Contest #159 shortlist ⭐️

If I Let You

Submitted into Contest #159 in response to: Start your story with a character accepting a bribe.... view prompt

73 comments

Contemporary Creative Nonfiction

If I let you touch her, will you please be gentle? Just squeeze her little foot, rub her hand, feel her soft head. Look, she’s smiling; she likes you.

If I let you hold her, will you please stop pouting? Here, come sit on the couch. Be gentle, not too tight—hold her head up. She’s new and little, and you must be careful. This is your sister; she lives here now, and I know she’s going to love you.

If I bring you your own blanket, would you please stop crying? Here, I’ll wrap it around your shoulders, all soft and warm. And here’s a hat for your head. Now you look just like your baby sister.

If I make you a snack, would you please settle down? Will you sit here at the table and eat your crackers, drink your juice? Your sister is hungry, and I must feed her. I know you want to help, but she is too young; she can’t eat what you eat yet. But she will grow bigger and stronger, and someday you can help. You’ll feed her carrots from a jar, or milk from a bottle. Be patient for now. Please eat your snack.

If I take you to Grandma’s house, would that make you happy? You can bake cookies together and decorate them with icing. Maybe Grandpa will let you sit in his big office chair and spin in circles. It won’t be for long, just a few days. You’ll have fun, I know it. Your sister is a newborn—a brand new baby, and sometimes new babies need extra attention. But I’ll see you in a few days, and I’ll miss you very much.

When I pick you up from Grandma’s house, we can get ice cream, would you like that? We will put your sister in the stroller, and walk to the ice cream shop, and sit on the bench together outside. You must eat it quickly or it will melt in the heat. I know you want to share, but your sister cannot have ice cream yet. Please, just eat your ice cream.

If I take you to the playground, would that help you calm down? I can push you on the swings or watch you on the slide, at least for a little while. I know how much you love the playground, but when your sister begins to fuss and cry, it will be time to go. She’ll need to eat, and we still have to go to the store.

If I let you push the cart, will you please stop screaming? You cannot scream in the grocery store. I need you to stop screaming. Please stop.

If I hug you tight, will you forgive me for screaming too? Please, let’s just go home.

If I give you this new toy, will you take it to your room and be a good boy? I’ll put in batteries, and you can push all the buttons and see what it does. Pull it across the floor and watch each wheel go around and around. Not too loudly please, Mommy’s head hurts. Your sister cried so much last night; she’s still a new baby.

If I turn on a movie for you, will you please be quiet? I know you like to be silly and loud, but your sister is finally asleep; you must be still. Anything you want, here, come and sit down. I’ll bring you a blanket, and your bear, and you can watch tv for a while. Mommy has so much to do, I’ll come and sit with you soon. Please, just watch your movie.

If I give you this pot and this wooden spoon, would you please get out of the kitchen? Go play, just over there. It’s nearly dinnertime and Mommy is trying to wash, and chop, and cook and it’s so hard with you underfoot. Everything is such a mess, and now I think I hear the baby crying. Or was it only a bird? Just please, stay out of the kitchen.

When Daddy gets home, will you go to him, please? Let him take you outside or read you a book. You can show him your drawings, or go ride your bike, or pretend you’re a frog and hunt for bugs in the yard—all the things I didn’t have time to do with you today. Your sister is upset right now, and Mommy must help her. I know you want her to come play with you, but she is too little to ride a bike or jump like a frog. Someday she will be bigger, and you can do all those things together.

When it’s time for dinner, will you just eat your food, please? No picking, or poking, or whining—just eat. Let Daddy pretend your potato is an airplane, or your chicken a choo-choo-train, and open wide for them to come in. Please don’t cry and complain, we’ve all had a long day. Just eat your dinner, it’s almost time for bed.

If I bring you the boat and the yellow rubber duck, will you please stop splashing? You’re getting water all over the floor, and Mommy’s trying to wash your hair. There you go, just sit still. Look at all the bubbles, here on your chest, your arms. You look like a little cloud—a sleepy little cloud.

If I let you pick out your favorite pajamas, the one’s with the dinosaurs dancing under palm trees, would that make you smile? I love when you smile.

If I crawl in bed with you, the bed you’ve nearly outgrown, will you let me hold you and tell you a story? Will you let me smell your hair, and kiss your face, and sing you a song?

If I tell you that things will get easier, will you understand?

When I tell you that you will always be my baby, will you let me lie here and fall asleep next to you?

Let me share your dreams tonight?

August 18, 2022 10:03

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73 comments

Story Time
17:14 Aug 26, 2022

Congratulations on the shortist! The conflict here is so relatable, but you manage to inject so much insight into it. I loved this.

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Aeris Walker
18:32 Aug 28, 2022

Hey Kevin, thank you so much! :)

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Kelsey H
09:59 Aug 26, 2022

This is so beautifully written and really captures perfectly the sweetness and relentlessness of having small children. It reminds me of that saying - the days are long but the years are short. I also loved the form of it being spoken to the child as 'you' it really creates the feeling of being right inside the mothers head and looking out. - If I tell you that things will get easier, will you understand? - love this line.

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Aeris Walker
00:27 Aug 27, 2022

Hi Kelsey! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it ☺️ “Sweet” and “relentless” yes, I think those are the perfect words to describe young kids.

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Zelda C. Thorne
13:15 Aug 24, 2022

Awwww this is so touching. Love the structure and the detail. Artfully done. I want to give her a big hug and tell her everything will be alright. My little one is 2, and I can't imagine having a newborn as well. Not enough hours in the day! Lovely story.

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Aeris Walker
12:06 Aug 25, 2022

Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it :) Yes, adding a newborn to anything feels like you just added 3 more kids and a puppy haha. 2 is such a fun age. Except for potty training…that’s just the worst.

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Zelda C. Thorne
13:23 Aug 25, 2022

Urgh potty training. We're doing ok now, but yeah, not fun. 😅

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W.E. White
23:07 Aug 21, 2022

Once again a fantastic read.

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Aeris Walker
09:18 Aug 22, 2022

Thank you!! :)

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05:19 Aug 19, 2022

Interesting take on the prompt. Not my genre, but your writing is so great, it really brings me in! I love monologue stories.

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Aeris Walker
17:13 Aug 20, 2022

Thank you so much Jaden! I really like monologue stories too, they just hit differently.

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Daniel R. Hayes
23:15 Aug 18, 2022

Hi Aeris, this story was very powerful. To say I liked it is an understatement. Your writing is flawless and it really just blew my mind. I'm still trying to figure out how you told this story and kept it so short at the same time. That's really hard to do. I often find my stories go over the word limits and I have to cut a lot of things out. There were a lot of great lines in this, and it's hard to pick one... The title is amazing. I think this is the best story I've read all week. You deserve the win and I hope you get it! :) Great job o...

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Aeris Walker
00:57 Aug 19, 2022

Daniel, Well now your comment just made MY day! Thank you so so much—feedback like this is reward enough :) I know it, the 3k word limit really does come up on you SO fast.

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Daniel R. Hayes
05:07 Aug 19, 2022

Yes it does. That's why I was so surprised to see how much you packed into this. Simply amazing!

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Aeris Walker
17:33 Aug 19, 2022

Thank you 😊 ☺️

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Tommy Goround
21:06 Aug 18, 2022

Genre: happy?

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Tommy Goround
21:05 Aug 18, 2022

Wow. It's been called lovely and tender..... I really enjoy the pacing. It's a lullaby. It's one of the stories I want to come home to after a very crazy and Labored Day.. thank you. ::Clapping.

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Aeris Walker
00:25 Aug 19, 2022

Hi Tommy, A lullaby—I love that. Thank you for your lovely comment, I’m glad the story could be a bit of a balm after a hard day. Thank you so much for reading :)

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