CW: The setting sun.

Outside:

The sun was about to set and normally Veronica would take a moment to marvel at it, but this time she was too busy biting her nails and pacing back and forth in front of the house. Whatever had been going on in there had been taking too long.

“It’s going to be OK.” William’s eyes were still glued to the honey-colored horizon.

Right as he said that, a scream filled the quiet summer air.

Inside:

Maisey pulled her hand out from Elaine’s grip and ran back into her room with a scream. Not sure what happened, Elaine looked at Robert for help, but he only shrugged.

“I’ve got this,” Elaine said to Robert as she approached the little girl’s room.

Robert gave her a slight nod and went back to the front room.

Elaine had been in the child’s bedroom before but it still felt foreign to her. The walls were grey, with white patches where the paint had peeled. There were no paintings, no posters, no windows. Maisey sat on the mattress in the far corner of the room, curled under the blanket. A faint light from a nightlamp nearby illuminated her face.

“Are you ok?” Elaine kneeled by the bed.

The girl did not answer and instead kept on sobbing. Her eyes tightly closed.

“What happened back there? Did I squeeze your hand too tightly?” Elaine pressed, brushing Maisey’s hair off her face.

The girl recoiled. “Don’t touch me!”

“OK.” Elaine got up and took a step away from the stained mattress. “… I’m here to help you. Help me understand what I did wrong.” She sat down on the floor in the middle of the room.

Maisey wiped her tears away, got up, and pressed her back to the wall. “You tried to burn me alive!” Her foggy eyes revealed flickers of growing anger in the background.

Elaine blinked twice as if that would help her read the girl’s mind.

“Is that what you did to my mother?” she yelled out and pulled her knees closer to her chest.

“Cecilia isn’t hurt,” Elaine answered and inched towards the girl. “What makes you think that?”

“The coat and goggles by the door… She never leaves the house without them.”

“Why is that?”

“So she doesn’t get burned. Duh!” Maisey got up to her feet. “You thought I didn’t know that? You tried to take me out there without the protective equipment. But I saw it! I saw the ball of fire that was just waiting to set me on fire.” Her voice became louder and filled with more anger with every word she uttered.

“Maisey, that’s just the sun.” Elaine knew that Maisey did not live like other average girls her age, but that was not something she had predicted would be a problem. “It warms us and gives us life. It doesn’t kill us,” she added, reaching out her hand towards the child.

“Then, you’re one of them! You’re an alien!” Maisey pulled out a knife from under the blanket and pointed it in Elaine’s direction.

“I’m not. Would I bleed if I was an alien?”

Maisey did not answer. Elaine pulled out a knife from her belt and ran the blade across her open palm. Drops of blood appeared on the surface.

“Maybe?” Maisey was not prepared for that eventuality.

The two of them continued their dialogue for a few more minutes before agreeing that Robert would go through the doors first, then Elaine, and only then Maisey would just stick a single finger out to make sure she would not be burned before making her way outside.

“Ready?” Elaine asked the girl before Robert opened the door to the outside.

Maisey gulped and turned to look at the coat and goggles on the hook. “Can I wear these?” she asked Elaine. “Just in case?”

“Sure.” Elaine pulled them off the hook and helped Maisey put them on.

“Ready.” Maisey gave a nod, swimming in a yellow raincoat. She held the goggles in place with her right hand while her left one found Elaine.

Outside:

The sun had set and darkness fell upon them, prompting a smile on Maisey’s face. She was outside and still alive. She could not wait to tell Mother about her discovery. They would be able to go and play outside from then on.

“Maisey, this is Ms. Veronica.”

Maisey looked at the woman and shrugged. Why would she care who this person was?

Elaine was not sure what would happen to the girl or how Veronica and her family would heal from everything that had happened, but she was certain that Cecilia would spend a long time behind bars for abducting a child and holding her in such conditions for years.

“Do you want me to hold your coat for now?” Veronica asked Maisey after observing her trip over it.

Maisey looked around to make sure that the ball of fire was nowhere near and gave Veronica a slight nod. Veronica took off the girl’s coat and the goggles that were dangling around her neck and gave her a smile. She could have sworn the child smiled back.

As they walked towards the cop car, Maisey, with her one hand holding onto Elaine, placed her other now free hand in Veronica’s.

“It’s going to be OK,” Veronica uttered to herself, squeezing her daughter’s little hand.

***

Begin your story with somebody watching the sunrise, or sunset.
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: Reedsy]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png

***

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Stay golden,

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***

Did you enjoy reading this post?
Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic?
Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog?
Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader?
Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better?
Check me out on TWITTER @SamGoldieKirk.

18 thoughts on “CW: The setting sun.

Add yours

  1. Wow Goldie, you’re on fire with this one! Not only did you match the story superbly to the theme, but you created three brilliantly mysterious vignettes (the Veronica story, the Maisie story and the Elaine/Robert story), each of which leaves the reader intrigued because there’s a hidden backstory to each one. And the overall story feels complete and satisfying as well… you could expand on everything but there’s no need to, it’s food for the imagination. I think this is definitely one of my favourites of your stories. Really well written and paced as usual, but very cleverly executed as well. Big thumbs up!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. What a fantastic short story. I enjoyed how it moved, bringing along all the characters in a connected and developing fashion. The characters felt real and authentic in their responses (Masie planning to share the “new” truth of the sun with Cecilia). I was almost in tears. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thank you for your supportive and specific feedback. It’s very helpful to know what works and what doesn’t.

      I was very close to not drafting this tale but I realized that my excuse was rather poor (laziness), so I whipped myself and went for it. I already had an idea in my head, but the characters developed as I went. I was so pleased with myself for sitting down and doing this. (Yes, I set the bar low for now.) And the responses have been overwhelming. I miss writing and the interactions on here SO much. I’m reminded that I NEED to do this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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Cathleen Townsend

Faerie Tales and Fantasy Worlds

Mark-Huntley-James

writing science-fiction and fantasy since tomorrow

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