The cat’s in the cradle for Monica Brinkman’s Childhood Devotion

Childhood Devotion

by Monica Brinkman

My mom, Ginger Ann Williams was the envy of her friends. If you were painting a portrait of the perfect life, her face would grace the canvas.

I often heard the women whisper what a dashing image my father, Judge Earnest Williams, possessed with his long muscular physique, dark piercing eyes, and chiseled features. Of course, Mother complimented him well with her fair skin, green eyes and golden-red hair. Both relied on bicycling with family to keep their bodies fit and flexible. Every afternoon you’d see the familiar silhouettes of the Williams family; four bicycles cycling past the three-mile stretch of houses in suburbia USA.

Our home was a massive three-story gray stoned structure, complete with wrap-around porch and glass enclosed patio. The prize-winning gardens lavishly lush, a Brunswick green, speckled with colored plantings, were the product of Mother’s green thumb.

Lisa and I, Jeremy, are twins, though you would never know this from appearance. She took after Father, and me, cursed with the reddish toned hair and fair skin of Mother. How ironic it seemed for a young man to have features his thick raven-haired sister silently longed for, yet we were a striking pair.

Mother’s friends envied the eloquent, sweet, respectful and loving persona we presented. Lisa and I giggled with pride to hear the cackle of praise bestowed upon mother in raising such perfectly mannered children. Oh, how they wished their own would behave half as well.

They say twins possess a deep bond that no one may penetrate. Perhaps that is truth, for we treasured the time spent together in the shed. Lisa placing her hand around the mouth to muffle the cries, as I felt bloodied fur hit my face and life ebb from the little kitten’s body.

We shall obey you dear Mother and Father. We shall be the perfect children you badgered and beat us to become. We shall portray outward beauty.

In remembrance of each welted bruise, you, dear Mother, placed upon us, we secretly hold power over the weak and glorify within its grasp.

You taught us well.


Editor’s note: Meow that I have your attention, please remind your friends who intend to vote for you that all votes received thus far are DISQUALIFIED!.  The rules are that they must wait until ALL stories are posted(hopefully late Saturday or early Sunday) and then each person who did not enter the contest but wants to help select the winner must post comment on at least THREE stories, in order to earn TWO votes, and may not cast both votes for the same author. Please, do put your stories on FB and encourage your friends to vote for you, but to keep this from being based on your social standing with the media, your friends are required to be full participants as readers of other stories, and ONE of their votes is going to be for someone OTHER than you!

Oh, sometimes I long for the days when I was the sole judge and I could base my decisions solely on the merits of bribes proffered!

Kitties like tuna.  What about mermen?  Here is a peek again at the trophy:

Coming to an aquarium near you!  This trophy comes mounted on a black walnut base with the winner's name engraved.  Sure to make a splash.
Coming to an aquarium near you! This trophy comes mounted on a black walnut base with the winner’s name engraved. Sure to make a splash.




8 thoughts on “The cat’s in the cradle for Monica Brinkman’s Childhood Devotion

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    As a frutiless catwoman with her biological clock going off over 3 decades too late, I must protest such treatment of kittens; however as a writer, I must applaud the quality of both writing skill and storytelling here. “Childhood Devotion” is a false lightness and true darkness of what occurs in physical abuse and attempted control of children by for appearance sake by parents. Psychologists know that pets do become the victims of the youngest abused child(ren). Violence is learned and passed down from oldest to youngest, strongest to most vulnerable as the cycle of life. This is a must read beautifully written and set up for the last 10 percent crescendo of the truth beneath the surface.

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    Bill Clinton said, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” I love A Word With You Press staff and its participants as friends and/or colleagues; however I believe that judgment as in a court of law is best rendered when independently detached. I understand the business-side economic appeal of drawing in more participation, but as an author, I vowed to not participate for prize in this or future contests. In retrospect, my favorite judge was Kristine Rose Grant. I am pleased to offer my writing, grateful to be published here, but find personal comfort in never being judged or casting any vote. Peace.

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Monica, the reconstruction of Sugar Mountain is perfect backstory for the barn of horrors. The writing felt like you could have gone on in that story forever; the expose made all the more nightmarish.

  4. Kerry says:

    The story was moving along nicely, thought I’d find the twins having tea, talking about their futures! When BAM! All of a sudden we find them killing kittens! Very disturbing! Very well written if a bit dark and kudos to Monica for bringing horror to a door slamming end!

  5. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    So often onlookers see only what the abusive parent wants them to see. We marvel about how well behaved, how polite, how presentable, and all the while the child’s inner voice screams to be released and heard so the child might survive. Monica, as always, you touch the heart of the issue in your writing clarity. This was excellent!

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