55 Words: Stories of Us

“Deliverance” Watercolor on paper. Copyright 2012 Totsymae

She Said I Do

Couldn’t love him through the pain of hating himself and continue packing flesh-colored powder around the black and blues of what used to be a beautiful face. Laura stuffed  grocery bags and rushed to the boys’ bedroom, where dry splatters of blood stained their walls from last week. Then, headlights came beaming through the window.

Her Last Thoughts

Never planned to lay dying at forty. Projects waited for her to complete them. She wondered if Clara, her only friend, had washed the dinner plates in the sink from days before. While the monster ate at her last breast, she imagined her last drink of wine, the glass rim stained with signature maroon lipstick.

The Choice

They paraded outside with signs, bantering with a sense of rage that she was vile for cutting the cord to life inside her. Noma wept inside and out, thinking of the baby that her step-father planted inside to swell up her thoughts, while her mother sat with folded arms and anger etched across her face.

44 thoughts on “55 Words: Stories of Us

  1. These are all so compelling and so heart-breaking. I know these are stories that can be told over and over (just substitute the names), but aren’t there happier stories, too? What is it about writing that draws us to the pain?


  2. OMG Totsy… this stopped me dead in my tracks. So moving, both the painting and the words. You are one inspired, creative wise woman. xoxo


  3. Like a bitter stew that has been boiled and distilled down to the smallest volume possible, the remaining broth is powerful, leaving quite an impressionable taste. Very powerful and stunning, Totsy.


  4. Wise to keep the colors restricted yet varied in tone. Think unrelated colors would ruin the flow and detract. Re story it is for women to commensurate and comment here but this male understands.


    • I think of the women here and feel more pity for them than I do for us, actually. I can only say so much about the last story and what happens here, you know. I look at them and I keep thinking “trapped.” There’s little, if any way, to get out of it.


      • Your sadness, is mine too. I do not know why humans do as they do. But always in what happens, is the challenge to overcome and find ‘your life’. So with every damage is the opportunity of repair, regrowth and strengthening. Thank you so much for your comment 🙂


  5. First of all, Tots, you probably remember that I sometimes get blocked by institutional firewalls from directly interfacing on any article with the syllable “butt-” in its title. I really enjoyed reading the post, however, by clicking on your blog title and reading it as it appears in sequence with your other posts. If I were you, I would be imagining LOTS of folks naked under all those robes over there. What does this tell us about the law of physics applying here; you know, the one that mentions “equal and opposite effects resulting from equala and opposite forces”, etc.,etc. I would also be doing a LOT of sitting around eating, also!
    Now, for this post here:Three very excellent 55 word stories expressing great pain in life and what it takes to “overcome”. The first and last story really reminded me of so many posts from blogging friends last month in April to honor Child Abuse Awareness Month and Violence Against Women Month. You accomplished several volumes’ worth in each of those 55 word stories.


  6. Totsy, no one delivers a punch like you do! Powerful stuff, lady. And this watercolor! Oh my goodness, it takes my breath away. You’ve captured her expression perfectly.


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