(A-Z April Blogging Challenge…”Xenophobia” A Fictional Short Story)

It should have been another normal day, she thought as she tried to reposition herself. The restraints that confined her to the chair were getting uncomfortable. How long had she been there? She could hear people nearby. Why don’t they save me? Don’t they know I’m here? She tried to speak but she couldn’t, for some reason she could only utter garbled sounds from her mouth. She could smell something familiar to her. It smelt like sweet flowers from her garden. The smell brought her back to the last moment she could remember before waking up here.

She had just laid down in her bed, just about ready to fall asleep when she felt someone grab her. The stuck her in the back of a medium size van, restrained to a holding device. The van started and began to move quickly down the road and on to the main faraway. Although she couldn’t really see where they were going, from where they had put her down she could see the bright blue sky, white clouds and the occasional power-line go by the back windows of the van. She could also feel the sun beating down through the rear windows. It was the only comfort she felt during her ride to the unknown. Would it be the last time I would feel the sun?

The next thing she knew, she was being carried into a building. It was cold inside. Her eyes couldn’t focus because it was so dark, in contrast to the bright sun outside. When she could finally focus, she found herself strapped to the chair. She was facing a table and she could smell food close by. All of sudden, a sea of faces came towards her. They were talking to her but she couldn’t understand anything they were saying. What are they trying to tell me? Some of them were right in her face, some seemed to almost taunt her. She began to cry. I need to get out of here! She kept trying to get free from her prison but before she could even try, she felt someone grabbing her hands. She screamed as loud as she could, before she could even think…she was free. He had freed her from the chair!

“It’s okay…it’s okay…”

I know that voice. All of sudden, she felt herself being lifted up and out of the prison that had held her.

“It’s okay…it’s okay…don’t cry.”

So many scary, unfamiliar faces….so much noise! She started to scream again! This time she heard a sweet familiar voice…

“Happy first birthday, my sweet little girl. Happy birthday,” as the familiar touch of her mom comforted her while she clung to her daddy’s shoulder.

Xenophobia is defined as an irrational or unreasonable fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. In today’s world, it is used primarily to define fear towards a culture or group but when I looked for a way to use that word…my “out of the box” mind took it from the point of view of a child. Around the age of 16 months or sooner, all children go through “stranger fear.” That’s when anyone unfamiliar to them will cause them to shriek and cower in fear. Thinking back on my own children’s first birthdays, I tried to take it from their point of view and present it in story form here for this piece of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

I hope you found it amusing because it’s getting harder to be creative with the last few letters of the alphabet.



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