A Tangible Memory

Arm snatched and face snarling in rage. “Why? I told you STAY CLEAN!”

Tiny features shrink in fear and shame as tears stream. “I’m sorry mommy. I didn’t mean it.”

Pulled fast and ity bity feet can’t keep up. Angry words mutter frustration and threats made impulsively, foolishly not meant to be fulfilled.

Little eyes look up pleading and wondering, dreading and wailing at what may come.

Buckles snapped and belts strapped, a wisp of clarity, whispers and winnows in sneaky and sure. Seated and belted a peek in the back, a beloved face crumpled scared. Hand over eyes, control regained realizing a wretched mom lost it to fun with smudges and sand. 

“Let’s clean up and go get ice cream.”

Ocean filled eyes clear while a hand swipes across her cherry wet nose.



Unbelted, streaked dirty face turned shiny and bright.

The penalty for wretchedness? The memory of the pain and fear on the adored face. No other punishment needed for the stinging cost of the tangible memory.


Trifecta challenge this week is to write about the word “wretched” by the 3rd definition in the dictionary which is:

Wretched: being or appearing mean, miserable or contemptible (dressed in wretched old clothes)

Do so in no less than 33 and no more than 333 words.  Have fun.


8 comments on “A Tangible Memory

  1. Carrie says:

    Sigh…I’ve been there. So angry over such a little thing really but in that moment…yup wretched

    Great piece


  2. jesterqueen says:

    That could so easily be me. I have lost it like that over such stupid stupid things. And I struggle always to walk that line between stern and angry, between teaching and terrorizing. I think the separation between the two is greater for some. For me, it’s a very tight squeeze, so tight I can barely breathe trying to make it work.


    • debseeman says:

      I wrote it as fiction from a personal point of view. I think every mother/parent deals with irrational reactions to our children’s behavior and regret it after the fact. Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments.


  3. Thanks for linking up with us, Debbie. You’ve captured really well a scene a lot of us are familiar with. It’s sometimes a struggle to be firm without crossing the line. Great job. Hope to see you for the weekend challenge.


  4. Rebecca says:

    A good take on the word. This was even painful to read. You captured the moment well. Very descriptive.


  5. ~Julia says:

    What a great capture of a ‘wretched’ that is so common. Sometimes we need a reminder.


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