Wednesday Muse #31 – Broken

Wednesday Muse #31 – Broken


Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire –


The house was silent. The kind of silent that happens when there’s been something big happen. The exhale after a disaster. That moment of downtime when you can sag into a seat, prop up your feet, and try to cry, even though you’re so worn out there’s no energy to get the tears out. 

That’s what I felt like. Sitting there, on the couch in the living room we’d never used. Dad was upstairs, outside, somewhere else. I get it, but he’d checked out long ago. The leftover well wishes were strewn all over the dining room table. Congealed cheese balls, chicken casseroles, and more cakes and cookies than any of us could eat in a day.

Funny the way people always brought food to a funeral. A nice way of saying that you don’t know what to say – so I’ll help you fill your face and I’ll fill mine and you can shoot me a look that says “I’m sorry” over your cherry cobbler, and I”ll send back one that says, “I know” between bites of coleslaw.

Then I hear it again – a metallic noise, grating and out of place. I heard it earlier, when I was surrounded by well meaning cousins and aunts and unable to escape.

I kick off my scuffed black heels – I’ll never wear them again; they’re contaminated now –  and head toward the noise.

I follow it to the upstairs, into my brother’s room. It looks like a bomb went off. Not exactly out of hte ordinary for an eight year old, but even worse than normal. Bits of blue and green fuzz surround his desk, and he’s got out Dad’s tool set that he commandeered a few years ago. Antony loves to see how things work.

His robotic toy that he loved, Theodore, sits on the desk, cloth skin shredded, just the innards now.

“What is going on?” I ask.

Antony doesn’t turn around. He twists the screwdriver inside the back of the toy. “Got to fix Theo.”

The robot is worn out from two years of love. It hasn’t spoken to Antony in ages. Tears burn my eyes. “Antony, I think Theo isn’t really fixable. Remember? We talked about this.”

Antony turns, his little face wet with tears and red from hours of crying. There’s a tiny puddle on his desk. 
“I have to fix him! You don’t understand! We’re all broken! If I can fix Theo, I can fix us!”

I thought I was too tired to cry, but I was wrong. I open my arms, and Antony crashes into me like a missile. We’re both sobbing now, and as I whisper nothings into Antony’s hair, I notice something.

On his desk, Theo blinks.

Don’t Forget to Check These Out!

Each Wednesday I post a snippet written in response to a photo or other writing prompt. These are the other fabulous authors participating in our blog ring. Be sure to stop by, read, and tell them what you think! If you’d like to be included in the Wednesday Muse series, please let me know! I’d be happy to add you to the list!

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