This here is my PROMPTuesday attempt, although for our purposes today, I am renaming it 'PROMPThursday', so that I don't have to face my own failure to be in any way prompt. San Diego Momma's suggestion was to write a story inspired by a back-to-school memory. This is all I remember of my first ever day at school:
It was her first day at school; her first day in her little checked uniform and shiny black shoes.
She was silent, dulled by anxiety that was almost fear. But she was four and preparations had been made; discussion and a picture book at kinder; a couple of short visits to the school. She understood, at least, the inevitability of it.
It was raining. She held her mother's hand as they walked the long wide driveway beside the church to the school behind.
She looked down as she walked. She always looked down. That was how she saw the moth - floundering in the puddle. Drowning. Dying. Life ebbing from its fat grey body even as its wings fluttered desperately for life.
She lifted it gently and walked carefully, with measured steps, under her mother's umbrella, her soft little hands warming the moth, giving it back its life.
Then as she walked, looking down, her eyes rested on the little creature and she knew her place and her reason for being here.
They arrived and waited awhile and then the herding and tagging began. The children were separated from their mothers and lined up. She was in Prep Red. Some of the children were crying or yelling. She was quiet. She looked down. A life rested in her hands.
Then she was pushed - hard - in the back. Her little moth was thrown from her hands onto the wet asphalt and as she staggered forward, her own foot, in its shiny new shoe, fell square upon her charge and ended its life in an instant.
Her wet, rasping sobs joined the chorus around her as she stood desolate with empty hands. The line was led away and she followed in her place, not looking back to see the little grey spot she had made on the pavement.
And so it went. A childhood filled with lesser heartbreaks; the little deaths that would yet prove ill preparation for the greater.