Photo credit: Christine Xu (modified)
I berate myself for not seeing what you were earlier. Handsome, yes, although not as much as you imagine. You grow uglier with every criticism, every sneer. So certain you are worthy, that you are owed things no person should sacrifice for another.
I smother under the oldest spell known to man.
You prod me, herd me, shape me into this thing of yours. Each step is too much, too far, surely this time I will… not. I keep the path.
Then this: one laugh too many. The invisible leash snaps.
My feet gain their courage before my thoughts can form, before my doubts stop me. And I am walking, away, down a new path, suddenly familiar. Ah, me. I remember now. The strength builds in my legs, flows upward, fills my lungs, my heart, my too-unused smile.
Ahead is a torch, a tavern, promising people. Protection.
Your admonitions turn to curses, yet still you sit, sprawled out proudly, not believing.
You rise, scowling, but it is too late. The light beckons. I shall not return.
Word count: 175 Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting, and for Maria from Doodles and Scribbles for providing the original photo prompt, below. Click here to read the other stories.
Photo © Maria at Doodles and Scribbles