They knocked on her door.

She let them in.

Little eyes peering through the crack, they knew what was in there.

All four feet of its ghastly ugliness, screaming when’s the next trash day?

Ribbons of sea water blue twisted with dingy pale and streaks of salmon. Together with eyes of, well, of a gigantic fish, they tangled in a symphony of ugly.

Piled among twisted clothes and crumpled papers, its short life had been spent flopped under fifteen year old feet.

Without reel or bait, they were heading in for the catch.

Young minds unphased by the world between them, the years, the path of development, the ease of play.

They just wanted the fish.

As they hooked it, I caught my breathe at my throat. It was their sister’s favorite.

Would she let it go or let them in?

At the sound of their attack she spun from her laptop.

The smile began.

Laughter burst from her as they sprang. She wrapped her hands around a silky fin and pulled her brother and sister atop that stuffed monstrosity to squeals of delight.

A giggling symphony streaked new shine to the floor.

I danced along behind, the wonders of play contagious.

My heart floated as ages and autism fell away.

They knocked on her door.

She let them in.

This piece is in response to the Red Dress Club prompt:

Write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly – and find the beauty in it.

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  1. says

    I was, admittedly, a little uncertain what sort of a fish we were talking about, with knocking doors and little eyes, but I was definitely compelled to find out.

    What a treat to reveal the way you did–all the little ones coming for your eldest and her fish, and your obvious pleasure with the success of their “mission” just shines through. I went back for a reread just to feel that rush of maternal joy again.
    CDG recently posted..What Happened

  2. says

    Awwwwwww! This was so cute! When I first read it I was all grossed out thinking they were out fishing for real fish. I love the way you did this! Here from TRDC (duh!)!
    Amy (The_BMG) recently posted..Scarred

  3. says

    I love the repetition of those important lines, few words with so much meaning.

    Oh how I cherish those moments when it’s an absolute privilege to be a witness. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’ll be smiling for quite a while.
    Ash recently posted..“Smashing Success”

  4. says

    What a perfect moment of blessed childhood freedom.

    “My heart floated as ages and autism fell away.

    They knocked on her door.

    She let them in.”

    Are absolutely beautiful lines.
    Jennifer recently posted..Caught in Amber

  5. says

    FANTASTIC post. I love it. I thought they were on the water or something. I was like, ew, fish. And then I followed and followed and laughed and towards the end I teared up a bit. Great words, great picture, wonderful story.
    Andrea recently posted..The Beast

  6. says

    “All four feet of its ghastly ugliness, screaming when’s the next trash day?”
    Absolutely perfect. Hooked! We are all hooked on you that’s for sure.
    Yuliya recently posted..Speechless

  7. says

    Oh sweet friend! I was already smiling when I saw that this was your post in the link up- and I kept it throughout. Hooray for answered knocks, hooray for our beautiful children! Great job! XO

  8. says

    This is just amazing. I’ve read it three or four times now and I can’t get over how well you conveyed your relief that she “let them in”. I felt that same relief.

  9. says

    this was BRILLIANT. Wow. So good. I love the imagery and the ending…I love the moment when my children “play together’ instead of against of each other. :)

  10. says

    It’s so true, there is so much joy in children’s play if we take the time to see it. I enjoyed your writing and am joining to follow your site.
    Kim recently posted..Act One

  11. says

    I LOVED this! You did a wonderful job. I also read it twice, not because I didn’t get it, but because I enjoyed it so. And, yes, the picture was perfect. Well done.

  12. says

    Loved this! And I love the photo; I had to go back and re-read it after seeing it, just to see how my perception of it changed. Nice touch.
    Lizz recently posted..I Will