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Toxic Bullies

Microfiction

By Lindsay SfaraPublished 5 months ago 2 min read
Toxic Bullies
Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

She looked like me. Younger, brighter with love. Yet small and fragile. A child.

And she sat on the concrete near the playground, with her knees to her chest and her hands to her eyes; eyes wet with warm streams she failed to hide as she sobbed.

My heart broke. She got bullied once again.

As did I. Together we hurt.

I knelt down in front of her, my own salty pools welling in my eyes as I inspected her scraped knee.

“They did it again, didn’t they?” I asked, my shaky voice soft. My chest panged with a heavy grief that hunched me over.

All the child could do was choke through her emotion and nod. “I can’t do this anymore,” she squeaked.

We both couldn’t.

This was the last straw.

And yet, I didn’t know what to do next.

Uncertainty stammered my words. “Maybe we can talk to them. I know that never worked before, but maybe this time—”

The child arced her head up at me with a tiny face full of anguish that ripped my heart open. “Why can’t we go to another playground? Why can’t we just stop playing with them?”

Her cry stunned me.

The way a child questions the world with such black and white views always amazed me; and this question, filled with a logic so direct, yet overlooked by its simplicity, was no different.

Oh, how the world muddles perspective to gray as one ages.

Her bloodshot eyes, once warm with play, blinked at me as she waited for my response. But there was a hard lump stuck in my throat.

A rain of excuses stormed in my head, forming a nauseating puddle that coiled my stomach. It’s not that simple. They’re family. We can’t just walk away like that. There could be consequences.

Yet as I stared back at her, I knew she’d hate every single answer. After all, I did too. The world forces one to believe suffering is expected in life. That we simply live with “permanent” circumstances.

But she didn’t deserve this. Neither of us did.

This was the final punch thrown at us from the playground bullies. We both felt it at our core, and it was now up to me to finally put an end to it, no matter how difficult leaving would be.

Because doing the right thing matters most.

My hand took hers with a gentle grasp as I rose to my feet, inviting her to rise with me.

“You’re right,” I murmured, using my free arm to wipe my face. “We have better friends to play with. Ones that actually care about us.”

A smile twitched on her stained face. She blinked again, and I spotted a new light within. A light that I shared with her. A light that needed nurtured and protected so it always was bright. A light never to be bullied or snuffed out.

Together, we left the playground.

Stream of ConsciousnessPsychologicalMicrofictionLovefamily

About the Creator

Lindsay Sfara

I'm just a daydreaming nerd writing poetry and fiction about mental health.

Follow my novel journey and more: lindsaysfara.com

"Not all those who wander are lost" - J.R.R. Tolkien

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Excellent storytelling

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Comments (8)

  • Caroline Craven5 months ago

    Bullies are just cowards. I thought this story was great and I really loved your line: The world forces one to believe suffering is expected in life. I’m glad it had such a positive and optimistic ending. Great stuff.

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Oh my. This is beautiful and so raw in its honesty and wisdom. Well done.

  • Sandra Matos5 months ago

    This has such an important message. It is so hard to stop these cycles from repeating especially in families. Sometimes it takes a long time to finally listen to ourselves. This is a very hopeful read.

  • Hayley Matto5 months ago

    The mama and the child learned a lesson that day. 🤍 Beautiful work!!

  • "It’s not that simple. They’re family. We can’t just walk away like that. There could be consequences." This made my blood boil so much! Family or not, bullying should never be tolerated and walking away or cutting ties should be normalised! I'm just so glad they did that in the end!

  • I related to your story. I was bullied also

  • John Cox5 months ago

    From one who endured years of bullying, this story is both spot on and wise, Lindsay.

Lindsay SfaraWritten by Lindsay Sfara

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