she said it was rape, but no-one was charged... a baby is always a blessing... you should... you shouldn't... why did you... why didn't you... you will have to...
These words come from family. They come from friends. They come from strangers. They are mostly quieter now. Soft and insidious. Relentless. Some I am not meant to hear, but I do. They make me feel as sick as the seed he planted does. Lacerated and isolated I shrink further.
you must be so excited... it is all part of god's plan for you... enjoy your freedom now... you were made for this... you will love your little stranger as soon as you see him or her... everything happens for a reason... you will forget the pain immediately... god's gift to you... you are HUGE... you are tiny... you look wonderful... you look drained... you should... you shouldn't... you must...
My body is heavy. Nearly as heavy as my heart. They anchor me firmly into the here and now. My dreams have died. And still the words continue.
congratulations, you have a fine healthy boy...
The same impersonal doctor as last time repairs the wound and stitches me up again. Like father, like son.
He is here, where I can finally see him. Do I love him? No.
Can I ever love this powerful and needy reminder? Perhaps. My arms instinctively reach for the small stranger I have cradled in my body for so long.
But... as he was born I saw, heard, felt the door to my cage being welded shut. Will I remember the words to my song when I am paroled years from now? Can I learn to fly again?
Full Critique Acceptable.