Today is my birthday, or that’s what they tell me. I don’t know the exact date I was born. No one here does. We’ve always just existed behind the cold, damp gate of Greystone Orphanage. The guards tell us stories of birthday celebrations—sweet foods that melt in your mouth, wax sticks lit to count the years, large rubber balls filled with air that rise above the ceiling.
Sam tried to escape on his birthday. He wanted to eat until his stomach burst, listen to loving parents sing and rehash the triumphant day they brought him home. He wanted an Iron Man toy. He didn’t know what it was, only hoped it would break through these iron bars, setting him free.
His frail body slithered through the rusted bars of the window— he was the only one tall enough to reach it. We heard a splash, then silence. Seven moons later, Becca came back from the infirmary, said she saw Sam on a board missing his right shoulder.
The guards don’t speak of birthday parties anymore.
word count: 175
Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story in 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) using the provided photo prompt as inspiration.
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