View Full Version : The Prayer of a Child

My Will
September 9th, 2010, 05:27 AM
I was nine years old when he died. I had killed him. Not with a gun or a knife. But I had killed him. No-one else would do anything about him so I did.
My family stood around after his funeral, shaking their heads.
“He was so young” my aunty muttered.
“I know” my mother replied holding her heart. She wondered if his heart condition was genetic.
“How you holding up kiddo?” Aunty Vivi asked, stroking my face with concern.
“I’m fine” I said carelessly.
She looked back at me as if I had spat in her face.
I could tell she felt like shaking me, but she continued talking, trying to believe I was just in shock.
“Betty, you must feel a little bit sad honey, he loved you so much you know. He always spent so much time with you.”
“I’m glad he is dead” I shouted at her.
Time hung on my words, making them seem like they were echoing. Everyone heard me. Their blood shot eyes searched me for an explanation. I didn’t care, I hated them. They should have been crying for me. They should have held me, and told me it wasn’t my fault, but they didn’t. I couldn’t speak. There were no words to say. I fell to the floor and screamed. I screamed because I knew they believed what I had told them but still did nothing, I screamed because it was more important to them to save face then to make me feel loved. I came second. And despite myself I thought I deserved to.
I opened the front door. The house was not breathing, Silence. I remembered a time when the house was alive. Alive with the collective beat of my family. This house’s heart was sick. Sick like my uncle’s had been. It simmered with secrets and burned with guilt. As I moved through each room, I moved through my memories. I recoiled inside myself and found the prayer I had said each night as a child.
“Please god, take him away. Let him die, let him die.”
I had killed him. Not with a gun or a knife but I had killed him.

September 9th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Very interesting. This story reminds me a lot of the movie, "The Good Son" with Mcully Culkan and Elijah Wood. (great movie btw and i highly recomend it). Yet this could actually be a prequel to that film to perhaps show how the son became so bad. just a thought.

I like how you left it to the reader to figure out what caused the son to be so wrathfull towards his sibling. There are a lot of ways I went with it, in fact i even thought it may have been a dog that they loved more. Which would surely piss anyone off. though i know it was a a younger sibling, actually i dont, it may have been older. BUT more often than not I feel that children will have these types of feelings about a younger sibling than an older one because the attention is on the new born.

I do wish though that after he outbursted there was a bit of reprecussions and maybe a bit more conflict as that situation presented itself. Maybe he could have had an admittance as to why he did it or why he was happy. Just a thought.

My lingering question is that, is the last paragraph before or after the funeral? i cant put my finger on it.

I enjoyed it. It both gave me a sense of how my own siblings feel because i am the last and it hit home as to how i feel sometimes. Kinda wierd how that happened...

September 9th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Perhaps I missed it altogether, but I took the narrator to be a girl and the deceased an abusive uncle. Right or wrong?

My Will
September 10th, 2010, 12:41 AM
Yes it was her abusive uncle. It's amazing the different things we can all get from reading the same story.

September 10th, 2010, 02:00 AM
I liked your story and even though it's never openly said, it's clear the girl has suffered some form of abuse. Engaging despite the overall melancholy (even somber) tone of the piece, very descriptively told and with a solid ending that seems to resolve the story while leaving it hanging in limbo at the same time. Plus it's conveniently short, I'll rarely read anything with more than 40 or 50 lines of text in it. Unless of course it's something I need to sign afterwards. :)

Thanks for the good read.

September 10th, 2010, 02:04 AM
I might combine the first two sentences. "I was nine years old when I killed him." or "I was nine years old when I lost my innocence. Killing a man will do that to you."

September 15th, 2010, 02:58 AM
I have to admit, I was jealous when I finished reading. Short, to the point and a great ending that not only supports the title, but also answers the question I had from the beginning, "How exactly did she kill him?" Reminds of a story I would attempt to write.

In Flight
September 15th, 2010, 03:20 AM
Love the way this is written. Actually held my interest, which is a very.very. hard thing to do. Makes the reader want to know what happens regardless of how frequently this topic is pursued. Plus is above the normal elementary level writing I'm used to being subjected to. Obviously needs some smoothing out, but great start. Continue it, create a novella.