Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Two for Tuesday #23 – A Mother’s Love

with 4 comments

I think I cheated with Andy’s Two for Tuesday Challenge this week. I brought my character to the brink, but didn’t make her go through with the non-standard prompt. You decide.


Standard Prompt:
blank canvas

You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words. The words can be used:

  • simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly
  • they can be included exactly as provided
  • or each word can be used independently of each other (for example if Death Row was the prompt instead of crafting a story about an inmate on the way to the gallows, you might write something like: Despite feeling like death from an excess of cheap vodka consumed the night before, Evelyn moved on to planting her next row of spinach).

Non-Standard Prompt:
For this week’s alternative prompt write a story about a mother who must make a hugely emotional decision about her physically disabled child. (courtesy of StoryPrompts app by Triple Dog Dare Media). As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.




A Mother’s Love (270 words)

A baby is a tabula rasa: a lump of clay to be moulded, a blank canvas to be splashed with colour as it grows and absorbs from its parents and the people around it. Gemma was like any other baby. She cried and fed and shat in all the right places at all the right times. Or so we thought.

The first thing we noticed was her smile. It didn’t arrive on time. We waited a couple of weeks then spoke to the health visitor, the district nurse, and then the GP. Eventually it was suggested she had weak muscle tone, which would develop with time. Her lazy eye would tighten and her little lips would curl. We waited a while longer, and 10 years later we are still waiting for a definitive diagnosis.

Tim, my husband, gave up waiting. He couldn’t cope with Gemma’s lack of emotional development. His little girl didn’t love him, and he stopped loving me. I’ve struggled on for the last couple of years without him. It’s been hard coping alone with her tantrums, the head-banging, the biting, and the unpredictable days of catatonia. She’ll always be my little girl, even when she’s grown. And I will always love her, despite the lack of reciprocation. But I am alone and only I can decide what happens next.

To be honest, Gemma is too much for me and I am not enough for her. She needs constant care and I need my sleep. Even as I say I have to decide, I know there is no choice if either of us is to have a life.



Written by Sarah Ann

September 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great job. A powerful piece about a powerful subject. It seems very true to life. I hope it is not autobiographical. If so you are a very strong woman…


    September 3, 2013 at 12:01 am

    • Thank you for that great comment – no not autobiographical, thankfully.

      Sarah Ann

      September 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm

  2. I am so pleased this is fiction, this was hauntingly real S – excellent job girl x


    September 3, 2013 at 12:27 am

    • Thank you for hauntingly real – not sure where she came from, but she is wracked with pain.

      Sarah Ann

      September 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: