34 comments

May 02, 2021

Sad

“It's been a wonderful summer so far" Bethany thought smiling to herself as she was driving with her daughter Emma, in the back, strapped to a car seat. She smiled at her daughter lovingly through the rear-view mirror as Emma returned her smile.

“Are you excited honey?” 

“Yes!” replied her daughter happily throwing her arms up and giggling.

“Okay, just hang on, we'll be there soon” replied her mother.

“Mommy can we go to the park today?” Emma asked after a while.

“Sure honey whatever you want to do. Today is your day, and we are gonna have lots of fun!” Bethany said excitedly.

“Where are we going to, first?” Emma asked.

“Well, we are going to the department store first, to buy you some new clothes and then we will go to the toy store next, how's that sound?” she asked looking at her daughter through the mirror.

“Can we go to the park first?” asked Emma.

“Sweetie we will go to the park later after we are done at the store okay?”

“You promise?"

“Cross my heart” replied her mother as she did so.

About half an hour later they pulled in to the parking lot of the department store. Bethany parked her car on a vacant spot and got out to help her daughter out of the car seat. She picked her daughter up gently after she unfastened the straps and put her down on the ground and shut the door and locked the car. 

A moment later they were inside the massive department store, headed toward a kid’s clothing outlet. After a while they were inside the fitting room as Bethany was helping her daughter, try on the clothes she had picked out. She looked on adoringly as Emma kept twirling and turning from side to side, striking a pose in front of the floor length mirror as if she were at a kid's fashion photo shoot. 

It was her daughter's fifth birthday, so she had decided to spoil her as she had come into some money through a generous benefactor who wished to remain anonymous. After they were done trying on the clothes, they made their way over to the cashier. 

Emma was impatient and kept tugging at her mother’s coat asking her to hurry as the next place to visit was the toy store. She lovingly told her child to be patient till she's done paying for their purchases. The little girl said “Yes Ma'am" Sulking. 

Bethany glanced at the cashier apologetically and said “it's her birthday today, we are on a shopping spree, she’s dying to get to the toy store". The cashier smiled and gave her an understanding nod.

Finally they made their way over to the toy store, as Emma practically dragged her mother by the hand and almost ran over there. She was so excited, she found it hard to contain her joy, running from one aisle to the next, her eyes filled with wonder gasping as she examined each toy that she picked up. 

She said “Mommy there are so many toys, I don't know which one to choose!” Her mother told her that she could choose four items, to which the little one replied gleefully, “really? I can choose four?” 

Bethany laughed and said, “Yes, really!" Emma yelped and busied herself, in choosing exactly what she wanted.

By the time they were done at the toy store, they were both famished. They made their way over to the cafe and found a vacant table at the far corner near the window and sat down to order. Emma wanted a burger with fries and a chocolate milkshake, while her mother ordered a grilled chicken with mashed potatoes, a Caesar salad and a glass of orange juice.

Once they were done with their meal she asked her daughter, what she would like to do next, and without hesitating she replied, “the park, the park, I wanna go to the park, mommy!” Her mother laughed, and said “ok then, the park it is!” 

They decided to walk, as it was just around the corner, leaving their car at the parking lot of the Department Store after depositing their precious load in the backseat. The park was crowded as it was the weekend. There were families having picnics, with kids running around screaming and squealing. There were people, both young and old flying kites, some were playing with their dogs. It was a wondrous site to behold. 

At one corner of the park there was a colourful carousel where children and even adults were riding screaming and laughing hysterically. It was playing a merry melody as it went round and round.

“Can I go on the carousel mommy?” Emma asked.

“Sure, why not? Lets go pay and wait in line shall we?” her mother said as she grabbed Emma's hand and walked over to the carousel.

About half an hour later, they got their chance. Bethany carried her daughter as she got on and placed her on one of the ponies. 

“Hold on tight darling, don't let go okay" her mother said beaming at her. 

“I won't let go mommy, I promise" said Emma.

“Good girl” said her mother as she planted a kiss on her chubby little cheek and got on the pony right next to her daughter.

“It’s been such a long time since I rode a carousel. I hope I don't fall off and embarrass myself” she said laughing.

“Just hold on tight mommy, then you won't fall off" said Emma trying to sound like a grown up.

A moment later the carousel started to move as the music started to play as it gained momentum.

“Here we go, hang on tight honey!” yelled her mother giggling like a child. 

And soon they were off going round and round till their surroundings became a blur. After their ride they slowly made their way back to their original spot.

There were various vendors scattered about, selling hotdogs, popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy. Their sweet aromas wafting through the cool summer breeze made anyone's mouth water. Emma pointed to the cotton candy stand and looked at her mother expectantly with a pleading look in her eyes, her mother exclaimed “You just had a burger, French fries and a large milkshake, isn't your tummy full? To which Emma replied with a wink “Nope I still have room for some cotton candy! Please mommy, please can I have some? I promise I will never ask for anything else for the rest of the day!” she pleaded.

Finally Bethany gave in to her daughter's pleadings, rolling her eyes heavenward which made the little one giggle.

They found a vacant bench and sat down to watch the crowd having a good time under the glorious summer sun. She glanced toward her daughter, greedily devouring the cotton candy, and smiled to herself. This has been a wonderful day. She was glad that she was able to make her daughter happy. Suddenly her eyes grew heavy and she felt tired after a long and busy day and slowly nodded off on the bench.

She awoke with a start, it was dark, she sat up, and looked around. She glanced down at her daughter who was sleeping on the ground next to her huddled under a dirty blanket, sheltered by a cardboard box that they were using as a makeshift tent in the alley. She broke down in tears as the realization hit her like a knife to the heart. 

The little girl stirred and opened her eyes, and asked, “mommy what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” 

The young mother reached and scooped the little one in her arms, hugging her tight and answered, “nothing, baby, nothing, it was a dream, just a dream”

THE END 

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34 comments

Roberta Weeks
10:49 May 13, 2021

Wow, I loved this story, so sad but loving. Heartbreaking, as a mom I felt this deeply. This is a beautiful story.

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Melissa Hassan
16:32 May 13, 2021

Thank you, Roberta, I am so glad you loved it.😊

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Abia Mabel Nji
12:28 Jun 13, 2021

It's a beautiful story,am deeply touched as a mom

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Molly Sullivan
01:17 May 22, 2021

That was so heartwarming! I was definitely not expecting the ending! Great job! Just a few suggestions: You may want to try writing sentences that are short and sweet. You can try using less adverbs and conjunctions and make shorter, straight to the point sentences. Amazing job, you're a great writer!

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Melissa Hassan
16:13 May 22, 2021

Thank you.😊

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S. Closson
09:56 May 15, 2021

Dang, that one hit hard. Excellent story!

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Melissa Hassan
14:27 May 15, 2021

Thank you!😊

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16:44 May 14, 2021

It was a sweet and sad story. It touched my heart!

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Melissa Hassan
17:33 May 14, 2021

Thank you very much.😊

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Cal Carson
03:51 May 14, 2021

Sweet and sad story, I enjoyed it! Your grammar had definitely improved. There are still some missing commas at the end of dialogues, for example, but still, I think it was well done. I love twist endings and this one was fantastic. The interactions between Bethany and Emma are sweet and feel real, too. Great job.

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Melissa Hassan
04:14 May 14, 2021

Thank you very much for your feedback, Cal. 😊

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Cal Carson
16:57 May 14, 2021

No problem!

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Brittany Gillen
20:41 May 13, 2021

Melissa - Thank you for sharing your story. What a jolt at the end! It was so unexpected. I knew the prompt was calling for darkness, but I guess I was naively hoping for just the end of the day and natural darkness. I actually reread it twice when she fell asleep thinking - NO, your kid will go missing! Well done. One bit of feedback would be to watch the very "pregnant" sentences with too many visuals or ideas. For example, "She picked her daughter up gently after she unfastened the straps and put her down on the ground and shut the door...

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Melissa Hassan
03:37 May 14, 2021

Thank you, Brittany. Your feedback is much appreciated.😊

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Marissa Flores
15:17 May 13, 2021

Nice one, Melissa. I like short, punchy stories like this that start off saccharine sweet and take a dark turn. Maybe you could bolster your next story with more foreshadowing. In this story you might say that while Emma and Bethany were riding the carousel a creepy homeless man was watching them and Bethany got scared. I liked the opulence of the story, that was a good clue - I was like, damn they’re spending a lot of money for a kid’s birthday! The lavish description of the food was a great detail too. Overall, nice, tight story that co...

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Melissa Hassan
16:35 May 13, 2021

Thank you, Marissa, for your feedback. I am glad you enjoyed reading my story.😊

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Rayney Day
14:19 May 13, 2021

Wow, this story was so nice and sweet and the ending completely took me by surprise. Easy to follow and a good plot line: )

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Melissa Hassan
16:37 May 13, 2021

Thank you so much, Rayney. 😊

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Michael Hayes
14:09 May 13, 2021

Another good story.

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Melissa Hassan
16:38 May 13, 2021

Thank you, Michael.😊

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Dhevalence .
10:35 May 13, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to read and like my stories. I really do appreciate it. About your story... Oh, my gosh. I felt something move inside me. I remember the days well when we didn't have everything, but we had enough. So this story took me back there. Well written. Good flow

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Melissa Hassan
16:39 May 13, 2021

Thank you ever so much. I am glad you enjoyed reading it.😊

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Richard Hawkins
21:25 May 12, 2021

easy to follow thank you

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Melissa Hassan
02:43 May 13, 2021

You are welcome! Glad you liked the story.😊

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Jennifer Dowdell
11:16 May 10, 2021

Wow, what an interesting story. I wasn't expecting the sorrowful ending. But, I am a sucker for happy endings. It was definitely a good read.

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Melissa Hassan
13:09 May 10, 2021

Thank you, Jennifer, l am glad you enjoyed reading it.😊

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Amy A
09:29 May 07, 2021

Completely unexpected ending. Sad story indeed, but such a good story to read! The only suggestion I have is to fix the punctuation after the quotation marks, unless we don't do this anymore? I was taught to do this: "Hold on tight and you won't fall off," said Emma.

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Melissa Hassan
18:54 May 07, 2021

Thank you very much Amy for your feedback.😊

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Melissa Hassan
18:55 May 07, 2021

Thank you very much Amy for your feedback.😊

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Avid Writer
13:46 May 05, 2021

Wonderfully done story, I will be honest the end made me want to cry. You did a good job representing the sweetness between a mother and a child. Good job! Random style tip, dont end the story in The End, however tempting it may be. It is a really impactful ending for the story and the The End is uneeded. It was a great story!

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Melissa Hassan
17:33 May 05, 2021

Thank you so much for your feedback. This story was written by me sometime back. I thought it suited the prompt. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Feel free to check out my other stories if you have the time.😊

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The Cold Ice
04:38 May 04, 2021

Wonderful story .Keep writing . I loved it. Wonderfully Written. Would you mind reading my story “The book reader”

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Melissa Hassan
17:20 May 04, 2021

Thank you. I am glad you loved reading it. Will read your story.😊

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The Cold Ice
04:17 May 05, 2021

Thanks

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