She doesn’t know them

by | May 7, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 6 comments

Here’s the next installment. It’s difficult to create connected segments, each of which stands alone. Perhaps in the editing process I can achieve this. It’s something to shoot for–just because.

She Doesn’t Know Them
By Laura McHale Holland

I sit on the bank, bare feet dangling in the bracing water, and I listen to the gurgles, always changing yet always the same, eternal. Though they lived far from here, sometimes I hear my ancestors’ voices in the wind, beside the river rocks, in the rustle of dogwood branches overhead.

It turns out the brown-eyed girl I thought was orphaned, the one I came to know between errands for the guy I thought was her dad, the girl I came to love, that girl, has a birth mother who never chose to give her up: a young mother who was locked in a basement and couldn’t search for her baby. She has a grandma and grandpa who have missed her too. It is their right to have her; she is their blood. But she doesn’t know them.

The social worker told me, “Stay away. Chloe is where she belongs now.” Chloe. The name suits her, though I liked to call her Pia because her eyes reach into the soul, like Edith Piaf’s songs playing on a foggy Sunday morning.

I see no path before me. So I wait at the river, seeking wisdom as the sun sets. I can see Chloe spurning her grandmother’s cookies, shrinking from her grandfather’s hugs while her mother, rescued just one week ago, is sedated in an upstairs bedroom where she was tucked in every night of her childhood. And the media, stationed at front and back doors, has the family under siege.


All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow:

Back pocket wishes

Cascading to the sea

Right through the heart

Away today?

A dime a dozen

She doesn’t know them

On the seat

A pillar of the community

He needs a friend

Double rainbow

The one he always wants to hear

Give it some time

It gives my life meaning


Extenuating circumstances

 The four of us

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  1. Eve Trout

    is the person sitting at the river bank the one who took Chloe? I want to know where Chloe is and why the social worker Carly her to stay away. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I can’t wait for the next installment.

  2. admin

    Thanks for the question, Eve The person on the river bank is the chauffeur who has been visiting Chloe (the little girl) and playing with her. I may need to rework it a little bit so that is clear. Chloe’s mom is Carly. Both of them were abducted, but the abductor kept Carly and dropped off Chloe, who was then a baby, at a hospital doorstep. The abductor was arrested and is in custody. Chloe and Carly are both with Carly’s parents now.

  3. Barbara Toboni

    I’m liking this story. Hope you can continue. It looks like the chauffeur has a special kinship with the Chloe and will be a major character? It’s fun to read a section at a time. It reminds me of old fashioned serial stories on the radio.

  4. admin

    Thanks, Barbara, for following this story as it unfolds! Yes, as I see it, the chauffeur is a central character. I’m not sure what’ll happen next, but I’ll find out soon because it’s already time to get to work on the next episode.

  5. Susan

    Hi Laura,

    Your writing provides intrigue and I’m totally looking for the next installment. : ) I want to sit with Eve and be able to “read” her mind. See you.

  6. admin

    Thank you, dear Susan, for this comment and for the other ways you support me. I have a few ideas brewing for the next episode and will get it posted tomorrow or Tursday.


  1. It gives my life meaning: flash fiction - [...] She doesn’t know them [...]
  2. Give it some time: flash fiction - [...] She doesn’t know them [...]
  3. Back pocket wishes - [...] She doesn’t know them [...]

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