The Lesson [Micro Flash Fiction]

in fiftywords •  last year 

Made in Canva

Janny deserved a broken arm. All I did was try to show her the hole—the one hidden in the grass. I barely touched her. She just fell and something cracked.

Mom made me apologise, and I did.

But I warned Janny. Now she’ll know not to take my stuff.


The Lesson is a story born from a childhood memory in an encounter between me and my step-sister. As siblings are wont to do, they invade privacy and take belongings. Only as an adult did I realise she did it to try form a relationship with me and looked up to me (I’m the eldest of the litter). But as a kid, I didn’t understand her behaviour. This, naturally, turned into a relationship of distrust and resentment.

It wasn’t pretty.

So I took the memory of the time she didn’t notice a hole in the ground that was covered with veld grass. We were playing in a public park while my step-mom was getting groceries. My step-sister broke her arm when she fell. I remember thinking it was karma, so I won’t lie and pretend I was innocent.

Then I thought about indulging my younger self on the what-ifs and what would happen if I thought of being malevolent and having caused her arm to break. I probably wouldn’t. We didn’t dare do that stuff to each other… because consequences. But for the sake of character, I had to really get into that mindset and change myself into this new and sinister person.

The biggest take-away from this is that kids are evil.

Some may have noticed that I haven’t posted in quite a while. Life and health interfered with functionality recently and has left me in a place of part-apathy and part creative block. Fortunately, with the support and encouragement from the friends I’ve made the past 6 months, I’ve been slowly getting back to normal function and writing as a result.

And what better way to kick it off again than with @jayna’s Fifty Word Story Challenge? I missed doing these and it’s a weight off to finally have done something so fun. The prompt this week is “break”. I encourage every writer—starting out or professional—to join in this fun but challenging initiative.

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This is a great story. And yes, kids can be very evil. Really good work here. Keep it up! And keep on hanging on and getting stronger. Life has thrown you a bit of a wild ride. But you're stronger than that. Be good to yourself and don't beat yourself up about having struggled. Just hang on hard to those small accomplishments you can make moving forward.

Thank you, Bex! It means so much that you've helped and nudged me further despite everything. Truly appreciate your support and helping me edit.

Any time. You have great potential. Besides, the more I read for authors like you, the less I have to fill my days with random freebies on Amazon. ;-)

Ah yes, sibling rivalry. It really is something, and as a parent I have to keep a good eye on my 2 year old and 5 year old and try and be fair and equal in my reaction to misbehaviour by both. Already at their age, I can see the rivalry as they vie for the attention of my wife and I and also try and get each other in trouble. I also remember it growing up.. I am one of 8 children :o) So plenty of rivalry in my house. You really captured this rivalry and the lengths one will go to in your fiftywords. You delivered them very well.

As regards your health and life, very sorry to hear you had a rocky patch, I do hope things are better for you now. Sending you hugs from Ireland. Great to have you back posting again.

Oh, my, yes. My two spawns are 8 years apart and the rivalry is something fierce already (youngest is 3 y/o).

Thank you, Ablaze! Hugs from Ireland made my day. Sending hugs from South Africa (they're a tad cold at the moment with winter and all).

Ha ha, summer here, and we have never had it so warm, it's great! Usually, our summer is lots of rain with the odd day of sunshine... And on that day all the bbq gear is sold out and there is ten mile tailbacks to all the beaches! :o)

Memories of childhood make some of the best writing material. I think kids have a certain slanted view on morality and what it means to be a sibling, and what community is about. So they act out and do ridiculously self-serving and even vindictive things. It's the ones that don't grow out of it that I worry about the most. :-)

You really did capture those intense relationships between kids.

I'm so glad you're feeling better and are getting back into the swing of things. It is absolutely lovely to have you back!

Thank you, Jayna! Seriously missed doing these.

Indeed, yeah. Morality is more grey for kids than for adults, and the ones who aren't taught where lines are definitely are the ones to keep an eye out. Hopefully this character gets a good upbringing, or the world is doomed.

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