Breaking Point

That was it. She’d had it. Sliced away, leaving a scar on the ancient bark, the tree looked raw. Desecrated. His handiwork obliterated.

That night of infatuation, he carved a heart with their initials right there for all the town to see. “We’re forever entwined” he said. Except they weren’t. He left for college and never returned. It’d been years. She’d waited tables at the Oleander Café. Endured the town folk’s talk behind her back. Their whispers haunted her. They knew she’d carried his child for six months before the miscarriage. People pitied her.

She knew he was never coming back. She dropped the knife and walked out to meet the dusty road. She hailed the first bus she saw. Paid cash and finally got the hell out of there. No matter the bus’ destination, it was her turn to leave it all behind.

Written for dVerse where today Sarah is hosting our Prosery session. She asks us to include the line “she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar” from Michael Donaghy’s poem, Liverpool.

What is Prosery? A Prosery prompt gives a line from a poem and we are to include it in a piece of flash fiction of 144 words, sans title. The line must be word for word, although the punctuation may be changed.

27 thoughts on “Breaking Point

  1. sarahsouthwest July 18, 2022 / 5:10 pm

    Lill, I love this – so poignant, so well-written. You’ve used the prompt line with aplomb. It’s perfect.


  2. Gillena Cox July 18, 2022 / 5:20 pm

    Nice twist at the ending



  3. a.h. starlingsson July 18, 2022 / 5:28 pm

    You kept the suspense back beautifully: that miscarriage hit. Strong tale in a few words…another lost, lobely soul…


  4. rothpoetry July 18, 2022 / 5:29 pm

    Beautifully done Lillian. Leaving it all behind but carrying all the scars with her! The story of our lives.


  5. merrildsmith July 18, 2022 / 5:30 pm

    So poignant, Lillian. And that miscarriage. . .I suspect this is the tale of so many women.


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 12:06 pm

      Thank you, Merrill! Hope you’ll be joining us at OLN LIVE today…if only for the beginning if you can’t stick around. Have a beverage in hand…I’ll be hosting and beginning OLN LIVE with a toast to the wonderful news that the dVERSE Anthology is literally going to the moon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • merrildsmith July 21, 2022 / 5:13 pm

        You’re welcome, and you know I was there! 😊


  6. Glenn A. Buttkus July 18, 2022 / 5:51 pm

    Your poem and mine, once again book ends.I like yours the most; it was packed with more back story–but we both caught the same vibe.


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 12:05 pm

      Thank you Glenn! DVerse has had FABULOUS news today! Our anthology will literally be going to the moon! That’s explained on my blog today with my poem for OLN LIVE. It’s also explained on the OLN post when it goes live today at 3 PM. Hope you’ll be joining us…and with a beverage of some kind in hand as I make a toast to dVerse literally going to the moon!


  7. msjadeli July 18, 2022 / 7:48 pm

    A creative tale with a solid beginning, middle, and end. Skilled word-weaving, Lillian!


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 12:03 pm

      Thank you! See you at OLN LIVE today! Did you see the news about the dVerse anthology literally going to the moon? I added it to my poem already posted on my blog for today’s OLN. It will also be on the OLN post when it goes live at 3 PM today. Hope you’ll join us….and have some kind of beverage in hand as I’ll toast dVerse going to the moon at the beginning – I’m hosting OLN LIVE today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli July 21, 2022 / 12:57 pm

        You are welcome, Lillian. Yes, I *just* saw that about the dVerse anthology (on facebook.) I would like to know how that all came about. I’m so geeked about it. Truly amazing. I will do my best to get it together for the OLN LIVE today. Maybe see you in a bit…


  8. Rob Kistner July 18, 2022 / 8:33 pm

    A bittersweet tale Lil, but it ends with the claiming of one’s life — which is an empowering message!


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 12:01 pm

      Thank you, Rob! Did you hear the news about the dVerse anthology literally going to the moon? I posted my poem for OLN live on my website and put the news there. It’s also on the OLN LIVE post today. I’m hosting OLN LIVE and will have a glass of chardonnay in hand to make a toast to the moon as we begin! Hope to see you there.


  9. Jane Dougherty July 19, 2022 / 6:07 am

    There’s a lot of story in this economical prose. I hope the bus was going somewhere nice.


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 12:00 pm

      Thank you, Jane. Did you see the announcement about the dVerse anthology being selected to literally go to the moon? Look at my post for today…..or the OLN post for today to see about it! I think you have at least one poem in the anthology? If so, your words will be on the moon for millions of years to come!!!! I’m hosting OLN LIVE today at 3 PM Boston time…if you can, just stop by for a few moments (or stay to listen and/or read) because I’ll be toasting this wonderful news!!!


      • Jane Dougherty July 21, 2022 / 12:15 pm

        I’ve just seen, yes. I wonder why? Who is behind this Lunar Codex ?


  10. ByteSizedStudio July 19, 2022 / 10:30 am

    Very nicely done, the self-awareness of freedom was wonderful.


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 11:58 am

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed.


  11. Nitin Lalit July 19, 2022 / 11:31 am

    This is a very deep piece, saying much in a few words. I loved that she freed herself in the end, and moved on. It’s a bittersweet ending, but it’s great.


  12. sanaarizvi July 20, 2022 / 12:32 pm

    This is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant, Lillian! It takes a lot of courage for one to start fresh.


    • lillian July 21, 2022 / 11:58 am

      Thank you, Sanaa! Hope to see you tonight at OLN….with a beverage in hand at the beginning to toast dVerse going to the moon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • sanaarizvi July 21, 2022 / 1:52 pm

        Definitely! I look forward to it 😀


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