The Broken String

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Little Alan is getting fed up with his family, thinking that they do not love him. The boy does not understand how he is responsible for the unrest in the family, until...


The Broken String 



‘Apologize to your father right now!’ Mum shouted at the seven-year-old Alan who stood looking at his parents furiously, his lower lip stuck out. 

‘No!’ he folded his arms defiantly. 

‘Alan, it’s just a toy. There’s no need to create such a fuss over it,’ his elder sister, Rachel tried to make him see sense. 

‘Shut up!’ he snapped and made a face at her. 

‘Alan! This is no way to talk to your elder sister’, said Dad. ‘You better start behaving, or else.’ 

‘I’m not doing anything you say. You never listen to me. I want that video game, otherwise I’ll—I'll,’ he thought of something effective to say, and said, ‘I’ll run away from home!’ 

It was pretty effective. 

Rachel’s eyes widened as she gasped and both his parents looked absolutely furious and shocked. 

‘How dare you even think of such a thing!’ Mum thundered. ‘Running away from your family!’ 

‘I don’t need such a family!’ he was starting to cry. ‘You never give me what I want. You don’t care about me. I don’t love you!’ 

‘Your behaviour is getting worse day by day’, Dad scolded. ‘We’re not going to put up with this anymore. Go to your bedroom right now!’ He pointed towards the stairs. 

‘Fine!’ he shouted and stomped off. 

Alan lay on his bed as a million unfair thoughts raced in his head. He had started to get in a lot of quarrels with his family lately. According to them, he was getting rowdier and rowdier every day. Even he had to admit that some of the fights were serious, but it wasn’t his fault. They were the ones who made him angry by not giving him his way in things. And now, all he got to hear the whole day was, 

‘Don't do this!’ 

‘Be quiet!’ 

‘Don’t make a mess!’ 

‘When will you learn to behave?’  

‘For heaven’s sake, you’re not a wild animal!’ 

Stop that awful din!’ 

‘Get out of this room!’ 

It was unfair, he thought. But little Alan did not understand how he was the cause of this. As he lay there thinking he got angrier and angrier. His family didn’t love him, all they did was to stop him from doing things he liked. 

Alright then, he didn’t need such a family either. 




Alan opened his eyes and found himself in the strangest place. A heavy darkness surrounded him completely. Nothing could be seen for miles and miles. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor (which could only be felt) with three other people. 

Then he realised that the three people were his parents and his sister. They all were sitting in a circle and in both his hands, Alan was holding a golden string, which was the only source of light in that gloom. On his either side, his mother and father were holding the other ends of his string. Rachel was also joined to Mum and Dad with a similar golden thread.  

They all smiled warmly at him. 

But then, all of a sudden, the strings in his hands snapped and a strong wind began to howl around them. 

‘Alan!’ They looked at him. ‘Come back!’ 

The wind surrounded the boy and pulled him away from his family. He struggled against it, but it only grew stronger. Every second he went further and further away from them.


‘Mum! Dad! Help me!’ he tried to say. But all that came out of his mouth was, ‘I don’t want a family, I don’t love you!’ 

They all stared at him in disbelief and within a moment he was swept away and they were out of sight. The wind carried him over a long way, screaming in his ears all the time. He had no idea what was happening but he wasn’t very happy about it. 

After what felt like hours, he was dropped with a thump on a dirty road in the middle of a dark city. His head was spinning and when he got up to his feet, he saw that he was standing in a ruined city. Tall grey buildings were in pieces, their windows broken, doors hanging from hinges. Rubble was strewn everywhere and wires and cables lay broken. Icy winds rushed through tiny spaces and made eerie noises. 

Alan walked through the city, rubbing his arms in the cold. He felt horribly bare and unprotected in a way he had never felt before. As if he had lost something very important. Its heaviness lay on his heart like a massive stone. But he could not understand what it was. 

As he walked on, he spotted light in the distance. His heart lifted a bit and he ran towards it eagerly. Alan reached a little hut and rapped on the door. Instantly, it was opened by an old man. 

‘How can I help you?’ he asked. 

Alan did not know what to ask for but somehow the reply came out of his mouth automatically, ‘I’ve left my family, can you help me?’ 

The man frowned, ‘A very serious matter young man. You should have been more thoughtful. But unfortunately, it’s your own fault...I can do nothing about it.’ With that, the door snapped shut in Alan’s face. 

He was alone. He knew it and he walked miserably through the streets, searching for something but not knowing what it was. 

The wind howled around him once more but this time voices whispered in it. 

You have made a mistake little onethey said and cackled wickedly. 

‘Shut up!’ he shouted. 

The wind shrieked in his ears and he felt alone, weak, tired. He needed shelter. He didn’t have one. 

You left your shelter a long time agothey whispered. Anyone can hurt you now, foolish boy. 

Alan sank to his knees, hands over his ears, ‘Stop it!’ 

But he knew it was true. It was all his fault. He was foolish to believe that his family didn’t love him and it was foolish of him to leave them. And now he missed them, wishing that he hadn’t been so rude. He had been wrong about them. 

‘I was wrong...’ he said. ‘It’s all my fault. It's all my fault...’ 

The gale grew stronger and noisier, cutting off every other sound, even his own. It whipped about him, getting louder and faster. Then it lifted him off his feet and blew him far, far away. 



Alan’s eyes snapped open and he found himself saying, ‘It’s all my fault...’ 

He jumped out of bed instantly, knowing what he had to do, and ran downstairs. 

‘Mum! Dad! Rachel!’ he shouted. 

Doors flew open and everyone rushed out of their rooms, ‘What happened?’ 

Alan tried to find words to explain what he was feeling but all that came out were tears, as he sank to the floor. They all crowded around him and comforted him, telling him that they were always there for him. 

‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ he sobbed. ‘I understand now.’ 

‘it’s alright dear’, Mum smiled at him. ‘We’re so glad you’ve realised your mistake.’ 

Alan nodded and smiled. He had found what was lost and he was never going to let it go again. 

Submitted: July 16, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Silver Willow. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



I think this was well put together, however I'd almost set it a few decades ago. I feel Alan is quite an old fashioned name.. as is the use of words such as making a din and 'quarrel.' The only thing that dates it is the reference to video game, so if that was replaced I think it would be a 'timeless' story.. or make the references more 'current' - you never clean up your toys / you watch TV all day / etc. Hope that's helpful!

Fri, July 16th, 2021 4:01pm


Thanks for taking out time to read and comment on my work!

Tue, July 20th, 2021 8:05am

Vance Currie

An excellent story with a moral, Silver, and very well told. Your stories are easy to read and I didn't notice any distractions in this one.

Fri, July 16th, 2021 10:07pm


Thank you so much Vance!
This simple comment made my day.

Tue, July 20th, 2021 8:06am

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