Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

Flood of parental emotions

The flood of emotions I felt when I saw the photos of my son helping his neighbours in the Ingham flood was like a tsunami hitting me. I couldn’t breath. I wanted to cry with happiness for his neighbourly empathy and his bravery. But, I also wanted to kill him. I wanted to shake and slap him, to scream at him for being so stupid, careless and idiotic. After the way he was raised to read the signs of the land and know the habits of the wildlife I was gob smacked to see him wandering, waste deep, through flood waters on the banks of the crocodile infested Ingham River.

Two women with a disability lived next door to him. He kept an eye out of them and did handyman jobs and errands for them. He was a good boy and I was proud that he cared about people in a worse position than he was in. But right now, I could just flog him.

As soon as I saw the Facebook photos of the flood, I rang him. I was furious at him. I yelled, I berated and I pounded the table. A good boy, he silently took my punishment and waited for me to finish.

“It was a calculated risk, Mum. Those girls were scared, had no electricity and no food. I could see them cuddling each other and crying and none of the other neighbours even gave them a thought.”

“You idiot.” I screamed even louder. “You put yourself at grave risk of being taken by a crocodile, just to settle some girls! Their support worker would have reached them and bought in supplies. You could have been taken by a croc. All gone. All over. No more. Dead.”

He laughed his quiet, sarcastic laugh. That laugh was the one that always got right under my fingernails and made my slapping hand twitch. Ohhhhhh! If only I was there with him. I swear to God I would have knocked his head off his shoulder.

Very calmly and in a tone that suggested that I was the idiot, he put me right back into my place.

“You forget, mother, that I never take uncalculated risks and put my life, or anyone else’s in danger. I had seen crocs glide by the front of the house and I had heard them barking. They were there. So was every dog in the neighbourhood. My bitch was on heat so as the flood waters came in several dogs became trapped on the bike jump in my front yard. I knew where the crocs were. They were all eyes on their favourite food: dogs. There was a new take away restaurant in Ingham – take away dog. Do you really think a croc would leave the dogs to come chew on a skinny little white boy like me?”

I laughed at his feeble attempt of using humour to disarm my anger toward him. But, his feeble attempt worked. My anger dissolved and I could appreciate that he read the signs of the flood well.

“From my one action of helping those girls, Mum, all the other neighbours felt shamed into also helping. Sometimes you just need one dick-head to do something stupid to make things better for everyone; to bring people together.”

Yep. He may have been a dickhead but I was proud that he cared enough to help another human being. I had raised a good boy, an empathic and caring lad. If only I could now relate that to him rather than always acting like the angry-crazed-woman of the north.

If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

5 Response to "Flood of parental emotions"

Julie G said...

You used a swear word...hehehe

Remind me...which is your slap hand, so i can sit opposite next time...

Excellent writing. We both wrote life write today.

Caring for those we love makes us do and say crazy stuff sometimes.

Megan Bayliss said...

lol,,,yes I did.

This is creative lifewriting so not strictly true. I took a real situation (the Ingham floods, and that is my son wading through to his neighbours house - with beer in hand!) and blended it with my fear of crocodiles. And, I never yell anymore or say the idiot swear word (okay, maybe just once).

Julie G said...

I love crocodiles.

When I first saw the picture, I thought what an aussie thing to do...wade through croc infested waters with a beer in hand.

Hope your headache is gone...

Becca said...

I swear, every time you write I think you must have been the one to take the picture lol. You REALLY step into your POV characters well. It's amazing!

Megan Bayliss said...

Thanks Becca. I become intimate with my characters. I guess that's the therapist in me that really gets inside another person's head and susses their motivation and processing.

This piece though has made me wonder if I should write under a pseudonym. Some people don't understand that a single piece of truth can be manipulated to create fiction (jeeze, lawyers do it ALL the time) and that it is an accepted literary process.

I had a family member concerned that people may think my son really did put his dogs at risk, which he never would or that he considered his neighbours to be women with a disability, which he doesn't.

This was FICTION based on a photo prompt. I used a real flood and my son as the prompts, apart from that, the rest is totally made up.

I apologise to anybody that may have become upset by this story and I will take it down if it continues to create conflict.

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