The tyrant


© Sarah Lipoff 2011

*This is a short piece in response to a Red Dress Club writing prompt:

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn’t have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece – as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there’s a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.


I’m happy there’s a routine around here and she’s willing to follow my plan and do what I say. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s what she’s here for. She has no other choice.

Just this morning, when I finally ventured outside and the sun was so bright that it almost knocked me down, she made it seem like I needed someone to hold my hand. The sun was just really bright and when you’re stuck inside for so long, the brightness is almost physical. I slapped at her hand, and when she reached out for me again, I slapped at it harder, which resulted in her finally leaving me alone.

It was bliss walking in the sun feeling the heat burn through my skin. I wanted to wallow in the warmth for hours and hours lusciously enjoying everything it had to offer. I waved my hands in the glow, moved my feet slowly, and let my hair feel the soft breeze. But, I wasn’t moving fast enough. Just like her, always in a rush. She prodded me from behind and I turned and gave her a look. I knew where we were going and we had more than enough time. We were still on schedule.

Quietly, I tried explaining things were just fine. My goal wasn’t to cause problems, just to get a few special moments with her. I wasn’t trying to be deceptive, only for her to take a couple of minutes to enjoy and relax with me.

I suddenly felt horrid for slapping at her hand earlier and desperately reached for her. But her face was set and she wouldn’t look at me. I sulked, too.

The garden was lovely and we both went to our corners to do things. I so enjoy pruning the plants and tending to the fresh flowers. After carefully inspecting each one, I picked a few to share with her as a way to show my true love. But, just when I was ready to turn and offer my bouquet, I was shuffled into the shade and my flowers thrown to the ground. The shade offers no warmth, just shadows. It wasn’t time yet and I was frustrated that she had disregarded my flowers with anger.

Where had she run off to? Now when I needed her, she’d gone of and left me huddled in this cold corner all by myself. I was bored and alone, and I was thirsty.


It just so happened that in the shady little corner where I had been left and forgotten there was a large puddle from all that torrential rain. It looked so soothing and cool, and would taste and feel so good on this warm afternoon. I quickly used my hands to drink and drink and drink not caring if my clothes were soaked through or my body dirtied. I was thirsty. It was as simple as that.

With tremendous force I was lifted in the air and twisted violently. Surprised, I let out a shocked wail. Within moments she had whipped off my clothes leaving me naked and shivering. I was embarrassed. I was cold. I was scared. There was no reason for her to treat me like that. I simply had wanted a drink and she hadn’t been there.

She hadn’t been there. She hadn’t followed the schedule.

The thought made me howl and wail, and then howl and wail more.

What would I do if there were a time she wasn’t there, when she would never be there?

To hell with the schedule.

I want a hug.




7 thoughts on “The tyrant

  1. This was heartbreaking. It was even more powerful from the viewpoint of the child. The part about her slapping the hand away and then wanting to hold it, was just like a child. I have had my own kids do that. This post just makes me want to run over and give them all a huge hug. This was written well!

  2. Through the eyes of children…if we only looked more often.

    You did a great job of making me feel like the child. The ending was excellent. I could almost feel the hands pulling me up from the water in horror.

    Oddly, it brought back a memory of mine. I must have been about two? Anyway, my best buddy was our dog. I crawled on the floor after her every place she went. Fortunately, she was a sweet dog!

    One day, my parents found me eating the food out of her bowl. After that I didn’t get to be around the dog very much anymore. I think my parents decided I needed to be better socialized in human activities:~)

    Anyway, I did enjoy this story very much!

  3. Oh, this was so sad. I liked how it wasn’t one-dimensional. The child thought or pretended she was in control at first and then gradually you realized that she was not. I’m not sure about the last two lines. They seem to come from a different voice, unlike the child. But they are very powerful as well so I am on the fence.

  4. Wow. I had to read it twice because at first I thought it might be written through the POV of an elderly person in a nursing home. It really does make you think about what is going through a small child’s brain. The words used seemed a little old for a child but they did a good job of really letting you grasp his feelings so i’m not sure if I would change them. I think this was really,really good.

  5. Mrs. Gibbs would be so proud of you. She always said that you were a wonderful creative writer. 🙂 And I, too, am so proud of you. This was so well written. Please do more writing like this.

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