Finding Your Niche
April 14, 2014
Woke up early today so decided to do a little story. This is from an old prompt from the Flash Fiction Friday site - now shut down unfortunately. My story is 495 words.
F3 - Cycle 2 - First Sentence. "Mom said I was going to be something one day."
Finding Your Niche
Mom said I was going to be something one day.
Dad would just shake his head and laugh, then my brothers would all join in, following his lead. He'd say that all I'd be was married to one of the Johnson boys, with kids hanging onto my skirts. He figured that if it was good enough for my mom, it damn well would be good enough for me. So that was that, as far as he was concerned. Not for my brothers, though. When they weren't bossing me around, they loved to tease me - but not in a good way like mom and I did with each other. It was in a mean way, just to torment me. I was always getting pinched and tripped and bumped - all laughed off as accidents. Staying by mom worked when I was little, but once I was too big to carry I figured I was better off just keeping out of everyone's way. I was too little to take on many chores, so after I'd helped mom a bit she'd smile and shoo me outside. I learned just to head out into the peace and quiet of the woods. I could knock down a squirrel with a rock, catch a grouse in my bare hands, and tickle a trout out of the stream. I learned to creep along like a ghost, to hide and wait for my prey. I'd see my dad and brothers out hunting, or cutting firewood, but they never saw me. Not even when I'd creep back to the farm, and watch. And wait. They worked hard, but it seemed there was always something going wrong, and then Doc would be over patching someone up. Either a safety shield on the baler would slip, or a gun would jam and backfire, or some wild boars would surprise them at a campsite. Mom told Doc I was the only careful one in the family, that I wasn't wild like the boys. I'd catch her watching me sometimes though, thoughtful like.
Even after the big fire, when the doctors and then the police got involved, she still believed in me. It was just the two of us then, but we were okay after the insurance paid off. She was still convinced that once I found my thing there'd be no stopping me. She was right. I took some of the money into town, bought her some nice dresses, and bought myself the first of many rifles. Hunting gave me the peace I sought, through the isolation, the focus on a goal, the sharpening of skills, the precision of the perfect choice in hardware. I'd bring home squirrels, foxes, deer, once even a big bear. She praised me, as always, but I knew I had to show her that I could really be something.
Today was the day. High above the crowd, I peered through the scope, looking for just the perfect target to start with.
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