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Drama Fiction Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“She’s gone! S-she’s really gone… Help me… She’s gone…” A panicked voice sobbed helplessly.

The voice on the other line inhaled sharply. “Who’s gone?”

“My daughter, Brielle. She’s gone. She’s- she’s not here anymore.”

“Take a deep breath. What’s your name?”

“Atta-” Atta tried to take deep breaths, but her lungs felt as if they’d been set to a flame. She gasped for air but vomited in the process.

“Okay Atta, Give me your location and we will send officers as soon as possible.”

Atta stated where she was located when her incoherent shouts mellowed, but her voice cracked frequently.

“Alright, ma’am. What happened?”

“We were at the park and she noticed an ice cream truck and wanted ice cream. I-I gave in and dug in my purse for money, but when I looked up, she was gone! I want her back… I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to… Please come back…” Atta wailed.

“We will find her. What did she look like? Do you remember what she was wearing?”

“Uh, Brielle is three years old... S-she has strawberry blonde hair- um, fair skin. I think she’s- I think she’s around three feet tall and- um, maybe thirty pounds? I don’t know. I really don’t… I think she was wearing her unicorn shirt and a… a um, bright pink skirt.” Atta choked through her cries.

“Do you have any family members she could have been with?”

“N-no. Her father… He- uh he wouldn’t want his daughter... He never did… And my- my parents are dead. She can’t possibly be with them unless she’s dead too!” Atta began to hyperventilate as she feared her only love was gone. Her thoughts were quickly drowned out as the blaring scream of sirens filled her ears.

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Sitting on the tattered brown couch, Atta hummed softly as she braided Brielle’s thin strawberry-blonde hair. The room filled with an orange glow as the fire in the fireplace danced. The moon smiled over the dimly lit garden. Brielle stroked the petals of a blood-red flower with tender loving care.

“What have you got there, honey?”

“A poppy flower!” Brielle chirped in response. “They’re my favo-wite! It looks just like your hair, Mama!”

Atta chuckled. If someone held up the scarlet flower to her hair, they may not be able to tell the difference. She finished the braid and tied it together with a rubber band. Atta took Brielle into her arms and held her tightly.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you.” She whispered.

A sudden violent burst of irritation flooded her mind and she saw red. Atta grit her teeth as she tightly smiled. Her heart still bubbled and burned with three-year-old rage at the unknown man who’d touched her body. Police never took her seriously, what was she to do? He is still out there. Atta could barely take care of her mental health and now she has to take care of another human’s?

Atta let go of Brielle harshly and stood up. “Brielle, can you fill up a cup of water so we can put the poppy in it?”

“Yeah!” Brielle raced through the room, down the narrow hallway, and into the kitchen.

As soon as she was out of earshot, Atta threw a punch at the arm of the couch. Then another. And another. Atta clenched her hands so tightly, her knuckles turned an ivory shade of white. She beat the couch as hard as she could and never stopped. Even when her fists collided with the wood frame multiple times, she kept going. She needed to release her anger somehow. By the time Brielle arrived with a glass of water, Atta’s knuckles were splattered with bloodied scrapes and skin areas peeling backward.

“Here you go, Mama!” Brielle’s smile was too big for her face. Her glistening brown eyes were cut down to narrow slivers.

Atta shoved her hands behind her back while a fake smile crept onto her lips. Atta had always been good at hiding her sudden bursts of anger from Brielle. After all, it wasn’t her fault. “Thank you, honey. Can you just put it on the table for now?”

Brielle nodded and zoomed to the table. She plopped the poppy into the glass and ran back to her mother. She clung to her legs. “I love you, Mama!”

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Atta stared blankly at her garden. A breeze ran through her thick red hair. The yard seemed so quiet without Brielle laughing and trying to make friends with the insects she’d find. The police had just left her house after interrogating her, leaving her feeling as empty as she was last time she was alone three years ago. Atta couldn’t believe that her child was gone.

Atta punched her head repeatedly due to the anger she felt all around her. Blood crusted on her hair. Atta dropped to her knees in front of the upturned dirt she had previously dug out to plant poppy flowers. Pots of the red flower surrounded her. She lightly dragged her fingertips across the petals as she once watched Brielle do.

Atta exhaled, her chest was so tight, she expected it to explode. She carefully dug her fingers into the dirt that encased the potted flowers and lifted the flower and its roots. She didn’t care if she wasn’t planting them correctly, she just wanted to transfer the flowers to the Earth.

Atta cautiously inserted the roots into the holes in the ground and covered them up, making sure to keep the stem clear. As soon as the flowers were planted, the vivacious poppies seemed to wilt.

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Atta hugged Brielle back and pried her child off of her legs. Atta crouched down to meet Brielle’s eyesight. “Is it time to go to bed?” 

“O-tay!” Brielle skipped to her bedroom. Brielle always took questions as a command. Atta followed close behind Brielle, but she was already in her bed by the time Atta got there. The room was barely big enough for a bed and a few toys that lay sprawled on the floor.

“Are you ready?” Atta smiled, lightly tugging at the blankets under Brielle.

“O-tay!”

Atta started counting as she quickly pulled the blanket through the air twice. “One… two…” 

“Th-wee!”

Atta flicked the blanket up, covered Brielle in it, and swaddled her like a burrito. Sounds of Brielle’s giggles filled the night air. Atta climbed onto Brielle’s bed and lay next to her. She took her petite child in her arms and cradled her gently.

“You are my sunshine-” Atta began to sing slowly in a delicate whisper. 

“My on-wy suns-ine.” Brielle finished Atta’s lyrics and closed her eyes.

“You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know dear… how much I love you… Please don’t take- my sunshine away…”

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Scarlet and yellow leaves fluttered to the ground. The slight breeze carried the smell of cinnamon through the atmosphere. Despite the sunny day, Atta could see her breath. 

A chill shimmered down Atta’s spine while she jammed her hands into her brown coat pockets. Atta, wrapped in a warm, plaid scarf, sat on a cold, wooden park bench in the same park where she declared Brielle vanished. This park should have been one of Atta’s biggest anger triggers, but she was empty. She easily could have an explosion of vexation, but sitting here, she felt paralyzed. Her reason for living has been missing for nearly seven hours and the police have found nothing. Maybe if the police found nothing, Atta could provide false hope that her child was still alive.

A burst of laughter cut through the air causing her to lift her head. Her black eyes landed upon a young girl and widened.

“Brielle..?” Atta whispered under her breath. Tears stung the back of her eyes. “Brielle!” Atta called, bolting to the girl. Atta dropped to the dewy grass and wrapped her arms around the girl’s neck. “I’m so sorry, Brielle. Please forgive me. I didn’t mean to!” Atta sobbed. “I love you so much, don’t ever leave me again!” She gripped tighter.

“What are you doing?!” A voice demanded as it approached and yanked the girl from Atta’s arms.

“My daughter! No! Don’t take her away again! Please…” Atta clawed, crying uncontrollably.

The woman glared at Atta as if she had two heads. “Let’s get out of here, honey.” The woman muttered to the girl. She grabbed the child’s hand and stalked away, leaving Atta crying in the middle of the park. Her heart had been stolen from her once more. 

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Atta lay in the park for two more hours after her breakdown, only going home when the street lamps flickered. She could have sworn that that was Brielle. The coincidental similarities were frightening. Her bright smile, her laugh, and even her height. Maybe she’s going insane. Maybe she is insane.

Atta would have given anything in the world to see her child again. Brielle would know exactly what to do to cheer her up. Although she was only three, Brielle knew how to put on a dramatic show. She would create her own dances and show off her favorite stuffed animals. Oh how dearly Atta missed her-

*BEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPP*

Atta glanced up. A truck nearly hit her. Apparently, she had been crossing the street. She lived across the road from the park and she nearly was killed.

Atta pulled out her keys and unlocked the door to the vacant townhouse. It opened with a creak. The house was eerily quiet. No laughter bounced off the wooden floors. The emptiness tore a bigger void in her heart. 

Atta looked down and began to walk when she stopped short at the kitchen table. The poppy flower in the cup Brielle got was wilting. Atta sighed as a pang of guilt flooded her heart while she trudged to the bathroom. The cheap white tiles were turning a permanent shade of gray, the floor and walls splattered with water. The bathroom was just big enough for a tub, toilet, and a single standing cracked sink.

Atta tilted her head. The bathtub was half-filled with water. Atta placed her hand on the surface, barely puncturing it. The water was cold. Atta turned the only working, star-shaped faucet knob which happened to be the hot lever, the other half was laying a few feet beside the tub. She picked it up and screamed with anger as she threw it as hard as she could at the window, leaving a small crack.

She breathed shakily and realized the water was still running. She turned it off a few seconds later and stripped off her clothes. Atta stepped into the tub and sank, placing her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She leaned her head against the back of the tub. Her eyes were empty while her chest was burdened with what felt like the weight of the universe. Silent tears continually dripped down her cheeks. “You were my sunshine… my only sunshine…”



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The cold nipped at their noses, turning them a bright shade of pink. The damp wood chips below their feet created a soft cushion. Summer ended a week ago, yet Atta was bundled in a thick, brown coat.

Atta stood in front of the red slide at the bottom. “Come here!” She smiled at Brielle who stood at the top. “You can do it!”

Brielle stood, petrified of the slide. This would be the first time she would slide down the biggest slide on the playground. Atta had finally convinced her to try, but now that she was on top, she seemed paralyzed. “Mama… I’m scared…” Brielle whimpered and clutched the pole.

“Mama’s here for you. She will always catch you.” Unlike your father. Man, Atta was so angry at that terrible human.

Brielle inhaled hesitantly before sitting down and pushing off. She quickly slid down the chilly plastic and into Atta’s arms. Atta lifted her into the air and spun her around proudly. “See baby! I knew you could do it!”

Brielle giggled, “Again! Again!”

Atta held her child close. “It’s lunchtime, honey. Let’s go home and get you bathed.”

“Aww, o-tay.” Brielle sighed. Atta set her down and took her hand. They began to walk away when Brielle heard the sounds of an ice cream truck. “Mama! Can we get ice c-weam?”

“No, honey. It’s too cold outside. You’ll get a cold.”

“P-wease, p-wease, p-wease!”

“I don’t even know why they are selling ice cream when it’s this cold. Maybe they’re just trying to get rid of their stock before winter.” The ice cream truck pulled into the parking lot beside them.

Brielle looked up with her big auburn eyes that Atta couldn't resist. “P-wease..?”

Atta grunted. “Okay fine. But only one.” Atta began digging in her pockets for some spare change. “That’s weird. I swear I had some here.” She unzipped her coat and checked her hidden pocket. “There it is.” She grabbed a dollar bill and looked up, but Brielle was nowhere to be seen. “Brielle?! Honey?! Where are you?!” Atta looked around frantically. Her eyes landed on the line for the ice cream truck where Brielle was standing. Atta stormed over to her child.

“There you are! Don’t scare me like that again!” Atta scolded her child.

Brielle nodded without looking at Atta. She was fixated on the ice cream pictures on the side of the truck. Atta sighed, grateful she found her child and hugged her. “Man, you really need a bath.” Atta laughed and held Brielle closer.

Brielle wanted her favorite strawberry-flavored ice cream. Atta paid and gave her the dessert. “Thank you, Mama!”

Atta smiled and held Brielle’s torso close as they walked across the street. Within a couple of seconds, they were at their front door. Brielle was licking the ice cream stick clean. Atta unlocked the door and they headed inside. Brielle kicked off her shoes and made a run for the bathroom. Atta followed, but when she arrived she noticed that Brielle had knocked off one of the bathtub star-shaped knobs while trying to fill up the tub with water.

“Brielle Lucia! Really?” Atta put her head into her right arm. This was going to be another bill for the single mother who could barely afford food for the week. Atta could feel a burst of anger about to come on, but she held it in as best as she could.

Brielle was sitting in the bathtub and playing with a rubber duck, her clothes laying on the floor in a messy pile with the ice cream stick on it. Yet another mess to clean up. She could barely keep the bathroom clean by itself. Brielle laughed at the rubber duck and splashed water.

Atta tried to smile at her baby, but she hated faking a smile. Every little sound was magnified. Every drip. Every crack. Every action appeared to occur in slow motion. Atta began shaking violently. Red encased her vision. Everything she saw was that dreadful color. Then she lost control.

Rage and embarrassment flooded through Atta’s veins as memories of her rape attack played on repeat. It was as if another source had taken over her brain. How could he attack her and demand her body?! How could he leave her to fend for herself with a child?! No support. No money. Nothing. Atta grabbed Brielle by her shoulders and shoved her under the warm bath water, teeth grinding.

Bubbles floated to the surface as Brielle struggled in terror under Atta’s grip. Atta watched her child with wide eyes. Her heart palpitating. She wanted to pull her daughter out and save her, but she couldn’t move. She was frozen with shock. What was happening to her?! What was she doing?! Blinking herself back into reality, she dragged Brielle out of the water, but Brielle slumped limply against her. What have I done..? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

“Brielle?! Baby, wake up! Wake up!” Atta screamed, tears rushing down her face. Brielle’s once vivid eyes now glazed over, unblinking, her strawberry blonde hair fell over her face. Atta dropped her daughter as she backed away from the tub slowly. Attalyn Autumn Fernsby was now a murderer.

She slipped on the wet floor, her head colliding with the sink as she struck the ground. Her blood and pieces of ceramic splattered against the mirror, shattering the glass, and tub, but she didn’t care. She needed to get out of there. Away from the corpse that lay floating in the tub. Atta swung her hand wildly in an attempt to find her phone. A few seconds later, she had her device in her hand and yanked it through the puddles that lay on the ground.

Atta shook her head, then winced from the pain. I need to hide her. I need to hide her NOW. Her wild eyes darted around the small townhouse searching for a hiding spot. A sliver in the curtains that hid the tiny bathroom window revealed the upturned dirt of her garden. It was as if the sunlight illuminated the patch and everything else melted away.

Atta’s pitch-black eyes widened. She didn’t have much time. She picked up the body of her three-year-old and held her close. Crying, she hurried out of the bathroom, into the living room, and opened the back door.

The grass seemed to die with every step. She laid Brielle down into the holes she had previously dug to plant poppy flower seeds. Dirt caked underneath her fingernails as she buried her baby. Once Brielle was fully covered, she made sure it looked like the Earth had never been disturbed.

Atta fell to her knees, wailing at the cloudy sky. How could she have let her anger overcome her..? The potted poppies she was planning on planting withered slightly beside her. She snatched her phone from her pocket and punched in three numbers.

“911, what’s your emergency?”

“She’s gone! S-she’s really gone… Help me… She’s gone…”

October 31, 2022 21:20

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4 comments

16:25 Nov 06, 2022

Great writing. Very dramatic opening, and a lot of tension. I think the twist at the end really makes the reader think about how hard the mc's situation is, and things like postpartum depression and is a powerful ending. well done;)

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Kami L'le
18:31 Nov 06, 2022

I really wanted the reader to bond with the MC before revealing the reality of the situation, but I didn't know if I could achieve it. Thank you!

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Daniel Allen
14:29 Nov 05, 2022

I really enjoyed this piece. Lots of powerful emotions and a particularly strong ending.

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Kami L'le
19:04 Nov 05, 2022

Thank you so much!

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