The lost marble.

It was so small that she missed it during the morning clean-up, this remnant from the boys’ play.

‘Not in the house,’ she’d said. She had even told them why, but they were boys and they were young and matters of life and death did not affect them. They donned overstuffed backpacks and waved her off with a laugh.

With the boys at school, she could clean and be guaranteed that the house would stay clean until three. But still she did not see it.

She did not see it when she smoothed the bunny rug. She did not see it when she positioned the baby for tummy time. She did not see it when the kettle whistled for her to come.


When the doctor palmed the marble to her, she stared, all cried out, numbly considering the horror she had lived, the punishment she’d be meting out at three.

[Written in response to the “marble” prompt from: Ad Hoc Fiction, in October 2016. This piece was published on the website in early November 2016.

Also, if short-shorts are your thing, Ad Hoc Fiction runs a weekly contest that could win you free entry to the quarterly Bath Flash Fiction Award, which has a 300-word limit.]

3 Replies to “The lost marble.”

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