No Longer a Child


“I wish they could come in, Mommy. Can you please open it?  Just this once?”

He used his most persuasive tones, dulcet and utterly innocent. For the hundredth time she told him why the window must stay locked, pointed out what had happened last time.

“But I was so young then, Mommy. A child. I’m all grown up now.”

She noticed for the first time that his face had lost much of the baby fat. Perhaps he had a point. But no, despite his protestations he was still a child. She shook her head and left before the tantrums began.


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      I disagree––the whole thing is Mommy’s POV. A child wouldn’t necessarily know “dulcet.” I chose that word especially to illustrate the mother’s delusional romanticism about her awful, awful child.

      My personal mental picture is that the kid is about eleven and threw the beloved little dog out the window when he was five, but it’s open for interpretation.

      • paulmclem

        I agree the POV is with the mother. Perhaps I could have done with just a tiny clue as to what he’d done i.e. a subtle reference to the dog. Dunno. See you next week.

  1. Mike

    Getting everything into a story, so difficult. I thought that the pigeons had invaded his room, but then throwing things out of the window nasty.

  2. wildchild47

    I’ve read this through several times, and interestingly enough, felt like I was reading/ listening in to a conversation, so for me, the pov seems to be more like 3rd person narration – the scene unfolding etc. – and I have no misunderstanding that it’s a reflection from the mother’s thoughts. Whether this makes it technically the mother’s point of view in the narration? Don’t know and I don’t think its relevant because the perspective is consistent throughout.

    And it’s a great story.

    “J” (I’m sorry, I don’t quite know how you’d prefer to be addressed) – you’ve made mention that in your head, your mind, you had the image of an older child, perhaps of 11?

    I had no sense of that – in my mind, I felt the child was perhaps, 8 at the very most, and that whatever “nasty” incident that had happened, took place when he was younger – perhaps 4 or 5? For me, the idea of “baby fat loss” is no longer really age specific as it once was, so I’m not sure the sense of his age, as you wish to convey it as such, works, at least, not for me. But I don’t think it really matters all too much.

    The tone and ambiance, the setting, the essence of whining and manipulation, is clear. The mother’s hesitation and then firmness in her answer infer something far more troubling, even if it’s not outlined.

    And one last point? I was just re-considering the “locked” window. If indeed it is locked – wouldn’t an older child know enough how to try to force it – which makes me think, okay, what kind of lock, what type of window, etc. and so, this, for me, as you’ve written it, makes me think, no, this is still a slightly younger child.

    Of course, the limitations of 100 words can mean really condensing and leaving quite a bit to the imagination – but honestly, I think this is a really great story – as it stands. Well written and delivered, with just enough left to let the imagination run wild, question eagerly, and almost demand answers!

  3. Amy Reese

    Throwing a dog out the window is terrible, but keeping him holed up forever would be pretty horrible too. I don’t think he’s going to grow up to be a healthy adult. He might throw out his mother in time. Interesting story.

  4. gahlearner

    That child gives me the creeps, it feels insincere, played sweetness for a too trusting mother. If that was your intent, this came over, to me at least. I don’t really want to know what the child does, once it’s open.

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