Writing Challenge: Oct 17, 2017

Prompt: write something inspired by birthdays

It was my 10th birthday- December 16, 2003. The crowded school bus stopped at the end of our street, where a group of us would exit to finish the walk down the street. There was a moment before the doors squealed open. Mid-way down the road a police car idled with lights on.

“Isn’t that your house?” A curious voice asked.

Panicked, I ran from bus to front door at top speed. My mother sat at the kitchen table with the officers. My baby brother played nearby on the plum-colored carpet in the living area. To our relief, no one appeared to be hurt. When they saw my sisters and I enter, the officers made their formal farewells, gave curt nods to my mom, and left.

“Pack your bags girls.” Mom told us calmly. “We are staying at Becca’s tonight.” Becca was my Mom’s best friend- we knew something was happening if we weren’t staying in the house.

“Where’s Doug?” We asked 10 minutes later as we piled into the old van.


That night I didn’t eat cake or ice cream. There wasn’t time or money for either. I opened a present from my Grandparent’s and one from my Aunt and Uncle before settling to sleep with my two sisters on the floor.

He would come back. We knew he would. He always did. But for that night, I was just happy that he wasn’t around. That was the best birthday present I could have gotten.

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