Thursday photo prompt – Child – #writephoto

Nursery Dreams:
written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto challenge.

Sandra had always wondered what lay behind the permanently locked door on the top floor of her grandmother’s Victorian house.
As far as she knew, no-one had ever been allowed access, not her mother or her aunt.
Now, the decorative key lay in her palm, which was clammy with anticipation and perhaps a little fear.

The key turned without issue or undue pressure, and the door opened on silent hinges to reveal the most wondrous sight.

The child’s nursery was spotlessly clean and tidy.
The blinds were modern and a contrast to the robin’s egg blue walls, but the carpet was threadbare where the rocking horse had been ridden over countless years.
The pull-along cart horse stood obediently by its side, no longer attached to its tasselled tartan rope.
The hand painted china faces of two dolls smiled through rosebud lips from the crib in the corner, completely separated from the Tudor design dolls house beneath a familiar picture.
Sandra recognised it from the black and white photograph on the parlour mantle, but this was in full colour, depicting her mother as a child.

She turned to see her framed in the doorway.
She was weeping quietly.
‘We were never allowed to play here,’ she said. ‘Father wouldn’t allow it, and if Mother went against his wishes, he’d beat her.’
Fondly she went over to the crib.
‘These dolls represent myself and your aunt. Towards the end of her life, your Grandmother would come here and talk to them, apologising for those terrible years and begging our forgiveness. She would sit on the rocking horse and tell them bedtime stories, going back in time to when we were babies and her dreams of us playing in this nursery.
Father sacked the Nanny and confiscated the key. By the time he died, we were grown with babes of our own, and Mother retreated into her dream world, playing by herself in this room. She found peace here, so we never intruded, never let on that we knew where she went in the middle of the night.’
She touched the rocking horse gently. It moved without a sound.
‘Even the horse kept her secret,’ she smiled.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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19 Responses to Thursday photo prompt – Child – #writephoto

  1. floridaborne says:

    A chronicle of life with a wife and child abuser when a woman had no recourse other than to be silent. In a divorce, the children always went to the father without question. So much guilt.

  2. Bernadette says:

    Such a wistfully sad tale. Yet it is suffused with love. Well done.

  3. Michael says:

    Beautifully told tale Di, one of your best I’d say..

  4. Pingback: Child by pensitivity #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely and poingnant, sad story.

  6. Ritu says:

    Oh my goodness.. how sad! And yet so believable. I always look as these older toys and wonder whether they were played with, and loved… your tale gives a glimpse of what could have been….

  7. A very poignant tale. Unfortunately, I could be true…

  8. Lyn Horner says:

    Sweet, sad story! Unfortunately, there are women and children who still live under the threat of a man’s cruelty, a man who should love them.

  9. Pingback: Photo prompt round up -Child #writephoto | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  10. Lorraine says:

    Well told tale of loss. Loss of childhood; loss of reality that comes with dementia. At least she was then at peace. My mother never found it.

  11. joyroses13 says:

    Wow! A heart stirring post!

  12. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:

    Every so often I go through my older posts to see how or if my style has changed.
    I came across this one, and feeling a little melancholy for some reason, thought I’d reblog it as it was one of my favourites of Sue’s challenges 2 years ago.

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