FTP 6 Happiness

She saw them again today, their faces bright with joy. She watched as they ran from swing, to slide, to jungle-jim and back screaming their delight as their mother placidly looked on. She watched them as they played with others, running across green grass and sand boxes in equal paces.

They didn’t notice she was watching them. She watched from outside the circle of mothers and fathers who brought their children to the park. She was invisible to them, her children but hers no longer. Did they know they had a different mother once? Did they know, she had screamed damnation as they ripped them from her arms?

She scratched the scars on her arms, her nod just right as she watched their play from the edges. Yes, this is just right now. Her happiness complete, her home on this bench perfect where she can watch her not children grow.


Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Happiness. The word limit for January is 150 words. This one comes in precisely at 150.


  1. fortyfifty says:

    This is a sad one but well written…..

  2. How sad, Val. There’s definitely a back story there. What happened? Why did she have to give her children up, and can’t see them? This is so sad!

  3. Shed a tear over this!

  4. I am with Elyse.

    • Thank you, I think I said to someone else earlier; I had to scratch her out of my head she was sitting on the edge in her nod.

      • I am not a meant to be girl, but I know you have a story to tell and the depth, talent, drive, reason . . . to do it. I feel the blogging world has introduced me to this world of writers and you are a writer (one I still want to read).

      • I am not a meant to be girl, but I know you have a story to tell and the depth, talent, drive, reason . . . to do it. I feel the blogging world has introduced me to this world of writers and you are a writer (one I still want to read).

  5. Oh Val, this makes me hope you are doing some writing that isn’t blog related. This is so beautiful and strong.

  6. frigginloon says:

    I agree, all parties are better off with their place in the park.

  7. I like your blogs because they expose the raw emotions of real life.

  8. Very powerful Val, presses some buttons for me… my mother walked out when I was six..Everyone said it was a good thing, she’d been such a hopeless mother, and I loved being properly looked after, but the feelings of abandonment went very deep..

    • Being adopted this pressed some of mine as well. She watches though, from the sidelines and her happiness is full. Was she truly terrible or just terrible in her inability? Some people might recognize the symptoms, the scratching and the nod for what they are, addiction. The bench as her home, she has hit her bottom and is now hopeless and homeless but has staked out the bench where she can watch. Is she truly terrible or just acknowledging her hopelessness and the gift she has given them of life and hope?

  9. singleworkingmomswm says:

    This piece is amazing just as it is, every single necessary part of great story telling and compelling fiction/non-fictin is here. I cried (to myself, being at work) at the end, as I know what it is to have a child taken from your arms, not in the same way, but the same nonetheless. Great job, Valentine! XOXO-SWM

  10. Wow, now I want to know more about this woman! You could expand this character and build a book around her.

  11. Wow. Thank goodness for Kleenex. I’m choked up. So sad for the mom; kids, depending on their age, forget. Awesome.

  12. I love the way the scene opens wide with the line about her home on the bench. I wonder if anyone truly hears the damnation. Those at the scene have a job to do which insulates them, more likely inoculates them, from the words really registering.

    Excellent flash, my sister. ❤ xxx

    • Thank you my muse. As I read the comments I think many don’t see my lady of nod for who she is, desperate and despondent.

      • I do not know how not. For me the nod represents the acquiescence to circumstance undeserved. The acceptance of things as they are does not lessen the pain. Ever. More at 11.

  13. i admire that you can evoke such emotion in such a small word count. lovely. xoxo, sm

    • The Flash in the Pan project is a challenge for me, I tend to be more long winded. I love writing these, so thank you so much as you are one of my favorite Bloggers.

  14. So sad but this tragedy happens every day. A wonderful piece; you have voiced all sides in a minimum of words.

    • Terrible indeed, tragic for all yet what is there but to free the children and their mother. Her to make the choices she desires and them to grab joy all children deserve. Perhaps some day in the future each may come together to ask questions, maybe only why.

  15. This one certainly tugs at the heart. Nice piece though!

    • Heart strings are tugged, I accomplished my goal. Happiness rolled into a different light, where and how we find it viewed through different lenses; not quite so rosey.

  16. A sad tale Val, and who knows the other side of those stories in which those children are removed.. I work with such sad tales and its my job to support those who scratch at their arms no longer with their children…….
    A thought provoking post Val….. xx Hugs

    • Ah, but the core of why is right there in the story. We could likely take a leap of faith as to why. Her choice travel to the bottom rather than fight, well that is a different exploration. That is something we will never know, but I had to scratch her out of my head this morning.


  17. Strage relationship. Wonder what makes it so easy to stand on the sidelines.

    • Don’t know, choices are always different. Her nod and her home on that bench defines something for her both present and future. She only asks in her head if they know she exists, not whether she should tell them.

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