The Beast

Annie once said that babies grew on trees.  Told me I sprouted from a pink blossom in the apple orchard over yonder hill.  Told me she watched me grow fat and red before plucking me from the branch to bring me home.
Jonathan once told me that babies came from potatoes.  “Cut one into pieces and you got babies.  Just be sure an’ plant ‘em with their eyes looking towards the sky.  The life is in their eyes, Ellie.”
 Bitsy said that Annie and Jonathan were full of shit; said a girl oughta’ know her birds from her bees.   But I took their meaning:  Life surrounds me on the farm.
Besides, I’d known early enough where babies came from: Seems every day my mother told me babies came from mistakes. 
“Ellie, hurry up, we’re gonna’ be late.”
I opened the door, stepped into the kitchen and stopped: A man I didn’t recognize stood and extended his hand.  “You must be Ellie.”
“I am.”  I didn’t return the gesture: I’d shaken the hands of too many of Neala’s boyfriends.
“Ellie, be nice to Duane.”
 “Don’t need to be nice.  He’ll be gone within the week.”
Duane raised his eyebrows at my mother.  “Wild little beast you’ve got here, Neala.”  He poured a cup of coffee and leaned against the counter eyeing me.  “What grade you in?”
I lifted my chin.  “Twelfth.”
“You look older.”
I shrugged.
“Figure out your plans for after graduation?”
“Ellie’s staying right here with me after she finishes high school,” Neala said.
            “Bitsy thinks I could get a scholarship.”
            “Bitsy doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”  My mother smiled.  “Ellie’s going to stay here and take care of her old mother.”
            And I knew then that I would never get out of Medford, because my mother—the real monster of this story—would do everything in her power to prevent it, in the same way that I, by virtue of having been conceived, had prevented her from doing the same.
This post was written in response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was beast.

19 thoughts on “The Beast

  1. I like how the monster(s) is revealing itself to the other characters. Wonderful dialogue. I’m becoming a fanboi. I like everything you write.

    dude, this was soooo beast….as my teenager would say

  2. Are we all going to have to move to Medford to find out what’s going on…Give us the missing chapters… Once again, last line the kicker leaving food for thought bringing the reader back to bigger issues.

  3. ooh, I love the ending. The realization that she is trapped. I hope she can break free from that beast within

    Another great piece about the people of Medford!

  4. You are so good at this! Fabulous voice. And I loved the way you made this a whole story with such a short amount of words. I aspire to be able to do that!

  5. “Seems every day my mother told me babies came from mistakes.” I like that dash of humor in a bleak situation.

  6. This is another great piece, Kelly. Dialogue is notoriously difficult to get right but yours is perfect and really brings the story to life. Hope you’ll join us for the new weekend challenge going up later today.

  7. Besides, I’d known early enough where babies came from: Seems every day my mother told me babies came from mistakes. – I love that. It reminds me of a friend of mine. Her mother was always on about how she (my friend) ruined her otherwise great life. Grrr! Makes me so mad! The dialogue’s great, too.

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