Blameless

Prompt image for the Fandango's Flash Fiction prompt

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #139, where we write about the image below from Vivike@viviendorkaa.com.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

Emma was still in pyjamas and was helping herself to her cereal as dad Trevor came into the kitchen armed with an empty coffee cup. Placing the cup at the edge of the sink, he bade farewell.

“I’m going to work now Emma, so you make sure you have a lovely day at school. And I’ll see you when I get home tonight.”

He had already begun to leave the kitchen when the girl responded, “goodbye daddy, I’ll see you tonight.”

Trevor regarded himself in the hallway mirror before leaving. Straightening his paisley tie, he reminded, “Oh, and remember what we talked about last night. If Dodi comes along after school and wants you to go out to play, you’re to say ‘No’, right? He’s a very naughty boy and all that happens is that *you* end up in trouble.”

“I’ll tell him, daddy, but he said he would probably not come around today.”

Dad rolled his eyes. “Well, anyway, just remember. Goodbye sweetheart”, parted Trevor, as he left the house.

The sound of the closing door attracted Lisa, Emma’s mum, who appeared in the hallway in her dressing gown. Unconsciously tapping down the peeling cream wallpaper, she announced, “Hi Emma. Put the kettle on, there’s a good girl.” Lisa had never been able to function until she’d had her first cup of tea. She tutted as a strand of her long, dark hair fell in front of her eyes. For now, she brushed it over her ear, but made a note that she would have to fix it properly, later, before she left the house to drop Emma at school.


After school, Lisa was surprised when Emma asked if she could prepare a treat for everybody’s supper, and that she needed to work on her own, in the kitchen. With trepidation, Lisa agreed, but with the door still shut thirty minutes later, curiosity overcame her, and Lisa pushed her head around the door.

She could not believe the sight. The kitchen plant-pots were all piled empty in the sink, and a trail of soil led from there, to the oven. Lisa could see that the child had turned the oven on and seemed to be baking something.

“What on earth are you doing, Emma? Why is all that soil everywhere?”

“We’re baking mud pies, mummy. Dodi came and he says we should eat them for supper!”

“STOP!!!”, screeched Lisa at the top of her voice, before thinking clearly and dashing to turn the oven off. “Right, young lady… No more about Dodi, okay? We don’t buy it!” With tears in her eyes, she examined the flowers, now lying by the side of the sink, more closely. She shook her head. “Ruined. Look at what you’ve done!”

“But Dodi said…”

“Fuck Dodi!”, Lisa interrupted, exasperated. Emma was shocked at mum’s swearing, but she had really lost her temper this time.

“You’re not to mention that bastard’s name ever again, do you understand?” Lisa continued. “Now, clean this kitchen until it is spotless. Like as if you had never been here. Right? And then, get to your room. You can miss supper tonight, and you’d better hope that I’ve calmed down before dad gets home!” Lisa slammed the door as she tore out of the room.

With tears of her own, Emma turned toward the worktop, and sniffed. “Don’t worry, Dodi, she doesn’t mean it.”

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

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