Flash Fiction: A Life Regained

I shiver as I crouch in the shadows
Of the compound’s tiny garage
My thoughts drift to home, to my family
To a life that was just a mirage

Ten years among many I cared for
And a few that I know I still do
Draped in layers of thick insincerity
What they said doesn’t match what is true

I squint at the lights on the fence line
I wonder what lies just beyond
My whole life, since age five, now in turmoil
I hope the others soon learn they were conned

He said that our roles as his women
To please him with his other young wives
Would ensure us a place in his heaven
I wince…he can’t have control of our lives

Bright headlights appear in the distance
They grow large on approach, and I stand
The woman—the nurse, the outsider
Through the window beckons me with her hand

I hurry over then hide in the back seat
While she slowly drives, turning the wheel
She says that I flee from lies only
That my faith, and my love, are still real

She takes us to the gate ever confident
That my escape will never be caught
I can’t see but I hear her explaining
She’d retrieved a box she forgot

The guard lets us through and we’re silent
Eventually I recall how to breathe
“We’ve done it,” she says, “your life starts now.”
But when Kate sees that I’m gone, she’ll seethe

My sister, who brought me here hopeful
Convinced the man knew of salvation
Bore his child, her son…my young nephew
She won’t forgive my separation

“Wait,” I say as my savior drives onward
“I’ll play along until they are ready.”
With a sigh, she says, “Hon, it’s too late now.
To return now would only be deadly.”

I sit up and glance back at the compound
My home, shrinking into the night
Maybe I should have allowed what he wanted
No…my freedom, my decision, is right

My savior drives on until morning
Through a world I once thought had been lost
Kate will wake up to find that I’ve left her
She’ll be crushed…is my life worth this cost?

I’m dropped off with my bag and some money
The bus will arrive before long
Thoughts of Kate and her son flood my memories
I quash tears…I have to stay strong

People see me as though I belong here
I concentrate on my main goal
To live life on my own, unencumbered
To take back all the years that he stole

I step onto the bus, my heart aching
I’m scared and excited combined
My sister, I hope you forgive me
There’s a whole world that I need to find


A few months ago, I entered a rhyming short story contest and progressed to the second round. A few days ago, I learned I didn’t progress further.

Kind of a bummer but not surprising. Competition is tight, and there are many, many great writers out there. That said, I feel I did my best. I wanted to share my story.

I was assigned a specific genre, theme, and emotion. Can you guess what they were? Scroll past the condescending owl to fine out.

Genre: Drama, Theme: Independent, Emotion: Regret

How did you do?

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