Washed up, in cleans pajamas and ready for bed, she prepared her room.

She lined her stuffed animals up under the bed; they were her faithful friends. Her lunchbox was filled with snacks and juice to last the night.

Suddenly hearing the car in the driveway, she grabbed her flashlight and scurried under the bed.

As the front door slammed, she heard the words, “I’m home.”

Story by: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Google Search

Linked to: 
Word Prompt: Home

47 thoughts on “"Home"

  1. The simple innocence of this photo illustrates the beautiful innocence of this endangered child as well, a terrifying tale told in just five sentences, leaving us praying that what is unsaid doesn't happen… but we know that for so many children it does. Very well written, Annie – unsettling, which is what it needs to be.


  2. I want to remain hopeful that this is actually a nightly ritual of hide and seek of the joyous sort….but I have a feeling that is not where the story is heading. But I do know I want to hear more!


  3. “Five Sentence Fiction” leaves a lot to the imagination. It is a challenge to write, and often to read. Much of it is based on or inspired by reality, by life. I am wondering what you think.


  4. Ann, we can't even imagine what some children goes through. I have shivers from reading this intro. It does happens all the time in secret. No need for any more words to pain the picture.
    Have a great weekend.


  5. I believe that it is important we acknowledge that such horrors exist in our world… and in our neighborhoods. Only then can we take a stand together against evil. I cried for this little girl, and for my grownup friends who carry the memories and bear the scars.


  6. It's interesting I read this story as both chilling and uplifting. After reading all the comments I'm still mixed about it. No matter which way it was intended, it's a well written story. Well done enough to really make everyone…think.

    Barbara @ allmylivesnow.com


  7. Oh I'll give you a happy ending 😉

    She heard his heavy boots thumping on the wooden stairs as he staggered up them one by one, heard the wood creak as he swayed this way and that, hauling on the bannister and slamming into the walls.

    Grabbing Mr Fluffy the rabbit and hugging him close to her chest, she curled up in a ball under the bed and listened, her body trembling, her heart in her mouth as he stumbled closer and closer to the top of the stairs.

    She tried to remember her mother, tried to picture her kind, smiling face, the face she had before all of those accidents…tried to imagine her mother telling her it would be alright, it would be over soon…

    She pictured his heavy work boots stomping up each stair of the rickety, creaking staircase, pictured his heel leaving the floorboard, his toe taking the pressure and pushing him up, up…

    Just then, she heard an almighty crash, heard him swear and shout, then, nothing; her grandmother had always said that old rotting staircase was a death trap.


  8. The ambiguity in this is really good. I'm going to take the optimistic approach and go with playful hide and seek, but your writing is so strong, the dark alternative is just as plausible.


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