Friday Fictioneers : The bubble gum pink coat

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll


 

Mum lifts Danny onto the seat, the Umbrella car giddy under his weight.

‘Will you come?’ He isn’t scared, but Mum’s been sad for so long and fairground rides make everyone smile.

She shakes her head, tells him to hold the bar in front but he’s old enough to know that. The car moves – loud music shakes the air in his ears. Mum has already turned, her bubble gum pink coat a spot of colour growing smaller. When the ride has turned once, the pink has gone.

This is what Danny tells the police lady when she comes.

 


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and write a tale. Share yours and read others here.

 

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82 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers : The bubble gum pink coat

    1. Yes, Penny, I think you’re right – at least she can’t cope with life as a single parent. Perhaps the loss of her partner is linke to her walking away. Sometimes – even if it’s a skewed view – people believe themselves to be too toxic for the good of others. Perhaps she has to walk away before something awful happens. Thank you for the kind and insightful comment

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    1. Thank you Susan. I’m glad you glimpsed some of the story beneath the child’s eye view – dark times ahead and behind this pair, I think. Thank you for reading

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    1. Thank you very much Sandra. I hope I managed to convey a little of mum’s character in her choice of coat – bubble gum pink for a grown woman. Thank you so much for reading and commenting

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    1. Thank you so much Rochelle. Some people just can’t cope with life and perhaps Danny’ mum is one of them. Life is hard for many and will be for Danny too. Thank you so much for reading

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  1. What? How could a Mom leave her child alone? I know someone might weave a somewhat “reasonable” scenario, but there had to be a better way. Danny will forever be devastated by this.

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    1. And yet people do, sadly. Perhaps there are mental health or drug issues. Perhaps there are a ton of financial worries pressing on her and she’s desperate. There is plenty of tragedy in the world. Thanks so much for readin James

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      1. Very true. And I think she thought she was doing the best for him – sometimes people who can’t cope thinks it’s better to walk away than stay and hurt people they love. Thanks for reading James

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    1. Thank you Joy. It’s interesting to write from a child’s eye view, to try to put yourself in their place, adjust your priorities. Adults are very good at not telling children the truth – or at least the whole truth – too which can be very confusing and upsetting for kids. I entered a short story competition recently and wrote from the child’s eye view, looking at adult actions through a child’s lens can be confusing to say the least. Thanks for reading

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      1. Very interesting points. I have a novel idea on the back burner where the main character is fairly young, and I’ve been putting it off in part because of the challenge of writing that age level. I feel like I need to work on my writing skills a while longer before I’ll be up to that task, especially for a whole novel’s worth of writing.

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      2. I know what you mean. I’ve only written a few thousand words in that voice – a whole novel would be tough. I recently read The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer and much of that is written from a child’s eye view and very convincingly. It’s easy to read and a sort of Urban Fantasy so might appeal if you fancy a look

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      3. I’m reading Hild now, which begins with the MC at a very young age. She grows up more as the book progresses, though. In my book idea, the main action happens when the MC is early teens, which feels a lot more doable for me than any younger than that.

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      4. Yes, I know what you mean. I remember reading somewhere that to write for YA you have to remember that (and this does sound like an insult) many young people see the world as it revolves round them, how events affect them. So if a friend is upset with them they don’t necessarily think ‘wow, what’s going on with them – maybe something at home’, they think ‘how could they treat me like that?’ Not sure this is 100 % true, but I do think empathy and putting others first is learned not inbuilt. Good luck with it all Joy

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      5. That’s a good thing to keep in mind when writing young characters. I think too often, young characters come off feeling false because they just seem like adult minds in little bodies. The “Hild” book is starting to seem like that, although the author has done a decent job of showing how the MC has had to learn to be smart and think more strategically in order to survive.

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      6. Yes, I think you’re right, Joy. It’s a tricky thing to get inside the mind of someone decades younger than yourself – I know plenty of people who don’t remember much from their teen years so can’t identify with those characters. It’s a tough job I think

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      7. Somewhere, I still have a diary or two from my teen years. Last time I looked at it, I cringed and immediately dropped it. I’ve written myself a reminder to go dig it up and read it again. Now that I’m writing fiction, the torture of reading how awful and stupid I was seems it would be worth it for character ideas!

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      8. It’s a case of adjusting priorities, isn’t it? As an adult, we see mortgages and food shopping and world peace as important – they see peer opinion, the lastest game update, not looking an idiot for whatever reason as priorities. I have to readjust my thoughts everyday when talking to my 13 year old son – his worries over his spots might seem small to my 48 year old mind, but they’re important to him and consequently a valid source of anxiety

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      9. I’d say it’s the different perspective and different responsibilities driving the priorities — when the first two change, the priorities do too. All that kids are responsible for is their own bodies and actions, so of course how they’re judged on those is key. And to them, whatever crisis arises really is – thank goodness for this – the worst thing they’ve been through. As adults we can handle those problems because we’ve dealt with them so often. We’ve had plenty of practice with people not liking us, and yet it’s still depressing; we’ve just developed better coping mechanisms. And more so, we know it gets much, much worse.

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      10. Very true. When you’re a kid you have no perspective to put your experiences against, so of course an argument with a friend seems like the end of the world. It works the other way too – I think it’s harder to feel extremes of joy and pleasure as you age too

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      11. My first instinct was to agree, but now I don’t know. I still have extremes of pleasure, although they’re less frequent because my life is calmer and I like that, too. I think my enjoyment of wonderful experiences is only heightened by my perspective that true joy is rarer in life than I would have guessed.

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      12. Very true, Joy, though I take quiet pleasures where I can – my garden, bees and birds and butterflies, a quiet cup of coffee and a scented candle. Small, steady pleasures

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      13. You are one of the few I know, then; most adults I know don’t like rides at the amusement park or county fair. Makes it hard for me to find people to go with — I’ve had to borrow my friends’ teenagers a couple times!

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  2. So sad. If she thought she had troubles before, she’s going to have yet more with charges against her. I’m so glad the boy found a police.an before some pervert found him there alone. Reasoning gets totally skewed in some people.

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  3. Well written, Lynn, I’m glad I read your piece. sad for so long and fairground rides make everyone smile this sets the stage. She shakes her head, heartbreaking line, it says it all.

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  4. In my lifetime I have known several people who, as children, have been the first on the scene of a parent’s suicide.It’s almost as if the parent is apportioning blame, or exacting some kind of misplaced vengeance on the child. This is a gut-wrenching tale, beautifully told.

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