Thursday, 19 August 2021


WEP 2021 Continues the Artistic Inspiration- FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Sign up here

In the beginning

Her eyes shot open and slowly things began to come in to focus.  She was aware of moving shapes above her head slowly twirling and glinting as sunlight started to stream in through a net curtained window.

She moved her arms and flexed her fingers in front of her face and gave a little murmur as she tried kicking her legs out from underneath covers that wrapped around her.

Her head turned and she glimpsed the cream-coloured bars.  She reached out her hand to grab on to the wooden pole, grunting and groaning, she pulled her weight across the softness she was lying on, using her left hand to steady herself.

Gradually she managed to move in to a crouching position. As her strength grew, her muscles responding, she stretched further forwards - up into a standing position.

She began to pull against the bars that had kept her enclosed all night. she opened her mouth and started calling out.

‘Mmmm, mmmm.’

The door swung open, standing in the threshold she saw a huge, shadowy figure advancing quickly towards her. She stretched out her arms, jumping up and down in eager anticipation.

‘Mum, mum, mum!’

‘It’s about time you learnt to say Daddy,’ the loving voice said picking her up enveloping her against his strong body.

She smiled sweetly.

‘Da, da, dad, dad!’


 Years later:




I love you, he said

I love you too, she replied

So, let’s do it, he said

But why? she said

Because I want to, he said

I want to wait, she said

Then you don't love me, he said

I do love you, she said


Then you’d let me, he huffed

But I’m only 15, she said

But you’re old enough, he said


No, she said.

Yes, he said.

No, she said.

Come on, he said.

You know you want to.

No, I don't.


Then you don't love me, he said.

Yes, I do, she said.

Then come on, let me, let me, let me.



Yes, yes, yes.


No, no, no, please no.






You must - you can't lead me on like this.

I didn’t.

You did.  I can't stop.

Please stop.

I love you.

Please, please stop.

Oh dear God, please stop.



Stop, stop, stop.


Why are you crying?

Please stop crying.

What did I do that was so wrong?

OK I’ll take you home now.

See you.

Word count: 406



  1. Wow - what a heart punch! You pulled me in so many directions. We wish they all could stay sweet and innocent. The latter part is heartbreaking and far too common. Well written

  2. Hi Sally - what an amazing piece of writing ... so well done - and as Jemi says ... desperately sadly so true, often more forcefully I'd expect too. Well done - you've rumpled my heart-thoughts ... Regards Hilary

  3. I've no words that could say it better than Jemi or Hilary. Except to repeat - WOW - what a heart punch!
    Well done!

  4. This was splendid. You brought it out terrifically well.
    -Sonia from

  5. A strong and thoughtful story.

  6. Wow, Sally...that poem. Cut right to the heart of the 'he said' 'she said' defence. Oh I feel for her in the aftermath of this done to her against her will. 'See you.' So casual.

  7. Just beyond gut wrenching! Both parts done masterfully with such economy of words. The poem was particularly hard hitting and cuts to the core. Brilliant job!

  8. Sally - this is brilliant. The juxtaposition of the two experiences had me gasping. I was already smitten by the first half and loved the unspoken reference to freedom of speech. The second half was stifling in its honesty.

  9. After reading this twice, I saw a little girl growing up loving her dad and her daddy using perverse love to win her trust. Then in the second poem I saw him finally taking her at fifteen. It was a very sad story for many fifteen year old girls and younger go through such an experience.
    Shalom aleichem

    1. Oh, that wasn't what I had in mind, rather that she grew up with a loving family, a protective, loving and respectful father figure but then was let down when not all men show her the same respect. I can see why you might have seen something I didn't though now you have mentioned it.

  10. This really spoke to so many feelings. The first half is sweet and adorable, a little girl reaching out for her daddy. Sweet innocence. Then to see what happened to her at 15. She did everything she could to say no, but he wouldn't listen. I'm heartbroken for her.

    Well done!

  11. Gut wrenching.
    The "Because I want to, he said
    I want to wait, she said"
    really hit home for me. Then the flippant "See you" at the end! Talk about freedom of speech - I'm speechless at this take on the prompt. Well done.

  12. Terribly anxious rendering of what should be a simple NO, but is heard as a yes …. with the consequences attached… We’ll done Sally.

  13. 😢😤
    Very powerful and distressing. The speech is free, but unheard by such villains.

  14. The beginning was came to an unexpected end, before switching to tense future as the consequences of begin. Well done.

  15. Such terrible darkness.
    It would be so nice to live in a world where we all read this and had no idea what was happening. Yet, here we are, just these few words, and we all know exactly what's going on. It's that common.
    It shouldn't be.