Wicker #Writephoto

copyright Sue Vincent

My mother despised the wicker witches on the neighbor’s farm. She made the sign of the cross when we scurried by on the straight and narrow path to church. Evil things. Satan’s work.

She wrenched me by my wrist, muttering prayers, refusing to raise her gaze from the dirt, grip so tight she left fingered bruises. Crushed violets on my skin. She heard the Devil in the wind on holy days.

I bent beneath God’s almighty eyes. He spied from my closet, prowled under my bed. Tallied transgressions like a spider weaving a child-size web. A tattletale, he caressed the pale shell of my mother’s ear, whispered lists of my depravities, filthy dreams. Collected my impious cravings like bright pennies from a well.

His flaming brand, his righteous redeemer, she blamed the stick witches, wielded the switch, and lay bloody creases of repentance across my spine. Grace earned with pain, not tears.

A wicked girl, I slipped my bed when the Devil beckoned. Irredeemable. An unholy thing. I ghosted across the porch beneath a gilded moon and fled to the neighbor’s field. The witches of sticks clutched hands and danced. Heads tossed back. Skirts swirling. I, the child in the center of their circle. For those moments. Safe from the shining sword of God.

**

An experiment with broken sentences. Did you like it or was it annoying? Would love your thoughts.

A completely fictional response to Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto prompt

85 thoughts on “Wicker #Writephoto

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Wonderful, Diana… I love the clipped narrative. It also hits home how too much of a good thing can cause its own problems…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rijanjks says:

    Fantastic, Diana!! I love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    I loved it Diana. I didn’t know it was called broken sentences but now that I do, I’m a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennie says:

    Wow! Well done, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As a rule I’m not a fan of broken sentences, but in this piece I felt it was very effective. Staccato, like gunfire. Awesome subject matter too – I once did a short story about this type of thing. Very dark.
    Great job D 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jessica. I just finished a book that had a lot of them, and it was so well done that I wanted to experiment. It’s tricky though, I’ll agree with that. I’m glad it worked here. Yes, a dark subject matter! My muse was definitely in a mood! Ha ha.

      Like

  6. dgkaye says:

    I love how you evoked the darkness in this story with these broken sentences, yet melded so beautifully. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J.D. Riso says:

    I LOVE this, Diana. I use a lot of broken sentences in my writing, so it’s a style that I prefer. When it’s done right…and you sure nailed it. Such powerful, memorable imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stories like these are so frighteningly understandable. God often seems so omnipotent, yet how can all these evil things happen under his purview? The evils of people – in your case the wicked mother – come out as god’s villanies, and the victims feel so hopeless. You captured that so well, and the wording here was fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The sentence structure added pace to the narrative – wicker, witches, wicked girl was a neat touch

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting! The fragmentation style works well with the subject matter and makes this narration feel vivid, gritty and full of realism. It is new to me, but I really like the way in which this was captured! Wonderful word choice in every line. I can sense the war of the character’s ethos, strongly influenced from abuse and I find myself immediately rooting for this character. You say this was just an experiment, I hope that it will continue… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ethan. I just finished a book that used a lot of broken sentences. It allowed for some dramatic variation in sentence length, and the writing was beautiful, both lyrical and punchy. I wanted to experiment with the style a bit. I’m glad it worked and that you enjoyed the story. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    Beautiful piece of writing, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Those sentences seem completely normal to me. Most of my thoughts go like that all day. My kids keep saying “there is more to that sentence, right?” I really liked this story and the sentences seemed appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A woeful tale… well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. memadtwo says:

    I thought the form really captured the way of thought. It’s not complete sentences and it jumps from one thing to another. This is too real in the atmosphere of rigid religious belief we find ourselves living in. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit and comment, Kerfe. There continues to be a lot of fear-based religion, as there always has been. It’s manipulative and scary. Fortunately this is fictional. I’m glad the fragmented sentences worked. Thanks!

      Like

  15. Bela Johnson says:

    Oh my goddess. I loved this! “Crushed violets on my skin.” Haunting. So much un-Christ-like behavior meted out in god’s name. Peace. 🙏🌺💥

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I didn’t even notice the fragmented sentences. I think the style went with the girl’s fractured thoughts. Abused physically and verbally. I was so upset at the mother, and then hoped the girl would dance her way to escape. What a story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a dark story, Pam, and I have no idea where it came from. I’m glad the fragmented sentences were invisible to you. That’s good. I hope she dances away… but I don’t really know. Thanks for the visit and comment, my friend. Happy Weekend!

      Like

  17. This is so good Diana! The experiment is a smashing success. 🙂

    Like

  18. officialosi says:

    This written impeccably. Keep it up! 🙌🏽🙌🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The broken sentences gave a nice flow to this piece of work. I like the rhythm of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. trentpmcd says:

    It worked very well with the story. A very interesting, dark story it was. Part of it reminded me of a story I read ages ago (early 80s?) about a man who got away with a crime in an age where everyone was under 24×7 surveillance. He knew how to hide in plain sight since he had a mother like that and he grew up believing God was watching every move…. Anyway, your experiment work, and the story worked well with the prompt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Trent. That sounds like an interesting story, and scary. I’m glad this worked. It was a fun experiment and I may consider adding a touch of it to my WIP. Thanks for the visit and the comment. I appreciate the feedback. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Diana, I thought the writing style you chose complemented the story perfectly – memories so often return in bits and pieces, jumbled, truncated flashes of events and responses. You write so well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Pauline. It was fun to experiment, but hard to know if it worked after toying with it for an afternoon. I might attempt to add a bit of it to my WIP, maybe for one character pov, to distinguish her/his style. Hm. Not sure. Anyway. Thank you! Have a great weekend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Annoying? 😀 You’re a great storyteller, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Jen Goldie says:

    I love it Diana. It’s very poetic. More stream of consciousness, which I like. Like reading a person’s thoughts on a page rather than words written by a teller of stories. Wonderful! Read like a river, it flowed… lol a poets thought.😊💜🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Ocean Bream says:

    I thoroughly liked your experimentation, Diana. It works so well here, drawing an intense description. I love how you took this down a dark route – the photo is so bright, and yet there feels like there is a touch of humour here too. Your writing is impeccable! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. balroop2013 says:

    Your response to this prompt is interesting Diana and broken sentences are effective in such stories or flash fiction. I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Balroop. It’s a dark story, for sure. I’m glad the broken sentences didn’t bother you. Interesting point about flash fiction… as opposed to longer stories or books. Thanks for the feedback, and have a wonderful happy weekend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  26. wow! This was wonderful and so fitting for the image!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love tight writing, so I enjoyed this, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I think it worked very well with your story Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I like this style of writing. It gives energy and rhythm. Works well for me, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This is lovely, Diana. I felt so terribly sorry for this poor girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. pennygadd51 says:

    Yes, I liked your experiment, and I thought it was effective. You seemed to use it in several different ways. For example, “For those moments.” is a childish fragment of thought, whereas “Heads tossed back. Skirts swirling.” is more about pace and rhythm.
    Excellent writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Penny. I’m reading a book right now where sentence fragments are used very effectively and the writing is beautiful, so I wanted to play with it. I’m glad it worked. I appreciate the comment. 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

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