I Can't Tell You

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is the criteria for a short story I have to write for my course:In 500 words, write a complete mini-story where the central character is a child. Write it from the child’s narrative point of view (using ‘I’), and in the past tense. Pay attention to the kind of language a child might use; and to the observations particular to a child. Use as your setting: a busy city street, where something has just happened, before the story actually begins. Use some dialogue.

I wanted to do something different, and I hate sticking to rules so it doesn't have much talking in it but it has one word right? and now I have done this, I don't want to scrap it. So I'd really appreciate your opinion, does it work?

Submitted: May 31, 2007

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Submitted: May 31, 2007

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I can't tell you how I felt. How it felt. When I looked up from my pram, with my pretty little duck rattle and saw my mummy's blood all over the pavement. Actually, it was a sweet yellow chick rattle and daddy always used to shake it in front of me, cooing and smiling at me.

I saw mummy's face in slow motion as she was shot down in front of me. And then I saw her eyes looking back up at me, from the ground, as if trying to tell me how much she loved me. Trying so hard, with all her might and willpower to speak through her eyes, to tell me one last time. Her voice was stolen by pain. Then her eyes shut. And I knew. Mummy would never tell me again.

I was nearly one when that happened, and now I'm one and a half. I couldn't tell anyone then, and I still can't now. All I can do is think in my baby head of what I would say. My Daddy tries to hide his sadness and forces himself to be happy and play with me, but I wish he wouldn't. He doesn't know how lucky he is to have the option of being able to express himself through words.

When family and friends come to the house, I hear them all talking together. I hear them ask Daddy how he's coping and if he needs to talk. Then they will come and pick me up, and give me a cuddle. They feel sorry for me. I just wish that they could all understand, I might be small, but I'm still human. They think that because I was young, and still am, that I don't really understand what happened. But babies and children do still know what goes on, in their own way.

The policeman came to the house quite a lot after it first happened, talking to my Daddy, and brother and sister. I would look and listen over the top of my playpen. One day, the policeman said that he thought they had found the person that shot mummy. They wanted my family to go to identify the murderer in a line up. But none of them saw what happened because they were looking in a shop window in the high street and had their heads turned away. So they said they couldn't do it.

But I saw it all, and I saw the picture the policeman brought, but I couldn't talk. I screamed and screamed for ages "muma". They thought it was because I had my first teeth. I can't tell you how I felt. I can't tell you how I feel. All I can do is tell you what I think. But when I'm older, if I remember all of this, I will tell the world that children are much wiser than they give them credit for. And I will find that man, and show him exactly how it feels.


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