Trifecta 86 – A Family Matter


They shuffled in and out. Faces without names. Names without faces. No one made any attempt to disturb her. It’s her life they probably thought.  All sense of time was lost on Carrie. Days, weeks, minutes. She could have been lying there for years. The sheets underneath her were stained through with her own waste. Her once blond curls matted, ripped and torn beyond recognition. She’d lost all respect for herself. Nobody else seemed to care. She was beyond saving.

Carrie would just lie there all day staring into nothing. Then she saw it. A bright light. A blinding light pouring through a deep crack in the wall. As she looked around the room nobody else seemed to notice. Maybe nobody else wanted to see it. Perhaps nobody else needed to.

“Is it a way in? Is it a way out?” she whispered. No answer came.

Then suddenly they appeared. One by one.

Her father said he loved her. He doesn’t blame her for what happened. She’s still his baby girl. He forgives her. Can she forgive him? Should she forgive him? She’d loved him once. Maybe she still did.

With Carrie’s mother’s arrival there followed silence. Hushed moments of pained but somehow mutual understanding. He’s my husband! He was my father! Tears flowed on both sides. If asked her mother would say she knew nothing. Her mother would know what her father wanted her to know.

Brad. Catcher’s mitt ready to play. Carrie had been such a sport when younger. Brad said she’d be the first girl to play for the Springvale Lancers. She was good enough but things just didn’t work out. Girls are meant for other things. That’s what her father assured her. She loved her brother. He was the only one who ever really listened to her. The only one who believed.

As suddenly as it had come the light quickly began to fade. The crack was almost closed. Carrie’s eyes rolled skywards. The needle fell to the floor

These 333 words are my entry into the Trifecta Week 86 writing challenge. 


24 thoughts on “Trifecta 86 – A Family Matter

  1. steph

    Very sad. This happens too frequently. You’ve captured it well. Very moving. And you’re right, we should hear every child’s cry, and believe it.

  2. paulmclem Post author

    Thanks to those who have commented. This wasn’t perhaps what people have come to expect from me. However, as much as I enjoy standard beginning/middle/end stories I don’t want to only do those. Need to keep trying other things to see what I’m good at and not so good at. At the moment I’d admit this type of piece is perhaps out of my compass range but c’est la vie. Like all good sportsmen I’m prepared to lose if it helps me succeed in the end i.e. a few flops on the way is how you really learn.

    On re-reading I don’t think it’s too bad. Work in progress. Will probably try something similar again soon. Please bear with me when I go a tad “off piste” from time to time. I’m remain hopeful the end results will be worth the occasional “what the heck was that” moment 🙂

  3. Suzanne

    Well written piece, Paul. Very tragic and haunting. I think you’re doing a great job exploring your writing and hope you keep on exploring! 🙂

    1. paulmclem Post author

      If any of my work reminds anyone of anything remotely well known I take that as a compliment. Never heard of the film myself but google is my friend!

  4. Ivy (Mommy Dourest)

    Very nice! I think the saddest part of the whole piece is the title. It’s not just a family matter, but sometimes knowledge of the problem never makes it past the family barrier. 😦

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks for the encouraging comments Ivy. Was worried I’d perhaps gone too experimental with this piece. Perhaps people wouldn’t “get it”. Glad you did. Pleased!

  5. lovelylici1986

    Well done! I really enjoyed this piece. I encourage you to keep stepping out of bounds. Take a chance every now and then. There’s nothing wrong with that. It really helps you to grow as a writer, and you can end up producing some pretty amazing work.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Alicia. Means a lot when established writers such as yourself see some value in my work. The experimentation will indeed continue. Hope you stick around to see some of the results. Cheers!

  6. electrasmoped

    Very well written, it’s quite hard to write something sad without it become too sentimental, but you managed it well. Certainly kept me reading and wanting more…

  7. stankmeaner

    I like that you chose to write from the perspective of the troubled one but not completely as someone who’s been victimized or acting out. She comes across as sympathetic, confused and lonely, a normal lost girl.


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