The Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee

By Emily.

WINNER, Wednesday Weekly #5 on Writer’s Carnival.

The stage boards creak; I shift my feet, spell the word I-N-V-I-S-I-B-L-E.


I remember to breathe. I search the crowd of proud parent faces. She still has time; she could show.

Sara-Louise spells her word, P-R-I-V-E-L-E-G-E, incorrect, even with new shoes and hair ribbon. I look down and see a cigarette burn in my skirt.

She said she’d come, she had only been a little drunk then. She could still see me; she still had time.

Next one is hard, A-P-P-E-R-C-E-P-T-I-O-N. I see a shadow sneaking in the back, trying not to disturb. I almost forget the second P because I can smell her dollar store perfume. She is here. She will see me win the bee.

I hold a blue ribbon in my hand, when the shadow steps onto the stage. The social worker wears the same perfume, coming to tell me I won’t see Mama no more.

Photo by Matt Gibson.

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