Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nothing to See

Tory rolled her dump truck around the floor. Barbie sat in the back of the truck, her hair cut too short, bald in places. Barbie's hair would never grow back from several too many visits to Tory’s beauty parlor.

Tory stopped playing and looked up. “Mom, why can’t you open the blinds?”

“Because there’s nothing to see.”

Tory looked back down to the floor, to the stupid carpet. She was sick of this old carpet. She knew the designs by heart. They never changed. “But it’s so dark in here.”

“I’m sorry, honey.”

“Can Aunt Carrie and Chris come over to play?”

Mother looked up to the water stained ceiling and sucked in a shuddering breath. “Not today, honey. I’m so sorry.”

Mother looked towards the window as if looking directly through the blinds. She shook her head.

The little girl bit her lip and decided to play some more. She knew the answers would be final. They always were.


Dinnertime brought two servings of canned spam, cold from the can.

“Mom, can’t we have McDonald’s tonight?” Tory asked.

Mother didn’t even answer.

“We never go out anymore. I’m sick of this crap. I want McDonald’s!” Tory stood up and stomped her foot.

“I’m sorry, honey. Not tonight.”

“You always say ‘Not tonight.’”

Mother nodded her head. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“Mommy, I want to go outside.”

“Not now.”

Tory moved a lump of Spam around with her fork. She looked at the trail of greasy fat it left on the plate. “It’s like eating a slug.”

Mother smiled and took a bite of Spam. She quoted the old DVD of The Lion King they used to watch together when Tory was younger. “Slimey yet satisfying.”

Tory smiled, pretended she was Pumba lapping up grubs and sucked up the processed meat.


“Why don’t you open the blinds?” Tory asked.

“Because there’s nothing to see.”

“Can we go outside today, Mom?”

She knew the answer before hearing it.

“Not today, honey.”

But today would be different. Tory had a plan.

She sat on the floor, played with her dump truck and Barbie and waited.

Eventually, Mother went to the restroom.

Tory stood up. She tiptoed. She felt the floor beneath her might creak with every step. She walked as lightly as possible, not wanting to give herself away. Mother could come out of the bathroom at any time.

Tory crept to the window. She moved back the blinds and looked out.

There was nothing to see.



  1. This is absolutely chilling TJ! I actually shivered at that last line. Great work!

  2. Poor kid - trapped in her mother's world.