Sweet Melody

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this for a short story contest where you write a story based on a song. I wrote this story based on Taylor Swift's 'Safe and Sound', hope you all like it - Rose Burg xx

Submitted: July 01, 2013

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Submitted: July 01, 2013

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Sweet Melody

The mobile above her crib still twirled quietly and the sweet melody carried along the wind like the ash. The fire had caught quickly and spread; attacking and destroying anything that mattered. The officials had stood outside watching as clumps of burnt and singed ash dispersed and floated in the air like a smouldering snow storm. Their eyes were entranced by the flicking of the flames that engulfed the old cabin and continued to spread. I was holding her behind a tree. They had pounded on the front door until it fell down. I was holding baby Kaila in one arm and Hailey in the other hand. They grabbed Kaila out of my hands and shoved and pushed Hailey and I until I picked her up and clung to her; walking out of the house sobbing. We ran and hid behind a tree while the officials walked out of the house without Kaila and continued to set it alight. I pressed Hailey’s head against my chest and sunk into the ground. I sobbed silently and hid it from my daughter – she was all I had left; they couldn’t take any more from me. She sat quietly and let me fold her into my arms and hold her. The song from the wind up mobile still played and I closed my eyes. We sat for hours – Hailey and I. I held my four-year-old daughter while she slept; unaware of what was going on. It was probably better – it was probably better that she didn’t know of the world she lived in.

I finally looked at what was now the remains of a pile of scorched embers – a small square of charred Earth. The music had stopped playing years ago. Hailey turned five yesterday and I held her hand as we stood for a minute and looked at her sister’s unmarked grave. I swept away a tear and bent down to look at Hailey. She looked at me with a confused look on her face.
“Mum, what are we doing here?” She asked me.
“We’re visiting your sister,” Hailey blinked at my response and turned to look at the charred ground.
“Why does my sister live here?” Hailey asked. I swept away another tear and took her hands. I couldn’t tell her; I couldn’t bring myself to tell her what had happened a year ago, how not much had changed since that day. I tried to give my daughter everything; I starved so that she would have a full meal; I stole so that she would be able to even eat in the first place and I did anything I could for money but she didn’t deserve to live like this. She didn’t deserve to live a life of poverty and theft for the sake of food.
“Do you remember what I said to you a year ago?” I swivelled around to look at the tree and pointed at it. “Do you remember? We were sitting underneath that tree.” Hailey smiled and turned to me.
“That you will always keep me safe.” She replied sweetly. “Mummy, why does my sister live here?” She was still smiling.
“I will always keep you safe.” I repeated. I stood and she looked up at me.
“Mummy, why does my sister live here?” Hailey repeated. I picked her up and walked over to the woman standing by a shiny car. I put Hailey on the ground and held her small hands in mine.
“I will always love you, Hailey.” She beamed back at me and I swept away another tear.
“I love you too, Mummy.” I smiled back and hugged her; she folded into my arms and lent her head on my chest.
“Now, you be good for this nice lady and you do what she says, ok?”
“Ok. Where are you going? Are you going to live with my sister?” I looked straight into her crystal blue eyes and smiled between shivering lips.
“Yes, baby. Now you be good and I love you.”
“Can’t I live with you and my sister?” Hailey asked. The woman swept her up and sat her in the back seat of the shining car. I held my hand to my mouth and sobbed as the woman turned on the car and drove away. I waved slowly and fell to my knees. The knife was tucked under my thin dress and I unhooked it and walked over towards the embers. I walked over to where Kaila’s crib used to sit and fell to my knees again. I held the blunt, rusty knife to my stomach and looked up at the trees that surrounded me. I could still hear the music of the mobile as it unwound and slowed. I plunged the knife deep into my stomach and twisted; humming the sweet melody between cries of agony as I fell on my side on the floor. The sweet melody stopped playing.

 

**Author’s note: This was written for a song short story contest and was inspired by the song ‘Safe and Sound’ by Taylor Swift.**


© Copyright 2019 Rose Burg. All rights reserved.

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