A while back we did a post about writing prompts. I get all of my writing prompts from here: http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=writeprompt
Anyway, I said that we were going to be posting more of these short stories that come of the prompts and I know we haven’t yet. We’ve been really busy wrapping up Book 3: Prophecy’s End in the Trilogy of the Wolf, so it isn’t like we haven’t been productive. Now that things have slowed down a little, I thought about doing another writing prompt. I had such a blast doing one last time, I wanted to. Besides that, it is nice writing about something unfamiliar. It helps get the creation process and makes me feel as if I accomplished something. You never know when one of these prompts might end up turning into a full length novel. Both my husband and I have a tendency to get “carried away” with things. It’s how some of our short stories have turned into far more. Loving to write also helps with that.
So here is the writing prompt for this week. I hope all of you enjoy!
The Island is my worst enemy. I couldn’t help the thought. It kept coming to me as I looked about the Island I had known as home all of my life. Ships rarely came to it and when they did, you needed money to travel on them, to get away. I was broke. Dead broke. My family had never been rich. In fact, I often viewed my family as slaves, working for the Lord of the island. At least, that was what he liked to be called. As we weren’t his actual slaves, we weren’t forced to call him that. Father did. I could never figure out why. Maybe it was because the man provided just enough to keep food on the table.
Perhaps my biggest fear that not only was I born here, I was going to die here, too, without seeing any other part of the world. My parents told me there wasn’t much else out there. I had never believed them. I had started to view my parents as boring people who thought that this kind of work was “good” enough. How could they not want more? I wanted more.
I knew the thoughts were selfish, but I couldn’t help but feel there was more to life than just this island. There had to be more.
“Julia, come inside. It’s going to rain,” my mother called from the porch. When I looked back at her, I realized how haggard she looked. This life hadn’t been kind to her, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. The Island offered nothing more than labor while the “Lord” sat around in his mansion, no doubt, watching everyone else work. I clenched my fists at my sides, determined to make this life be different from my parents. “Julia,” my mother called again.
“I’m coming mother,” I said. It won’t hurt to have a last dinner with them. There was a ship coming in tomorrow morning. Even though, I couldn’t afford passage, I knew I would be leaving this place and setting out for a different life. I was levelheaded enough to know that it might not necessarily be a better life, but staying here offered no chance of that.
Dinner was meager that night. Corn tortillas with what I could only guess was corn mashed with something. It tasted like it did every other night. Flavorless. As I ate, my father watched me. Finally, I looked up at met his eyes.
I cocked my head to the side. “No. What is it? You wouldn’t be looking at me for no reason.”
“I was thinking that it’s time to set up a marriage for you.”
My mouth dropped open. When I clenched it shut, I couldn’t help but think that it was a good thing I was leaving tomorrow. “Who?” I asked quietly, more out of curiosity.
The pained look on my father’s face told me that he didn’t want to do this, but I knew he couldn’t take care of me for the rest of my life. They deserved an easier life and I was just another mouth to feed. “His name is Garrett. He lives across the island. His family is better off than ours. You’ll do better there.”
My heart ached for my parents. I could see that they wanted a better life for me than they had. Closing my eyes, I knew I had to tell them my plan. They deserved to know. It wasn’t right just to disappear. They would be worried sick if I did that.
“I have something to tell you.” They looked at me worriedly, fearing the worst probably. “It’s nice that this boy Garrett wants to marry me and it’s wonderful you want a better life for me, but I’m not going to find that here, on this Island.”
“What do you plan to do then?” my mother asked, looking toward my father with great worry.
I reached out and clasped her hand. “I’m leaving. If I have to, I’ll stow away on the ship tomorrow, but I wanted you to know I’m leaving the Island behind. I wish I could take you, but I know you won’t go. This is your life. Not mine. I hope you can understand that.”
Tears sprang to my mother’s eyes. She swallowed hard and looked toward my father again before lowering her eyes to the table. “I understand, baby. I really do. I won’t stop you. If this is what you want then do it. I, however, do want to warn you that the world isn’t always kind. Remain guarded. People will hurt you.”
I looked at my mother with a different light. I wanted to ask her to tell me her life’s story. She had traveled. I could tell. It baffled me that she had chosen this life for herself then when there were numerous other possibilities. I looked toward my father who looked suddenly ashamed. It made me wonder if she had given up on her life for him and for me. Once again, I took her hand in mine and squeezed it.
“I will and I’ll make it.”
“I thought so to at one time,” my mother said quietly. “Things change. You’ll see. Eventually.”