You stand on the stoop and stare at the flowers, hose in hand. If it weren’t for your unnatural stillness, it would seem you were watering them. You listen to the voices coming through the open window.
“We have to do something. This can’t go on.”
Your heart stutters.
“What can we do? Nothing I’ve tried has worked.”
“You’ve seen the scars Lana. It’s out of our hands. Riley must go back.”
“Riley hated that place.”
“He’s going back.”
You drop the hose.
Look at your wrist, the thin white lines.
Not going back.
Horrorshow over 5 years ago
Very well written, Jane.
Jonathan Mills over 5 years ago
Another excellent piece and a nice use of the 2nd person. I think it would work even better if you took the name "Riley" out of it and just used "he" - because the 2nd person viewpoint relates the experience closely to the reader, giving the character's name dispels the illusion a bit. Just my view, again, very well done.
Kimberly about 5 years ago
Jane about 5 years ago
I actually purposely left out pronouns and chose Riley because it was a fairly unisex name because I wanted female readers to be able to see themselves in it as well. However, I've never been taught 2nd person, nor have I read much of it, so this was really just an experiment. If you say I should use pronouns instead of a name, then I will try that next time, because I do see your point. Thanks!
Jonathan Mills about 5 years ago
I see your point, thought Riley was a bit unisex - it's a tricky call I think, because he's later identified as a he. There's no right or wrong to it, worth experimenting with until you find something that you think works, and again, just my view, it's fine as it stands. Good luck with your next piece.