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Fiction American

I bend down and pick up the pieces of broken stained glass from the sidewalk in front of the church. Six pieces. Red. Orange. Blue. Pink. Green. Yellow. Colors of the rainbow. I wonder if Miss Angie can help me put them back together again. I could put them in the window in my room.

“Dolores, get in the Van!” Sampson calls from the driver’s seat. I look around to make sure no one sees me with the glass in my hand, unsure where to put it. I don’t want no one telling me I can’t bring it home. I realize I don’t have no pockets in my lavender Sunday church dress, so I shove the jagged pieces down my front brassiere, hoping no one notices any big pieces poking out. I get into the van next to Paige, relieved I don’t have to sit next to Michael. On the way to Church, Michael kept banging his head against the seat next to me and I’m not allowed to ask him to stop; that’s the rule. Miss Angie says that’s Michael’s way of relaxing, but I don’t know why he can’t just look out the window like the rest of us. I peek up at the Episcopal church we go to together every week, wondering where the broken stained glass came from, when I see at the tippity top of the tallest tower, a little crack in a small window. Maybe it was that big storm last night that broke the window. I press the stained glass into my chest, keeping it safe as Sampson pulls the van out of the parking lot.

“Are we getting ice cream?” Judy asks as she sticks a finger up her nose, digging for gold.

“Judy, it isn’t polite to pick your nose!” Damon lectures, as he folds his hands over the bible on his lap. Damon is always the rule follower. I have to make sure he doesn’t find out about the stained glass I have stolen. Especially the fact it was church stained glass. I bet that is especially against the rules.

“Is it Tuesday, Judy?” Sampson asks, matter-of factly.

“No, it’s Sunday,” Judy replies.

“Tuesdays we get ice cream, Judy. Sundays we go to church,” Sampson retorts as he turns slowly into our group home.

I press one hand into my brassiere and sit on my other hand anxiously waiting for us to get home. Why is Sampson driving so slowly? As we pull in, I notice cars all around. Cars? Why are there cars here?

“Why are there cars here?” I blurt out.

“Mother’s Day,” Sampson says as he turns the keys of the van. I feel a pit in my stomach. How could I have forgotten already. Mother’s Day. Judy, Damon, Michael, and Paige give a cheer in the van as I roll my eyes. Why did today have to be Mother’s Day when all I want to do is bring my stained glass upstairs and put it back together again to hang on my window? When the van door swings open, Sampson unstraps Paige from her seat and hands her her walker. She slowly inches her way towards the front door as Damon and Judy do a little skip together singing some Mother’s Day song I have never heard before. Michael refuses to get out of the car.

“Michael, time to get out,” Sampson says quietly. “It’s Mother’s Day.” Michael doesn’t talk. Michael never talks. I have never heard him talk. Not ever. Sampson tugs on his arm and Michael begins to rock back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I watch for a minute until Sampson says, “Go on in, Dolores. It’s Mother’s Day.” I turn to go in the house clutching my chest tightly, hoping Angie is here today, even though it’s Mother’s Day. I know she has kids, but I really do need her today. It’s really important. I walk up to our old Victorian house, and glance up at my bedroom window, imagining the stained glass up there. It would really look great. When I open the door, I see my mom sitting in the lobby with my Stepdaddy, Frank, and my stepbrother, Frank Jr. Frank Jr. seems to be concentrating on a game on his iPad. I wonder what game it is. I haven’t seen any of them since Easter and it didn’t really go great the last time. My mom had asked if we could go to a restaurant, and I had said no. My stepdaddy, Frank, had asked if he could bring whiskey or wine into our group home for lunch and the nurses had said no. I had asked Frank Jr. to play his iPad and he had said no.

“Where’s Angie?” I say out loud to no one in particular. Angie is usually here weekdays, but today is a special day because I found stained glass so maybe I could call her to come in. Or maybe I could ask Sampson to call her since I don’t have her phone number. Or a phone.

“Dolores,” my mom says as she stands up to greet me. She looks like she is going to the White House to meet the president. She is wearing a baby blue dress and a white fancy hat with a flower on it. She walks over to me and gives me a kiss on each cheek. “Don’t you look nice sweetie,” she says as she takes off some swanky white gloves she is wearing.

“Dolores,” Frank, Stepdaddy says as he embraces me in a big hug. Before I know it, I feel a big sharp pain in my chest and realize his hug is causing me pain. “Ouch!” I yell as I yank myself out of his arms.

“Dolores! What is it?” my mom shouts. The weekend nurses start running over to see what the commotion is, although, commotion like this happens a lot here. I look down at my lavender Sunday dress and see bright red blood coming from my chest. “You’re bleeding, Dolores!” my mom shrieks.

“My stained glass!” I yell as I grab at my chest and pull a piece of yellow glass out from my brassiere.

“Stained glass?” my mom yells back. “See Frank? This is why I told you we shouldn’t come here! It is always a production whenever we come here!” Frank Jr. glances up for a second from his iPad and then looks back down, shaking his head.

I run upstairs into my room and slam the door. I rip off my dress and pull the shattered pieces from my brassiere. I count them. Twenty pieces now. Red. Red. Red. Red. Orange. Orange. Orange. Blue. Blue. Blue. Pink. Pink. Green. Green. Green. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Colors of the Rainbow. I lay them along my windowpane in the order of colors of the rainbow. I can’t let anymore break. Miss Angie will be here tomorrow and then we will glue them back together and put them up on my window so I will have my own stained glass. I walk to my bathroom to get cleaned up. Tomorrow will be a big day.

June 04, 2021 19:25

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8 comments

Mohamed Sarfan
06:09 Jun 16, 2021

Dear Writer, I stood in front of a mirror; But, the face is unknown. My shadows just gathered around me like a child holding my hand until the end with a mysterious feeling in the sense that the crucifixion was slapping me in my mane. I am obliged for a moment to say a loving greeting to the writer on the secret that my mind has acknowledged that such myths are truly strange. The reader’s mind wanders like a puppy behind a woman’s footsteps as a rainbow comes to my house and buys my roses and smiles. All the best My Dear Friend. Write more...

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:22 Jun 13, 2021

Hi Kathleen, this was a really good story. I thought you did a wonderful job writing it. It flowed really well, and I think it works perfectly with the prompt ;) Also, the title is perfect. I thought the glass would have really hurt her, so I'm glad she seems ok, and looking forward to putting it together :) For your first story, I thought this was excellent. Welcome to Reedsy!! :) :)

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Kathleen Fine
10:47 Jun 13, 2021

Thank you Daniel!

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Crows_ Garden
19:13 Mar 12, 2022

This is a calm story, I like how it flows so smoothly.

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Kathleen Fine
23:09 May 22, 2022

Thank you!

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I'm amazed. This story is short, but you still allow the reader to have a sense of who our main character is, and a sense of her relationships with her family. She has a goal, and she is annoyed when she can't complete it immediately. This story is simple, but the way it's told is like poetry. My favourite line: "My mom had asked if we could go to a restaurant, and I had said no. My stepdaddy, Frank, had asked if he could bring whiskey or wine into our group home for lunch and the nurses had said no. I had asked Frank Jr. to play his iPa...

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Kathleen Fine
10:27 Jun 17, 2021

Thank you for such kind feedback!

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Kathleen Fine
10:28 Jun 17, 2021

Thank you for such kind feedback!

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