Writing Prompt Winner: Adri Lemke


Prompt: Now that the snow was clearing, I could venture further out for food and supplies. With my bags full of loot and heavy on my back, I looked up and saw her standing there – STANDING! It sent shivers across my skin. “Momma, where’s your wheelchair?”

Photo and original prompt can be found here.

Adri’s story:

She stood, a silent sentry in the snow. Getting cold, I decided to bring my bags into the house to put everything away and prepare dinner. “Mama, are you coming in?” She nodded, following me in. “I don’t understand, mama,” I said while preparing our meager meal. “How did this happen?” I smiled, pleased that she had finally gotten her wish to be out of the wheelchair. “How did you get better?” In a breathy voice she answered, “I’m free. Nothing tethers me.” I felt my face twist in confusion and turned to examine her more closely. “Mama…” I began hesitantly. “The city masters came,” she continued in the same soft tone. “They set me free from my prison.” Tears gathered in my eyes, and I rushed to my mother’s normal sitting room. The room that gave her the best view of the barren streets around us. Gasping, my hand flew to cover my mouth in despair. “MAMA!” I heard myself scream. Turning to face away from the image of death in front of me, the walking, talking version of my mother gave me a sad smile. “I was a burden. Now you are free of me.” Shaking my head in denial, tears continued flowing. “You…you can’t leave!” Raising her hand toward me, her image flickered, like a glitch in a computer screen. The images around me disappeared and all I could see was black. A man’s voice echoed through the darkness, “This is what will happen if you don’t follow orders. Do as we say, and your mother will survive. Become our operative, and we may help your mother walk again. Don’t and…well…” The voice trailed off and, tears still falling down my face after the too real virtual simulation, I agreed.