Monday 4 February 2013

Five Sentence Fiction - Delicate

 Lillie McFerrin's Weekly Flash Fiction Prompt - 'Delicate'


This is where this week's prompt took me:

Arlene had to be very careful how she handled this, otherwise he’d take it the wrong way and then they’d all be in trouble. She couldn’t just deal with this in her usual way; she had to be far more tentative - more delicate, the delivery had to be just right.

If she said it wrong, and he snapped, they’d all lose out, and little Johnny most of all; he needed this home more than anyone; he need to be warm and dry, his health could not withstand them returning to the streets, his life depended on it. But Max was a hard man, and as he reminded her often enough that they weren’t his kids, so she had to do this subtly.

She looked at Arlette’s pretty face, with the tears running down it, and went over the words in her mind again, hoping she could get across to him that sexually abusing and raping her daughter was not on, and that there were other ways she was prepared to repay him for putting a roof over their heads, however degrading they were.


  1. Quite poignant. Life on the street is HARD, very hard. Arlene had apparently been too quick, in her younger days to say to every sexual encounter which would come her way. Now that she finally has a man who has put a roof over her and her kids, she must, in order to save Arlette from further torture from Max's hand, degrade herself lower than she has ever done in the past.

    Would love to hear your feedback on my endeavor for this week.

  2. How incredibly shocking that she feels this is the only choice - it would be so easy to judge her but the truth is that this could be the only reality that she can see. Very sad.

  3. Sadly, this is something that really happens... very poignant, and beautifully put!

  4. This prompt is producing some very interesting moral dilemmas. Wonderfully written and makes my heart break for Arlene and her family.

  5. This cuts to the bone.
    McGuffy's Reader

  6. This is a really powerful piece, made more so because it does happen. Well written, well put and well done. x

  7. Thanks for reading and glad you all liked it. It is strange how this stuff just pops in my head and expands organically!