What is a famliy?

Submitted into Contest #101 in response to: Write a story in which the same line recurs three times.... view prompt


Sad Fiction

What is family? Some think it’s a group of parents and children living together, but not all.


I stand in front of a dirt-stained mirror, and whisper the unfamiliar words, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall…”

My voice chokes up, and I curl in a ball, tears rushing down my face, and cry, cry hard, until a single tear isn’t left inside me.

The room I stand inside is dark, but I like it that way. When you're lonely, darkness is best.

But what if you're always lonely?

Then what?

I check the door, tugging and pulling, but it seems so stubborn; it won’t open.

How long have I been locked in here?

A day?

A year?

I don’t know. When you're lonely, you don’t keep track of time. 

You can’t.

You’re too wrapped up in your own thoughts, your own fears, to count every minute, every day. 

When you're lonely, you shouldn’t talk, shouldn’t eat.

But what if you’re always lonely?

I close my eyes, taking in my last conversation.


“Willow…. Take care…. Of… Yourself….”

“Mama, I will, I promise. But please, don’t go!”

“I… M- Must….Darling…”

I nod, letting tears flow freely down my cheeks.

“Please, Mama, don’t go!”

“I… I must…”


Mama’s cold, pale hand squeezes mine, as she takes her final breath.

“My… Child..” She coughs….


What is a family? 

Some think it’s a unit, people connected together.

But what are they connected together by?


I don’t know.

I stand up again, clearing my throat, and I walk towards the mirror, the only possible way out.

I look at the note, which is hanging on the side of it. It says:


Locked away you are, and shall always be, until you find the meaning of “family”.

But you must not learn the meaning yourself, but use this mirror for help.

How, you ask?

Well I tell you, my dear Willow, you must ask someone else, and learn by experience.

Otherwise, forever you shall be locked away, with no one there to comfort you.


                                Child of your dreams

I stare at this key, this secret, and clear my throat, once again.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, the... The time has come ....” I start, but break into fits of tears.

Why? I think. Why can’t I seem to get a hold of myself?

Through my tears, I watch, as the mirror comes alive in warm shades of colors, and I make out a group of people, sitting down, children, parents, men, women, all together.

I stare on, as the mirror changes, and the group starts eating.

The man at the head of the table clears his throat, and starts praying. “Dear God, thank you for this warm food….”

He keeps praying, but I don’t hear the rest.

Suddenly, I have a strong acing, for someone to hold me. Suddenly, I feel so cold, as I gaze at the people in front of me.

When the man finishes praying, everyone starts eating, and I gaze longingly, tears filling my eyes, once again.

The man at the head of the table looks up from eating, and seems to actually see me, as he beckons toward me.

I turn away, sobs filling my ears.

But then, as my head shakes, a sentence on the old letter seems to shine.

Well, I tell you, Willow, you must ask someone else, and learn by experience.

Another sob erupts through my body, as I read it again, and again.

I swallow down another sob, and ask, “What… What is a… Family?”

The man at the table smiles, and beckons. It almost seems as if he’s asking me to go through the mirror…..

That’s it!

I climb through the mirror, and land in a warm place, then realize it is a cushioned chair.

I look around, and realize that everyone is dressed nicely, then blush. My rags seem to barely compare to their clothes.

But instead of laughing at me, they smile.

And, for the first time, I feel something I’ve never felt before.

Something warm, but not too hot. 

Something caring, something warmer than hot tea, but also tender, and strong. 

Something that’ll smile at a poor, cold girl, and accept her, even though she doesn’t deserve it.

Something which lives in the heart of someone, but you’ll never be able to see with your eyes.



What is family?

Some think it's a group of parents and children living together, but not all.

Some think it’s a unit, people connected together by blood.

But I think it’s a unit of people, not connected by blood, but by love.

Because love is warm, but not too hot, caring, warmer than hot tea, but also tender and strong. Love is something that will smile at a poor cold girl, and accept her, even though she doesn’t deserve it, and it’s something which lives in the heart of someone, but you’ll never be able to see it with your eyes.

But most of all, love gives kindness to those who have never had it, and helps those people to open their own door of their cell.

That’s what love is.


Thirteen years later....

The child was small, like someone put a few sticks together, and added a head. But her smile, her smile was like the sunshine, warming, but sad.

I showed her something I had been shown at her age: something so warm, someone cold hearted would never be able to touch it without burning themselves.

But something so tender, that it would hold a cold child, without even scalping the child.



This story is inspired by a poem of mine, called “Love”, which I added below.



 Moriah Passero

Feet dangling, from a tree,

Children dancing, with the breeze,

Moonlight shining, on the sea,

But best of all, you're here with me.

I feel your hand, so strong but tender,

I see your eyes, full of trust,

I hear your words, soft and kind,

Your hug is gentle, full of care.

Moonlight passes, full of depth, 

Daylight rises, full of breath,

But most of all, I look at you,

See your reassuring, precious smile,

And say,

“I love you.”

July 02, 2021 20:03

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Alex Sultan
18:20 Jul 03, 2021

Very poetic. I like your writing style here, very unique from what I usually read.


Rosie 95
21:18 Jul 03, 2021

Thank you!!!


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Elia Christensen
15:54 Jul 06, 2021

"Something caring, something warmer than hot tea, but also tender, and strong." Beautiful. <3


Rosie 95
16:52 Jul 06, 2021

Thanks :D


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Ola Hotchpotch
07:44 Jul 04, 2021

Nice story. The poem is lovely. Some say ' that blood doesn't matter any more.' I feel that you can be your own family when you understand the difference between loneliness and aloneness. In aloneness one would enjoy being alone and their is nothing weird or sickly in it. I read somewhere, if you can't enjoy your own company how can you expect others to enjoy your company. You are blessed if your family extents around you. You are graced if you have parents who love and protect you. You have siblings, cousins and relatives to enrich and enli...


Rosie 95
13:55 Jul 04, 2021

thank you!


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