Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:
Such a simple question. Such a difficult answer. I’ve been working with Child Services for over a dozen years and that question is sometimes the most difficult question to answer. What do you tell a child whose mother has been killed by the man she used to call Dad? What can you tell a child that will allow them to sleep at night, to trust people again, to feel loved, once more?
I used to think that telling the children the truth was the best thing. Then after a few times doing that I realized that the truth probably wasn’t the best answer. So I … lied? It wasn’t so much a lie as not exactly telling the truth. But that didn’t work either as the anxiety level in the child built up to such a point that no matter what you told them there was going to be a huge explosion.
Now? Now it’s a case by case basis. Some children are better able to handle the loss of a parent, or even the loss of two parents. The support network that they have with friends and family is vital in those situations and it keeps them grounded. Some children have no support and for those kids, well, for those kids it’s not so much a lie as a very slow telling of the truth.
“Mister,” said the little voice in front of me, “where’s my Mommy?”
I looked beyond the child at the crimson covering the walls of the bedroom in this two bedroom apartment and realized that there was no support network in place for this child. There were no relatives waiting in the hallway, no friends in the building who were able to help. Just me.
“Come on, Samantha, let’s go see if we can find her.”
Post a link to the story in the comments.