Day 19: CondemnedMature

The reason this one's late is because I needed more time to work on it. The initial idea turned into a longer piece. I wanted to give it the time and attention it deserved.

Prompt: Today's Prompt is the picture to the left - and is courtesy of Lauren Rutten's iWrite Cards! [The picture was of an abandoned barn/house among tall grass.]

Result: Call it a vignette.


             He who is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone.

            A fine sentiment, but fuck it. We all need to get our rocks off, eh? The stones I have to throw were thrown at me by others.


            And I’ll bet I know where they got them, too.


            I’m warming up for the pitch. Only I’m not going to cast my stones at individuals. No. I’m casting mine at the construct of my past. It stands there in the barrens of my being like a dilapidated house in a ghost town. I know there’s someone in there: a younger me, more naïve and innocent, but with a stain on her soul that makes her ashamed to be seen. She’s stuck there, in the past. From here in the present, I could help her, but she won’t come out and she won’t let me in. She’s scared of me. She doesn’t know who she’s seeing. She thinks I am here to hurt her. And in a way, she’s right. I want to drag her out of her comfort zone. I want to slap some sense into her. I want to burn her house down. But I don’t have any matches. I only have rocks.

            So I cast the first stone. It shatters a window made of that tinted glass that makes everything look bright and healthy. Throw enough dirt on that rosy glass and it makes you see red. I sling a second stone and it smashes a second window, leaving the hated house with two black eyes. That’s not nearly enough. I want to bust its lips, knock its teeth out. I lob another stone and then another; another.


            I’ve got to get her out of there.

            There’s nothing to eat in there but poison: self-doubt and self-loathing. They fed it to her years ago to get her addicted, and now she’s too weak to fight it. I’ve built up something of an immunity to them. There’s nothing for her to shelter under but lies and fears. They built it around her when she was vulnerable, and they made her help. But it’s cheap stuff and shoddy work, prone to leaks and drafts. She’ll catch her death under there. I shelter beneath my own wings now.


            It’s hard work, but I keep throwing. Some of the stones bounce back, so I throw them again. I knock the peeling paint off here, chip the wood there, send a missile sailing through more glass. A few more projectiles take some tiles off the roof. By the end of it, I’m shaking and sweating. I bend down to reload. This is it. The last stone. Maybe I can make it count. I wind up and throw. I take out a final window.

            The house is broken now, but not beaten. Maybe she’ll have got the message, though. Maybe she’ll realize she’s not safe in there. She’s probably more frightened of me now. If I hide somewhere, maybe she’ll make her escape. But no, what sort of example would I be setting? I will never hide myself again. I know I can’t go in and get her, either. The past is beyond my reach. If I try, I might get stuck there, too. All I can do is throw my stones. And I’m spent.


            Sometimes, there just aren’t enough rocks.


            I’m sure someone will cast some my way soon.

The End

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