She waited until the children were napping to open the door. It stuck briefly from disuse. Still everything remained: the goblin offering his golden apple, the bouquet of purple flowers, a chestnut horse, the talking owl. 

Her hand twitched, longing to grasp pen and paper.

Outside, he arrived home early. Inside, she slammed the door shut.

She surveyed the unswept floor. Then he was upon her with his twisted face.

“Daydreaming rubbish again. Get up. Fix my dinner.”

One day, when the children were grown, she’d leave him. She’d examine the treasures behind the door and finally tell her stories.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

I’m glad she had retained the will and creative ideas to write them one day. It isn’t easy in domestic abuse situations, which must sap the spirit.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Oh! Danielle, it really upsets me when I read stories like this. Why anyone, but especially the person they marry should turn out to be an abuser, it so hard to understand. So we need stories like yours to support and to give strength to those who are victims. Well written in a hundred words.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

You paint a good picture of the conflict between a dreamer, poet and artist on the one hand, and the realistic, down-to-earth, irritated, matter-of-fact person who doesn’t have that inclination or understanding. The danger of this relationship is that the hour of freedom might never strike. The reason could be security, fear or acceptance.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

It’s difficult enough living with someone who doesn’t understand or support creativity, living with someone who blatantly oppresses it is just too awful to contemplate. I can imagine a sense of suffocation and losing the essence of yourself. Nicely written and something that I think will stay with me.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Danielle, this is one of those stories where I simply couldn’t respond immediately. I was so lost in thought over it and wondering how many people are in similar situations. The sadness of it is actually quite overwhelming. As Eric said, why does one person have to turn out to be an abuser? It makes one thankful again for what we’ve got. It is difficult enough to write something good if you are tired from running after little ones and if you still have to hear these horrible insults from a person who is supposed to love you. I can just imagine how dreadful it must be.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

My tears are falling when reading your story. Women who are abused mentally by their partner often think that running away and becoming free is the solution, but they cannot do it, because of the children. Anyway, I love the last part of your story, about how she managed to keep her will to write and share her ideas one day.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago
Reply to  Danielle Burke

Yes. You are right.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

A living nightmare 🙁 and how glad I am that her dreams of stories in the future allow a brief respite from her situation and help her get through. Sadly, there are people (women and some men) who live in terrible situations. Well written, Danielle!

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


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6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


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6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


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5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


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4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


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4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


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4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


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4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


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3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


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3

The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


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