Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Three Word Wendesday XLI

Welcome to Three Word Wednesday. Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:

When I was ten or eleven, or maybe nine, sometime in that blissful stage of life after you've learned to ride a bike without training wheels but before you begin to like girls, I went home from school one afternoon with Jimmy Hardin. Jimmy and I were not especially good friends, but back then friends were often chosen simply by who was in your class that particular year.

We spent the early part of the afternooon doing normal things, tossing the football around, making paper airplanes and setting them on fire just before we threw them. Well, normal for us anyway.

His mother had called us in to get ready for supper, and I was in the bathroom washing my hands when Jimmy's dad came thru the front door, yelling.

"Jimmy!! Where you at? Why ain't this yard been cut?"

I quickly turned off the water and peeked around the edge of the doorway to see a large man in a dirty-looking flannel shirt lumbering thru the living room. He walked heavily, taking long, deliberate steps which could be felt across every inch of the small wood frame house.

"Leave him be, Ray. The boy's got company," Jimmy's mother spoke in defense of her son, but I bet she wished she hadn't. Before she had time to shut her mouth, the man brought his right arm around and delivered a crushing blow to her cheek with the back of his hand.

"Don't back talk me, woman!" It was the first time I had ever seen a man strike a woman. I was too scared to breathe.

"Stop it, Daddy!" Jimmy came out of his room nearly crying and ran towards the man with his fists balled tightly. Before he could reach his destination, however, he was easily swatted aside by the man's huge arm. It sent Jimmy about eight feet across the room sprawling to the floor. He appeared unhurt, at least physically.

"Don't you hit him!" Jimmy's mother yelled as she grabbed the boy under his shoulders and pulled him to his feet. "Dammit, Ray, you've been drinking again. Get out of here!" She then came towards the bathroom where I was now crouching and trembling. "Get your things together, son. I'm gonna drive you home." I expected her to be crying, but she wasn't.

"You ain't going nowhere till I get my supper!" the man yelled. He was stumbling badly now and luckily was in no shape to stop anyone from going anywhere.

In the car on the way home, Jimmy didn't say a word, except to tell me bye when we got to my house. I think he was embarrassed. His mother apologized several times for her husband's behavior and asked that I not mention what had happened to my parents. She was nice to me, so I did as she asked.

Over the next year or two, word got around at school that Jimmy tried to run away from home a couple of times. Most of the kids joked about it and made fun of him. But I never did.

"Sticks and stones didnt break any bones, bet we never left well enough alone. Then one day he ran away from home, you see..."


  1. Yeah, I am first-I didn't actually finish yet but I have a post with the three words and they will be done by 3pm eastern time. Its 12:23 now.

  2. So, Clockworkchris, that means I snuck in the door you left open. Mine is up at 10:50 p.m. Pacific. GRIN.

    Those three words, Bone, brought out the worst in me, such fun. Really wish you would make every day 3WW, I thrive on prompts and the combination of words you throw us.

  3. Oops, see, the worst in me.

  4. I just posted something you might like. You should do something similar on your blog.

  5. I will be back next week :)

  6. Okay-I'm done and WOW did that turn out to be quite the perverted little story, but it's hilarious if I must say so myself. Maybe next week i can continue the story, I left it open. It's not long.

  7. Mine is up.

    Another episode of Norbert and Smedley. :D


  8. Hi everyone, this is Rose. I added to my "Whiskers" story.

    Thanks for the prompt.



    "Fate Intervenes"

  9. i've relocated to iloveblog. somehow my poem ended up being about hamsters. :)

  10. Here's mine:

  11. I'm with Marcia on this one - those words definitely opened up Pandora's Box.

    I apologize in advance for the strong language.

  12. I'm going to give it a shot this week!

  13. Sorry I haven't done this for a couple weeks!!! Thanks again Bone! This is so fun!!!! (P.S. I'm very fond of exclaimation points!!!!)

  14. Im done...yawn...another if you stop over read the other 2 first, if you havent... :) as always...ill be back soon to read this weeks...

  15. What? It's Wednesday already? Where did that week go? LOL!

    Thanks for the reminder of what day it is.

  16. like my daughter cherrygal, i've missed a few weeks, but i wrote one today. it's here.

    thanks, bone! this is a lot of fun.

  17. Ok I am going to give it a go!

  18. Pst. Wednesday has come and gone... and you haven't finished!

  19. Wow, I think this may be the most participants we've ever had. I plan to get around tonight or tomorrow and read them all.

    Thank you all for participating.

  20. I'm refusing to leave a long comment that you can put through word count to later mock me for.

    Instead I'll just tell you this is amazing... and heartbreaking. Oh so heartbreaking. I can't tell you how glad I am it's fiction... even though I know for some people, it's very much their reality.

    He appeared unhurt, at least physically.

    Hands down my favorite line. So sad... and yet so to the point.

  21. This is unbelievably wonderful. You were able to enter a world so not your own---you do have the father that made the family get into car for maybe tornado warnings---and portray it incredibly.

    I couldn't tell if it was fiction or not. Because the last line is so Bone

    It was worth the wait :)

  22. I expected her to be crying, but she wasn't.

    Your most haunting line. Bar none. You can feel that she's so beaten down emotionally, mentally, physically that the effortlessness of tears is even beyond her capabilities.

    She was nice to me, so I did as she asked.

    This adds a dimension to the story that few could have ever anticipated. It leaves the reader wondering if it's the ignorance and innocence of youth that holds him to his silence, or has he reached an age that we all reach: The one where we use any excuse we can not to get involved.

    I could write a million words trying to capture how this has made me feel, but I'll spare you. :)

    Just know that your gift is recognized, appreciated, applauded and envied.

  23. Very nice 3WW...sad story that happens all too often. There needs to be a special place for violent people. *sigh*

    Well I'm so glad that I made you laugh out loud at the office. hee hee I wasn't even trying for laughs.

  24. Chilling sad truth for too many. This year we started an after school grade recovery program for students to receive tutoring and complete work to improve their grade. Many were not referred by teachers, they chose to stay so they didn't have to go home. I imagine they would face scenes like this.

    I enjoyed it seems awful to say, but it was captivating.

  25. TC: Yeah, I'm not even gonna bother doing a word count for this one :)

    Thank you. I'm thankful that it is fiction for me. But I even feel selfish saying that as I know it's the horrible reality for so many people.

    Pia: I couldn't tell if it was fiction or not.

    I always consider that a compliment when attempting to write fiction. Thank you.

    Avery Laine: Thanks. It probably could/should have been longer as it was a lot to deal with four characters and get something across about each one. I like the two lines you pointed out, as well.

    Renee: Thanks. Yeah, I liked your little comments there. I should probably do a post like that, as much as I love music.

    Kontan: Sigh. That's a sad and sobering thought, that a child would rather stay at school than face going home :(

    I enjoyed it seems awful to say

    I completely understand.

  26. I don't think it needed to be longer, I think as it was it was quite effective. You didn't belabor any points, but you made us feel and hurt for them. Unlike Avery, I did not get a strong feeling the mother was beaten down. Maybe I was just interjecting my need for her not to be into your story.

    You are an awesome writer, Bone.

  27. Don't know that I'll get around to writing a 3WW this week, but I liked yours. There's a lot of power and emotion in your story and its about something too many children witness. Good job.

  28. So now I have to know... did you not word count because it was short or could I have written a novel and you still wouldn't have word counted? *er*

    Btw, I think I'm going to write my next comment all in a different language...

  29. I chose to think that as he was a young boy he was doing the right thing--not teasing the other boy

    To expect a boy or girl who isn't even a teenager to do more would be to expect the impossible

    Maybe today in a few environments. But I would be damned if I raised my ten, elven year old to look for signs of abuse

    I say that both as a person and a licensed social worker trained to look for abuse

    There should be some innocence to childhood

    Actually I think that would make an interesting debate

  30. I meant that he respected the mother's wishes.

    and might not know how to tell his parents or even that he should

    I live in a city where every nine year old has a cell for good reason, where three year olds run from friendly people again with good reason

    It's refreshing to me to read about a child who has some innocence

  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. I know it is sunday. As I was out I can be excused for posting late!

    Here goes:

    Secrets and Recompense

    PS: Will get around reading you all.

  33. Well, seems all of your heartburn about this piece paid off. Well executed.

    This is one of those stories that makes me wonder if it's fiction or fact. :)

  34. oops! My post came twice. I am unable to delete it! Sorry!

    About this post:

    This seems so common enough in the strata I teach. And much worse as girls try to run away from home. What else one can expect if the father tries to abuse them and the mother is helpless.

    Most go unreported. Sometimes counselling does not help. I feel so sickened. One does tend to get involved.

  35. wow! This was good Bone, It made you wonder what would have happened to Jimmy if the boy would have told his parents...

  36. Interesting story Bone, but the comments are even more interesting. The story reads as voyourism, we try to remain dispasionate, but our life experiences interfere.

    Thanks for your prompts every week.



  37. Marcia: Thank you. I enjoy reading different views that different people have about the characters and the story, some that I hadn't thought of.

    Sage: Thanks, Sage. Hope you can rejoin us next week.

    Shelby: Thanks for participating. Sorry it took me awhile to get around to reading it.

    TC: I didn't do a word count because it was short.

    Feel free to leave a comment in a different language. I only deleted the one someone else left because it was an advertisement.

    Pia: I agree that a child's innocence should last as long as possible. Though I don't think telling your parents your friend's dad hit his mom necessarily means you were trained to look for abuse.

    Gautami: You bring up excellent points. It often goes unreported, whether out of fear or whatever. And it is a horribly sad thing.

    Blondie: Thanks. As I mentioned earlier, I always take that as a compliment when writing fiction :)

    Tagster: Yes, yes it does.

    Rose: Thanks for the comment. I've found everyone's thoughts on this piece to be very interesting, as well.

  38. As usual, that was a good story (as in the story was writen well).

  39. i hadn't been back since you posted your piece, bone, and i just have to say, i'm glad i made it back! very well done!

  40. Girl FPS: Thank you much :)

    Alisonwonderland: Thank you. And thanks for returning to read my entry.