Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. incarcerate
2. phlegm
3. damp
4. groan
5. knife
6. blessing

we also have "a glacial stillness....the sickly sun of winter"

Here is my story:

 The world outside the courthouse was held in a glacial stillness, the sickly sun of winter making only feeble attempts to occasionally break through the blanket of clouds hanging low over the small town of Blissful.

The damp cold this winter had taken its toll on Judge Wilmer, at 68 he was no longer immune to the failings of the aging. The recent flu that had laid most people up in bed for a week or more, had hit him too, although his version was more of a heavy chesty cough which left him gasping.

He cleared his throat of phlegm, took another swig of cough syrup before washing his face and hands, then headed back into the courtroom to continue the hearing. 
The ten minute recess was over and it was time that boy out there learned his lesson.

The handcuffed defendant stared blankly as the Judge spoke to him. 

"Mark Petersen, we meet again. This makes the seventh time in the last three years, it seems that all the rehabilitation measures haven't worked. 

Let's check this sheet now....three robberies, two assaults with intent, two assaults with a deadly service, several months in the youth remand centre, a week in the psychiatric're on the wrong track for sure. 
You're facing some serious charges this time, that shop assistant you claim you "accidentally" slashed with a knife in a "pretend" robbery was on life support at Memorial Hospital. He died last night."

Mark stared the Judge right in the eyes, not so much as a twitch revealing any thoughts or emotions he might be feeling. 
Only eighteen, yet his eyes already had that dead look so common to hard-core violent criminals, killers; soulless men who'd murdered time and time again and spent many years in prison for it. 

Judge Wilmer continued, "you're eighteen now son, there'll be no more easy roads after this, no six weeks community service, no more time at Franklin Remand Centre. You're to be tried as an adult, on a charge of murder. You'll be incarcerated until your trial, set for the fifteenth of July. Your lawyer here has requested bail, but with your history, I have no regrets at all in denying him."

The Judge shuffled his papers into a neat pile, banged his gavel once and asked the bailiff to remove the prisoner to the cells in the basement.
A groan of relief broke the silence in the room as Mark Petersen's mother buried her face in her hands and began to cry. 

As her boy was led away, she was heard to say through her tears, "it's wrong of me to say this, he's my son after all, but this is a blessing, it really is. There's something wrong with him, it's like the devil has his soul, he was always a wild child and now he's just straight out bad. He needs to be off the streets and locked away."


  1. This was supposed to be here at 5.30am....sorry.

  2. Oh River. This is so sad. That poor mother. And without doubt there will be people who blame her...

  3. Elephant's Child; I don't think so, "Blissful" is a very small town and everyone has seen how well she raised her kids, this one was just bad from the beginning.

  4. You have excelled yourself this time. I think you have put into words how many mothers in the world must feel about their black sheep. It must be very difficult for a mum to say those words about one of her own.

  5. Mimsie; I have my own black sheep, although he's nowhere near as bad as Mark Petersen, he has been locked up a time or three. He seems to be straightening up now.

  6. Wow....that poor sad to be relieved your son is going to be locked away.

  7. At first I thought youy had made a mistake with the "groan of relief", but then I understood. The mother's reaction is reminiscent of the mother in Lionel Shriver's excellent but highly disturbing book "We Need to Talk About Kevin", which also studies a young man who was seemingly born evil (like Ben from "The Fifth Child" by Doris Lessing).

    I can't help but feel for that family - in a small town, everybody judges. :(

  8. Well, that was a sad story. But... well done!!!

  9. Delores; I think she is relieved that he now might get some sort of treatment as well as no longer wreaking havoc in the town.

    Marie; I've never heard of that book, I'll have to look it up, maybe get some clues as to how to continue this story.

    Robin; thank you. I don't often do sad, not sure how it would turn out.

  10. Masterfully done - felt very true to life, unfortunately. The poor mother, I always think of these people's parents.

  11. River, both books are excellent, but highly disturbing. And both deal with mothers who don't bond with their strange sons. Doris Lessing's book was way before her time (as with a lot that she wrote) and highlights the fragility of happiness and the illusion of the security provided by family. It's no wonder this woman won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

    Lionel Shriver's book left me feeling really uneasy for ages. It's been made into a critically acclaimed film starring Tilda Swinton, but I can't bring myself to watch the film as yet - I was THAT disturbed. A lot of the story is not "told" as such, and instead you are left to contemplate or imagine what might have happened, which unsettled me even more. You are forced to make a judgement of character - is this boy truly evil and his mum a victim. Or is Kevin a victim of circumatances and an unresponsive mother.

    Anyway, be warned that both books are the sort of thing that stays with you for a long time after you finish them.


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