Fable For Mythology Class | Short Story

Fable: You Don’t Know Best When You Don’t Have the Whole Story

            There once was a young woman who swore she was the most correct in all things. If anyone had a different thought, she called them wrong. If anyone had a different way of doing things than her, she called them wrong and would rather see them bend to her way.

            One day, this woman was walking down a barren street when she came across an old, dirty child. It was clear the child had had no proper place to sleep, and had no food to eat, so dirtied and thin was he.

            Desiring to stop and help the child (for what other way would the child gain a life of prosperity?), she stopped just before him and stooped low so that she may talk with him.

            “Dear child,” she began smugly, deeming herself to know the boy’s answer before he would say it, “what heinous act of little care has brought you into the squalor like this?”

            The young boy merely opened his mouth and said, “My mother caused it.”

            Aghast at this answer, the young woman soon smiled and said, “Where is your mother? I wish to speak with her so that I may tell her the best way to reduce your poor condition.”

            “Talking to her won’t help, Miss,” the boy said, but she waved him off, and he pointed toward the inside of the old run down house the young woman just realized was there. Squaring her shoulders she went inside the house and was quickly overcome with a most horrible scent.

            As she stepped over dirtied, quite old furniture, and lamps that hadn’t been used or lit in what had to be centuries, she finally found the staircase where the terrible smell seemed to be exuding from.

            With one last glance to the dirtied boy at the door, she knew she had to assist him; it was only right, after all, and she stepped up the stairs, placing a hand over her mouth as the smell was the worst up here.

            Several doors loomed before her but she moved to one that remained open, sure that that was where the evil mother must have spent her time, ignoring her child, and leaving the house in such awful conditions.

            Once upon the threshold, staggered back, for the terrible smell was great here, so great she thought she would not be able to move forward, but her desire to give this woman a grand talking to remained strong at the front of her mind, so she stepped into the dim room where thick, old curtains hid the sun’s light.

            And as she turned upon the bed to find nothing there but unworn clothes and layers of dust, her eyes caught the thin hair cascading down the back of an old rocking chair.

            Justice filling her heart with renewed vigor, she stepped toward the back of the chair, extended a hand to it, and spun it around so that she could give the woman a nice talking to about the correct way to raise a home and child.

            What she saw caused her to step away.

            The woman was mostly bone, vague remnants of muscle and tissue existed on what was once a frail face.

            Her mouth laid open in an expression much resembling horror.

            And the young woman had not but moved two steps away from the corpse before the voice entered the room:

            “I told you talking to her wouldn’t help, Miss. She can’t talk, not anymore.” And she turned to look at the skinny young boy as he held a small dirty knife in his small hands. “And now you won’t be able to talk either.”

            The young woman, so overcome with fear, threw herself out of the nearest window and landed roughly on a low, long hedge. She was greatly hurt, but more so scared, and she ran from the old house, the boy, the dead woman, and never spoke again, indeed.

Keep your bite.

-S.C. Parris