VisDare 61: Festival

Even Though

by McKenzie Barham

Sarai had a smile brighter than a firecracker. Daddy used to say Sarai could blind you with her teeth and kill you stone dead with a wink of her green eyes. Everybody said she was a beauty. But she was fragile too, and fragile things don’t last long in our broken, dirty world.

When I moved to America, Mama gave me the picture even though it was the best one of Sarai and even though Mama liked to kiss it every morning. She could see I was still all burnt up inside.

When the expensive white doctor told Mama that Sarai was sick, I was angry. Later, when Mama stopped crying, she said the white doctor didn’t charge her and Daddy anything. Said he offered his condolences. Then I didn’t have anybody to be angry at except God.

They didn’t tell her. They decided to have a birthday party, a really spectacular one, even though we knew thirteen would be the oldest she’d ever turn. That night she danced in her favorite dress, even though it was too big. And they didn’t tell her.

I remember hot tears when I saw how it slipped off her thin shoulder ‘cause of how much weight she had already lost. She saw my tears, even though I wiped them fast, and that’s when I knew she knew.

“It’s okay, Simon,” she whispered, wrapping her skeleton arms around my waist for just a second. Those drop dead eyes knew. And then she went back to dancing…   

I didn’t look at the picture for such a long time I forgot, but I hadn’t forgotten to be angry. I hold it in my hands and remember those eyes looking up at mine. And I see her eager smile as I finally listen to the words in my memory.

“It’s okay, Simon.”

She knew, and even though she knew, her eyes said she was okay.

322 Words ~ OOPS. *innocent face* 

Submit your own Visual Dare here — and it doesn’t have to be as sad as mine. 🙂 It’s been so long since I’ve even tried to do any flash fiction! I’ve missed it. So yeah, feedback is always welcome! ~ Love, Kenzie


2 thoughts on “VisDare 61: Festival

  1. You poked at my most sensitive parts with this – very, very well written. I think we do spend too much time trying to protect others, when really, it’s not necessary. The bit about not being able to look at the photo – yes, I remember this part well.

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