Lucy lay on the roof outside her bedroom window and stared up at the night sky. She could name all the constellations and planets. Impressive for an eleven-year-old. This was her escape.
At full volume the classical music playing into her earphones could not drown out her parent’s shouting. This time it was the cost of the utility bill. Her mother was doing the laundry too often and should accept her frizzy hair and stop using the hairdryer every morning. She also needed to reduce the grocery bill according to her father. Lucy listened for mom’s retaliation – his smoking, or beers or gambling at the racetrack – the stubs were always in his dirty jeans. It never came. Probably because she didn’t earn the money.
Closing her eyes for a minute she hoped to find some quiet, but between her growling stomach and them, there was no hope. She tried to open her eyes, but weak from not eating for two day – she thought that maybe she could help save and stop the arguments – they stayed closed.
Like in a dream she felt herself falling and couldn’t hold on. She was waiting to wake up. When she landed with a thump on the lawn and couldn’t move her legs, she knew it was real. Lying there hoping to be discovered she wondered if they’d stop long enough to help her. Stop long enough to care.
by Debbie Gravett © 2020.11.22
FFFC: Flash Fiction Challenge #92
Image by Jordan_Singh at Pixabay.com