mlm’s menagerie photo challenge 23, lunch box: runaway

photographer: Angela Elliot

When I was three and 1/2, I ran away from home. A horror story by my brothers probably the catalyst.

I used the “lunch box” that went with us on adventures to the shore, or fishing at the lake.

Packed my most important belongings: tiny teddy; sweater; fairy tale picture book ; and 1/2 a chocolate bar.

My bedroom was in the attic. The only space left for a girl with 5 older brothers.

Just before sunrise, I slipped downstairs avoiding the steps that creaked. I left a scrawly note: RuN aWy. not cam hom

Pulling the kitchen door silently behind me, I headed into the adjacent woods.

Mist whispered around the trees, and gently touched my hair. I wandered through an Impressionist painting-world.

How deep to go into the forest so no-one could trace/track me. To a child’s brain, the berry patch by the creek seemed far enough away. It took me several hours to get there.

My oldest brother got to my hideout faster than that. I was asleep in the sun-drenched bank. Purple juice smeared across my face, staining my dress where I tried to wipe my now purple hands.

Nothing was ever said about it. As if, I’d gone with a long walk with the lunch box.

Now, thirty years later, as I write these remembories, I still feel the urge, the need to run away, far, far away.

The old lunch box is up in the attic.


14 thoughts on “mlm’s menagerie photo challenge 23, lunch box: runaway

  1. Aileen February 6, 2015 / 4:56 am

    I also had a lunch box and I never forgot my teddy bear either. A moving story, and I loved the word ‘remembories’ too.


    • phylor February 6, 2015 / 8:32 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you dropped by.


  2. Eleni September 1, 2014 / 3:38 am

    Hi Phylor, I loved the way the little girl’s voice comes through your story. I am especially fond of the word ‘remembories’ :)


    • phylor September 2, 2014 / 2:04 pm

      Thank you, Eleni. I like making up words, and remembories is one of them. Glad you enjoyed my story!


  3. Pat August 28, 2014 / 11:54 am

    This is a very moving piece —- the image is very evocative — it leaves me with mixed feelings – but I will try my hand at this prompt too. Maybe …..

    Your story is certainly simple – but lovely, well written as part narrative of a child’s voice, followed by the adult understanding and perspective. Well done :)


    • phylor August 29, 2014 / 5:25 am

      Thanks, Pat.
      The image is striking. I’m interested in how you deal with it.


      • Pat August 31, 2014 / 5:13 am

        I’ve decided not to do this prompt —- it bothers me too much, for personal reasons, and right now, I can’t dig into it — it just needs to rest.


        • phylor August 31, 2014 / 10:38 pm

          Sometimes, for me, prompts can stir up things I don’t want to think about. So, I understand you wanting to let something rest, and to not participate this time around. Maybe another time, the image will be more welcoming that bothering.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. mindlovemisery August 27, 2014 / 1:23 am

    I agree I love that the lunchbox figured into your story there is something so tender about this piece it really pulls the heart strings


    • phylor August 28, 2014 / 11:35 am

      Thank you. I was really affected by the photograph; the image of a child floating through the forest and on to where?


  5. summerstommy2 August 27, 2014 / 12:13 am

    I like how you used the lunchbox phylor. A lovely write how you capture the innocence of childhood.


    • phylor August 28, 2014 / 11:37 am

      Thank you. I was a runaway until till about 8. Never went far or for long. Parents just waited for me to come back with an excuse for why I did.


      • summerstommy2 August 28, 2014 / 4:45 pm

        Your comment reminded me of the story of the child who packed his bag and announced he was leaving home. His parents watched him walk down the street, bag in hand. At the end of the street he turned and walked back towards home much to his parents relief. As he walked through the gate he was heard to say: “Forgot my passport.”
        Enjoy your evening.


        • phylor August 31, 2014 / 10:41 pm

          Great story! Wonder where he thought he was off to?


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