A Child’s Prison

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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12 thoughts on “A Child’s Prison

  1. Very sad, but great story! I think the guards were very cruel in adding to their misery of not having anything they wanted, especially food, and the fact that someone cares enough for them to celebrate their birth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, one has to question the guards’ motivations. Are they there to torment the children, giving them a glimpse of a life they’ll never have beyond those walls, or were their intentions humane and sincere? Thanks for reading!


  2. Oh my gosh Nortina, how sad! Wonderful story told, but so dang sad! Glad it’s fiction! Thank you for writing for FFfAW! I appreciate you participating each week. And I ALWAYS enjoy reading your wonderful stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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