Lunchbreak Drabble
The CBB -> St Hild's Sitting Room

#1: Lunchbreak Drabble Author: GemLocation: Saltash/Aberystwyth PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:57 pm

Okay, this is a Lunchbreak Drabble - but I'm VERY unsure about posting this Confused I'd planned on making something similar into a longer drabble a few months ago, but decided against it in the end. The ideas behind it are quite similar to LizB's "Unwanted", but are quite extreme, so be warned! The song used is from The Calling's "Somebody Out There". Thanks to aitchemelle and Cath for beta-ing!

Lunchbreak Drabble #2

Well the scene begins, a little girl is crying
And the light in the hallway is dim
And she sits right back, thinks of the reason
Why nothing will fall into place
She gets more and more curious with every day
More furious in every way
And she screams out loud
“Why’s it happening to me?”
And the answer is “it’s meant to be…”

She’s so young.

So, so young. An angelic face, framed by golden curls, and blue eyes spark with life not yet repressed. Those who see her, those who know what happens, pray that they will never see the day when those eyes are dim, tired, flitting around the room in fear of what might happen next.

She’s just a little girl, and yet she’s an adult. She hides it well, amongst others. Why? Shame, perhaps. She’s had the same thing shouted at her day after day, month after month, year after year. “It’s your fault!” Maybe she even believes it, and so she hides her perceived failure. Yes, amongst children, she’s one of them, laughing, playing, trying so hard to fall into the innocent oblivion that she once so enjoyed. It might happen, one day, before it’s too late. After all, she’s still so young.

But it won’t happen whilst she lives in that house. If it can be called living.

Well she’s on her knees
And begging please
She wonders if there’s somebody out there
To make things wrong
To make things right
It might be
That there’s somebody out there

She has friends at school – friends who love her, who admire her childishly grown-up ways. Occasionally, she goes to their homes for tea, where she’s petted by adults who see what happens but pretend they don’t. She sees the truth and the shame in their eyes as they send her home, a piece of cake wrapped up in a kitchen towel, a kiss on the cheek from a sad mother. And she waits for the day when she can go again, when she can play to her heart’s delight in the garden, when she can scream and shout with glee and laughter. But she is alone once more, and she delves into memories hidden deep, of a time when she too had all that they enjoy, and more.

Madge Bettany knows everything that happens. She sees all. And soon, the day will come when she will, in her quiet and unobtrusive way, rescue her. She’ll take her away, to a place where childishness and responsibility are encouraged as one. And one day, the time will come when she’ll hold that little girl, now a grown woman, in her arms. And she’ll say “It’s not your fault. You are a wonderful, beautiful person, and I cherish you.”

There’s times that she’ll hate you
There’s times that she’ll thank you
And hope that you might understand
It gets hard down here
So many things to fear
But it’s all just a sign that you’re near

That, though, is in the future. Now, Madge Bettany is only talking to her brother about her plans, laughing excitedly with her younger sister. And all the while she’s thinking of the little girl she needs to love.


#2:  Author: LizBLocation: Oxon, England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:07 pm

Gem that was so beautiful Crying or Very sad




#3:  Author: patmacLocation: Yorkshire England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:03 pm

Thank you Gem. That was lovely but so sad.


#4:  Author: NellLocation: London, England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:07 pm

Thank you Gem. Beautiful and sad. So glad Madge was there.


#5:  Author: KatLocation: Swansea PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:08 pm

Was that Grizel?

Twas very touching Gems, thank you Smile


#6:  Author: GemLocation: Saltash/Aberystwyth PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:41 pm

Yes, it was - sorry hon! Probably should have said that... Embarassed


#7:  Author: PatLocation: Doncaster PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:47 pm

That was wonderful, and so poignant. thanks Gem.


#8:  Author: aitchemelleLocation: West Sussex PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:59 pm

yay gem *trying not to gloat* told you it was great... has got me reading unwanted now - have written off today (again) as far as being constructive goes!


#9:  Author: VikkiLocation: Sitting on an iceberg, freezing to death!!! PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:59 pm

Thank you Gemmy!!
That was beautiful!


#10:  Author: Amanda MLocation: Wakefield PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:02 pm

Thanks Gem - that was so sad and poignant, but wonderfully written. Poor Grizel Sad

Star Wars


#11:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:11 pm

Thank you Gem - feel so sorry for Grizel - and it's so true that others knew but did nothing. Crying or Very sad


#12:  Author: AnnLocation: Newcastle upon Tyne, England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:38 pm

Thanks Gem. It doesn't bear thinking what might have happened if it weren't for Madge.


#13:  Author: DonnaLocation: Liverpool PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:32 pm

Oh Gem, that was so sad - but beautifully written. Thank you.


#14:  Author: nikkieLocation: Cumbria PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 7:48 pm

Poor Grizel Crying or Very sad at least we know it turns out well eventually Smile


#15:  Author: JackieJLocation: Kingston upon Hull PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:43 pm

That was lovely, Gem.




#16:  Author: Carolyn PLocation: Lancaster, England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 8:45 pm

That was beautiful Gem. I am so glad that you included
And one day, the time will come when she’ll hold that little girl, now a grown woman, in her arms. And she’ll say “It’s not your fault. You are a wonderful, beautiful person, and I cherish you.”

That was the moment that made me gulp, and yet is the moment you see the hope.

Thank you for posting this.


#17:  Author: Helen PLocation: Cheshire PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:38 pm

What Carolyn said Very Happy

Thankyou Gem. That was wonderfully done and I'm really glad you posted it.


#18:  Author: AliceLocation: London, England PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:03 pm

That was lovely (not sure about the word...) Gem, thank you.


#19:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:00 pm

Wow Gem. That was incredible.


#20:  Author: AllyLocation: Jack Maynard's Dressing Room!! PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:19 am

*hugs Grizel* Thank you Gem.


#21:  Author: LucyLocation: Leeds PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:21 am

Amazing - thanks for posting this.

This post and LizB's unwanted have completely changed my perceptions of Grizel - never thought I'd feel so much sympathy for her. I was re-reading Carloa the other night and got quite cross when Nell was impatient with her!! That would never have happened previously!!


#22:  Author: SophoifeLocation: down under Down Under PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:14 pm

(wish I knew where that crying buckets "smiley" had gone!)

this was very powerful...worst bit was others seeing but not doing - and that was the times - not like she was from a Poor Home, she was from a Good Home and materially had everything she needed, which was why ppl wouldn't have interfered...


#23:  Author: LyanneLocation: Ipswich, England PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:10 pm

But what could they have done, at that time? What would you do now, if you saw a child in Grizel's position?


#24:  Author: NicolaLocation: Derbyshire PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:14 am

But what could they have done, at that time? What would you do now, if you saw a child in Grizel's position?

Don't ask- makes me think of a family I know. Both parents very successful professionals, earning a bomb, kids are left in the care of a succession of au pairs of varying capabilities. When they get a good one, everything improves, the last few months they have one who is obviously not happy, and the kids are not either. They all have these closed empty faces, which are horrible to see. Also nits, no warm coats, no PE kits- scarcely credible when you see their parents driving around in matching Range Rovers.

The little girl in my daughter's class is so lovely and desperate for adult attention. We have a little chat every morning, but they are never allowed out for tea with friends.

Ample illustration (if one was needed) that money can't buy you love or happiness. But what should one do?

Sorry, that was nothing to do with your fantastic drabble Gem (I loved it, thank you), just something that was on my mind.


#25:  Author: AnnLocation: Newcastle upon Tyne, England PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:21 pm

Nicola, have you thought about contacting Social Services? I know it seems rather drastic and interferring but you wouldn't have to 'report' it as such, you could just let them know that you have some concerns about these children. They may or may not follow it up but at least you'd know that you'd done what you could. It might just be that the parents need someone from outside the family to point out that their children aren't happy and aren't being looked after properly in order to spur them into doing something about it.

I'm sorry if I sound preachy - you've probably thought of it already anyway - but you did say it was on your mind and it was the only helpful thing I could think of.


#26:  Author: EmmaLocation: Lichfield/Sutton Coldfield PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:37 pm

Thanks Gem! Smile More huggles for Grizel.


#27:  Author: LyanneLocation: Ipswich, England PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:43 pm

Thank you Ann. Does anyone know how helpful Social Services are likely to be in situations like these?


#28:  Author: StephLocation: Blackpool, Lancashire PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:28 pm

Wow Gem. Thank you for that it was beautifully written.


#29:  Author: RroseSelavyLocation: Oxford, UK PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:53 pm

Thanks Gem - that was fantastic. Poor Grizel!

It really makes you wonder why some people have kids... as a trendy accessory, maybe?? Hmm, Nicola, have you tried getting the little girl round on the pretext of e.g. a shared school project with your daughter, or are they too young for that?

As for social services (or maybe speaking to their teachers), if it's the case that the parents just have no idea how to look after children, rather than wilfully neglecting them, then they might just need a prod in the right direction from someone experienced, so it may help. But there is the risk of just making the parents angry.


#30:  Author: catherineLocation: Newcastle upon Tyne PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:22 pm

How helpful Social Services are would depend on whether they felt the information received was enough to act upon and if they did follow it up, what they saw when they visited the children. They would need to know what the professionals dealing with the kids on an every day basis (i.e. teachers/doctors/Health Visitors/School Health Advisors) felt about the situation. It does sound as though you are right to be concerned, Nicola and if Social Services do get involved it could be a good thing - the kids wouldn't necessarily be taken into care as Social Workers work with the parents to try to resolve situations first and it may be they could point the parents in the right direction for getting help with the kids. You can ask to remain anonymous and the parents wouldn't know who had made the report.

Have you thought about broaching it with the School? You could approach it along the lines of your daughter having mentioned it to you and seemed quite upset because the child seemed unhappy. They may have already tackled the subject with the parents/Social Services and if not, would be in a better position to do so than you - it would carry more weight and there are procedures in place for that sort of thing.

Gem - that was beautiful - never say you're not talented!!!


#31:  Author: NicciLocation: UK PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 2:11 pm

Gem, that was incredible. So true, so sad, so haunting.


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