Dove_over_See-wallpaper-10857855 Marda Shaw was a nascent artist, sure of what she wanted to do in her life, but she had to get away from her mother who, for a very long time, had been demanding some replica of herself from the eighteen-year-old. That was the only way Marda could explain the woman's actions--the things she did trying to force her to write. But that wasn't going to happen; Marda didn't have the mental structure for domination, not even by her mother.

"I want you to be a novelist, maybe a journalist," Olivia prodded. "That's my dream for you."

"You can't dream for me!" Marda shouted, distressed, tired of the same caustic argument. Most of her life she'd sought refuge in her father Ben who'd given her whatever she needed on her path to becoming a brilliant artist, but he never took a stand against his dragooning wife.

"You can illustrate your own books," Olivia was unbending, lacking concern and respect for her child, nor the did agony she was causing matter. "I've sold flash fiction to popular consumer magazines. If you put forth the effort, you could do the same, and I'll help you all the way."

"I'm free to make my own choices; I can't deliver you from the anguish of your failures, Olivia!" She knew that her mother hadn't been successful as a writer.

"You'll write or you'll get out of my house!" Olivia shrieked, lunging for her daughter who'd called her by her name. Marda blocked the woman's flailing arms and pushed her away, hard; when Olivia fell back over the recliner, she ran out of the house, totally unprepared for what was happening. Marda ran like desperate friends and relatives had done long ago.

"You'll never be happy. Never!" Olivia, furious, rolled out of her sprawl toward the door, screaming her own agony into the darkness outside.

Marda ran two blocks down the street and scuttled into the park around the corner. She sank down on her favorite bench, sobbing, watching the water dance in the scintillating lights of the gray, stone fountain directly in front of her. In a short time, a door shimmering with cerulean light gradually appeared about ten yards ahead. Marda stared, but didn't move until Olivia crashed into the park behind her, shouting, "Come back, Marda. Come back! It's not too late. You can still be a writer!"

Marda dashed for the door to Freedom, and when it opened a tap bell jingled and she went through!

Exhausted and whimpering, Olivia leaned against the door. She knocked, but It didn't open for her, and the Light went out. "'ll pick up the pen and write you out of my life, she threatened!" Then she called out , "Is Leera in there?"

Marda didn't answer.

"I asked if your sister is in there?" The door vanished and Olivia soon left, languishing in her troubles all the way back to a startlingly dark house.

"What happened to the lights, Ben?" Olivia called out, fumbling through the house flipping switches. Ben was in the back yard.

"I turned the power off." He stood up, appearing taller, his body larger, a hazy light around his head. "I want you to be a grave digger," he said calmly, stepping away from the lounger, passing a shovel on to Olivia. "That's my dream."

"Not me," Olivia, trembling, stared wild-eyed at him, but she held her defense. "You can't dream for me, and if you don't understand that..." She was staring at the light around his head.

"You couldn't dream for Marda," he raised his voice, "and you couldn't dream for Leera."

"I thought I could."

"You couldn't dream for Morgan, either!" His voice echoed in the yard.

"I could have dreamed for Morgan," Olivia began to explain.

"Shut up!" Ben demanded, regretting that he'd never defended his children. "They all left because of you."

"That's not true. I was doing the right thing for them."

"Where are my children?"

"I don't know where they are," she answered disinterestedly. Why do you want me to dig a hole?"

"Dig!" Ben turned his head; the Light became brighter and shone momentarily on the ground markings for the hole.

"I'll call for help; you can't make a grave digger out of me!"

"Dig!' Ben roared again.

Olivia dug all night without a moment's rest or a helping hand, and before the sunlight appeared on the horizon, Ben Shaw who never parted his lips to speak to his wife again, lifted her into the dim light around his head and threw her into the dark hole.

Submitted by: Naimah on 06/10/2016

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