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06 July 2010

WAG #29: Habits

This week's WAG (Writing Adventure Group) #29 is about Habits.  Here is my entry:

Sterling nervously played with her hair, twisting and untwisting a single brown ringlet with her tiny fingers. Her other hand found her mouth, thumb popping inside, calming her instantly. She was anxious, it being the first time she met him. Him, with his handsome jaw line, onyx eyes, and intimidating shoulders. Him, serious and unforgiving. Him, her father. She smoothed her pink ruffles, making sure she looked perfect for him.

“Stop twirling your hair like that, you’ll pull it all out. And get that thumb out of your mouth, you’re not a child.” Sterling’s mother, Jewell, was abrasive with her daughter, telling herself always it was to toughen her up. “Living without a father will surely make her soft,” Jewell thought. “It’s up to me to make her strong.”

Sterling tried to sit still, tried not to fuss with her hair or suck her thumb. Her anxiety got the best of her as soon as her mother left the room again. Madly twirling her hair and sucking her thumb, she thought of her father. “Will he like me? Will he hug me? Do I have to call him ‘dad’?”

“What did I say about those habits! Quit right this moment!” Jewell caught Sterling and swatted her daughter’s hands away from her face. A single tear ran down her cheek, just as he sauntered in.

“Oh calm down Jewell. She’s just a kid.” And then he smiled - at her.



  1. I love it, but then I always wanted my kids to feel comforted--hair twirling, quilt wrapped around an arm, thumb sucking--welcome here.

    You really nailed it; clear details, physical & psychological. Nice job.

  2. Really clear characterisation, great piece.



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