“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #8. Join in, have fun and let the creative muse loose. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Carla & Limpy the Lion

from Limpy the Lion’s perspective

Oh, no, here we go again. Mind you, I don’t like green eggs and ham for breakfast either. If my mom raised emus, well I’d eat the emus, not the stupid eggs. They’re so gooey. Give me a nice firm bird any day.

Like I said, my mom would have never let me run away. Her claws were pretty sharp back in the day, and she would whack us in the face if we tried anything. Not Carla’s mom, I know it’s not good to gossip, but I’d bet she doesn’t even know that Carla and I are gone. 

I’m quiet, but Carla normally jumps around and screeches at the top of her voice. It’s kind of cute the way she giggles. She wasn’t laughing when she dragged me out here in the middle of breakfast. 

I know she loves me, but I’m getting too old for this. Comfortable in my big window with the warm sun on my tummy, I dreamed about chasing emus and biting their heads off. I could feel my feet twitching. I am so fast and so stealthy. Stupid emus.

But you don’t want to know about me. You’re probably wondering why her mom didn’t notice that we left – again.

It’s those mean moody emus. They take up all her mom’s time. One time one of them bit off my eyes. I think it ate them, but I couldn’t see, so I don’t know for sure. Carla’s mom never offered to put them back on no matter how much Carla cried about it. My crying days were over.

So this morning, Carla comes down for breakfast really excited because her mom had promised to bring some doughnuts home when she came back from her big date last night. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Pans and dishes clattered and banged in the kitchen. I know doughnuts don’t make a peep, so I hoped they were sitting in a box somewhere close by. Carla’s mom dropped the plate really hard on the table. 

“Get in here Carla.”

Carla dragged me by my back leg and tossed me onto the bay window ledge.

She plopped into the chair. It barely made a thud when she kicked the table leg.

“Mom, do I have to eat emu eggs again? You promised.”

“Charles and I didn’t make it to the doughnut store, Carla. Eggs are better anyway. Don’t forget to rinse your plate when you’re finished.”

I heard Carla huff. 

Then the door slammed, and I heard those damn birds snorting and grunting. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the pigs had gotten out of their pen down by the barn. 

Boom! Boom!

That the female. She’s the one who ate my eyes. I hate that bird. If I ever get the chance I’m going to scratch her eyes out.

Before I could finish, Carla grabbed me by the shoulder, dragged me across the floor and flung open the door. The screen banged shut against the frame as I got a whiff of freshly mowed grass.  

As she shuffled down the lane, I sniffed and the curl of stale fish stink covers my face. It’s the lake again. She dropped me into a puddle of green algae when we ran away a month ago. When we got back her mom threw me in the trash. Carla dragged me out and put me in the washer. I must have laid in there for three or four days. You lose track of time in a washer.

“Carla, sweetie don’t cry. What’s wrong,” I said in my head.

“Grandma come get us. I want to stay at your house.”

“I’m not grandma, for heaven’s sake, Carla. I’m not a genie.” 

She squeezes me and kisses my face and gets me a little wet, but I don’t say anything.

We have to get in the big truck for hours to get to her grandma’s. Usually when Carla runs away we stay in the hideout that Zack, her big brother built when he was about twelve and her dad was still alive.  

Suddenly Carla’s hold on me loosens. A quad rumbles along the dirt path. 


He picks us both up and we ride for a long time. The wind almost takes the stuffing out of me. Once, it blew me out of the quad, and Zack had to go back and pick me up. He listens to Carla. Thank God. 

I smell doughnuts on her breath.


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8 responses to “The Littlest Run Away”

  1. Norah Avatar

    Such a sad story. Poor Carla. I’m pleased she’s got Zackie, and Limpy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marsha Avatar

      Really, not so sad. Normal. How many silly reasons do kids run away? Limpy is a grumpy old stiffed lion with a limited perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Norah Avatar

        I think the situation of for Carla is sad. Maybe far too normal. Children need to be loved.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Marsha Avatar

          They do, but the mom in my story is a sad human who doesn’t have too much going her way. Zackie is the bigger human and Carla is fortunate to have him. The more I talk to people our age, the more I hear that there might have been one person who cared for them and made them feel special who may or may not have been the parent. I had a mom and grandpa. My dad was not able to make me feel special even though I’m sure he loved me. He didn’t meet my parenting expectations. But I was loved. I think Carla’s mom loves her, but is overwhelmed with life since her husband died. She has a lot to do, and not enough time to do it all, not enough help and she is just barely hanging on. Carla is way too young to understand. We don’t know why Zackie is so mature and balanced about the situation. Maybe he is a step-brother and her mother was married before, so he didn’t lose his dad. At any rate, he adores Carla, and she obviously adores him, too. I think Limpy even loves him. If he only knew how to sew on eyes. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Norah Avatar

            Yes, relationships are complex. Most of us do the best we can with the situations that we find ourselves in.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marsha Avatar

            How true! It’s always amazing to me when I run across one of those extraordinary humans who goes beyond the basic and reaches out to people in ways that meet their needs. I’m not sure that is my goal in life because I am too unaware, but I admire people that are always thinking ahead about what others need. Teachers are supposed to do that, and I struggled with that.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Norah Avatar

            I’m sure you did better than you give yourself credit for. We are usually our biggest critics.


  2. Soooz Avatar

    This is such a wonderful take on the image prompt, Marsha. I love Limpy! Thanks so much for joining in again this week. 😊 I look forward to featuring your post with the other entries after the deadline at 4.00 p.m EDT on Thursday, July 16th.

    Liked by 2 people

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