The Prompt (from sarahselecky.com): Write a story that starts with something that you find on a walk today. Pick the thing up and bring it home. Write from it.
Note: What we found was the blank puzzle piece in the image above (image by my wonderful husband Ben).
Pieces of Me
Jack was the big bad wolf.
He wore an evil grin that showed off his small, square teeth. He had a shaggy head full of dark hair and he drooled as he crawled on all fours across the carpet towards us. Whenever he came near we held our breath.
I lay the blame entirely on Jack. You could see the maliciousness in his eyes as he scanned the room looking for something to huff and puff and blow down.
Jack was nothing like Jill. Jill was precious and contemplative and took great care with my family. Jill was our protector and she fought to maintain balance and order in our lives.
Before the wolf flayed me and left me for dead, my family and I were inseparable. They were pieces of me. We lived together in harmony and shared everything. We would have the greatest conversations in those serene days of our youth. We would talk about Jill and art and beauty and what it meant to be a part of a larger whole. When I was with them, I was always part of something bigger.
We were a masterpiece, my family and I. We were beloved and cared for by our angel Jill. We would spend hours by the window listening to the birds sing in the apple tree and catching shafts of sunlight as they fell upon us in angular expressions. It was quiet and peaceful then, before the wolf.
We had plenty of warning. For almost a year before the wolf arrived we would hear Jill whisper about him, but how could we have known? She made him sound so wonderful. We knew Jill was lonely, she didn’t have a family as close as ours. She had no one to be connected with, not truly. In the dark of the night, when Jill was asleep, my brothers and sisters and I would chatter excitedly. We were happy for Jill.
They looked nothing alike, Jack and Jill. Not like my family, who were so obviously cut from the same cloth. Jill was a beautiful, glowing child with deep emerald eyes that she described as ‘grass green’. Jack was a monster of unimaginable horror.
I still remember the day the wolf arrived. My sister and I were napping together on a clear afternoon when we awoke to a shuffling and grunting that was most unusual. I admit I was terrified even before I caught sight of the awful creature who was to bring about my undoing. I smelled him first, a sweet, rank odor that filled me with some sort of premonitory dread. The day had been so perfect and I was so drowsy that I prayed I was hallucinating when Jack’s mud brown eyes fell upon me. I wanted to shriek in alarm but that would only have served to upset my lovely family and that just wouldn’t do, so I remained silent and tried to be invisible. The wolf’s drooling muzzle was coming dangerously close to me when I heard the unforgettable sound of Jill’s perfect voice. Crisp and clear it called the wolf off of his attack. Although in retrospect the damage was already done. I have it on good authority that once a big bad wolf has caught your scent, you are entirely doomed.
It was not too many days later when the wolf came again. Jill did her best, she really did. She scolded Jack whenever he came near, she even made a sign for the door announcing that Jack wasn’t allowed in, but to no avail. I don’t blame her, it wasn’t her fault. She simply couldn’t protect us every hour of every day. The wolf tore my skin off before taking me in his damp and reeking mouth. I am not sure how far we travelled into the world before he spit me out unceremoniously and left me on the cold streets, lost and alone.
The worst part was not the loss of my skin, that’s only a part of me, it’s not everything. I could have lived happily without my skin. Jill would have taken care of me, perhaps she would even have done some sort of cosmetic surgery to help me regain my natural colour. No it wasn’t the loss of my surface layers that mattered, but the gaping hole in my heart that my brothers and sisters used to fill. Without them by my side I am incomplete. Without the pieces of me, I no longer know who I am. I am no longer anything at all.
Jack was the big bad wolf.
He huffed and he puffed and he blew my house down.