Friday, January 22, 2010

Challenge 3: Harriet

“Sally! Lunch Time!” called Kelly. “Coming!” called a voice from the garden.
“Miriam! Lunch Time!” called Kelly. “Coming!” replied a voice from the library.
The final member of the household did not need calling. Harriet followed Kelly around, never letting Kelly out of her sight. Poor girl. Harriet was the eternal child. She did not speak, she just watched everything with a constant hint of fear in her eyes. Only Kelly knew why. And she wasn't ever gong to reveal that secret. No matter how often Dr Saunders tried to get her to. Dr Saunders owned the house the women lived in. The women took care of it, Sally cared for what she thought of as 'her' garden. Miriam did the same for 'her' library and Kelly and Harriet kept the rest of the house tidy. Dr Saunders worked long hours in town and had a flat there that he stayed in during the week, then he returned to them in the weekends. Kelly never really thought about why Dr Saunders had them living in his home, it was just the way they had always been. Kelly could not recall a time when there had not been the four of them in this house with Dr Saunder's weekend 'visits' for that was what they felt like, even though this was actually his home.

“Good afternoon Harriet. Do you feel like talking today?” Dr Saunders asked politely, as he did every time they had these conversations. He always only spoke to Harriet. Never the others. The others were always there with Harriet, protecting her. Harriet shook her head. “I have had a rather unusual letter that I wish to discuss with you.” Dr Saunders continued. “I have a letter from Harriet's father...” he began, all the women reacted immediately, blocking Harriet from the Dr and a new person stepped forward. “That bastard is not allowed anywhere near us.” Hissed the new girl fiercely. Her voice filled with fury and loathing for the man in question and Dr Saunders for any suggestion of him in front of them. Dr Saunders looked taken aback. “May I ask why?” he asked gently. All five women almost exploded in the pain and fear of Harriet, the child surrounded protectively by the other four. “You do not have to fear him here.” said the doctor carefully, “He does not know where you are, the letter was sent to my office in town.” said Dr Saunders comfortingly. “He cannot harm you.” he repeated. “But you could hurt him, if you tell me why you are afraid of him.” he added gently. “Mother...” the word seemed to be pulled from them as all five spoke the word at once. For just one instant all five were as they were supposed to be and Harriet was whole “He killed mother.” she said, then she was once again five with the child in the centre.

Wordcount: 500


  1. I'm not sure I quite managed to make it clear that there are only two people in this narrative...

  2. Ahh, I see - multiple personality. Mmm, that's tricky, especially when the POV person believes they are all there for real. I think you pulled it off, though it might be possible to tweak the ending a little to make it clearer. You don't have to though. I think it works.