The Truth Hurts (Long Version)

This month’s winner for the 250 word story is The Truth Hurts! Don’t forget to like your favorites to see your favorite 25 expanded into a longer story!

As always, thanks for reading.

The summer after fifth grade, Marlene caught her daddy spying on the little girl next door. When Marlene told her momma, Momma slapped her, yelling How dare you say that. Momma turned away and started crying, and Marlene sprinted out the door, up into the treehouse Daddy had made, and stayed there even after her stomach started grumbling.

When the sun was at its highest, the little girl next door ran into the yard in just her underwear to play in the sprinkler watering the lawn. A chill buzzed up Marlene’s arms and jolted her neck, for the first, but not the last time that summer.

Years later, Marlene stopped at Vella’s market to pick up the ground beef on special. As she was deciding between lean for meatballs or fatty for meatloaf, she saw that little girl, now somewhere around twenty years old.  The girl caught Marlene staring at her and walked over.

“Are you gonna just keep staring or say hello?” the girl asked. For some reason Marlene couldn’t remember the girl’s name and heat prickled her cheeks. The girl’s eyes were bloodshot and she was too skinny, her cheeks sunken and collar bone jutting.

“How are you?” Marlene asked.  The girl scoffed and looked at her feet.

“Well. I’m alive, so that’s something,” she said.

“What happened to you?” Marlene asked, despite her instinct to spew niceties and move on. The girl smiled and shook her head.

“I think you know what happened to me,” she answered.

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