Sarah pushed sweaty strands of hair out of her face as she gathered up another scoop of wet cement. This was turning out to be much harder than she expected .  Sarah picked up the lantern and moved to a new spot. As she worked, her mind drifted back to earlier that evening.

Marcus came in from the fields earlier than usual. Supper wasn’t on the table which set him off. First was the rolling eyes when she set the beans and cornbread in front of him.

“Beans again?” Marcus stated the obvious, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“I’m sorry,” Sarah whispered.

Next came the harsh words.

“You’re always sorry. Don’t you realize I work hard every day for the food you put on my table? I think I deserve better than beans every night!” 

Sarah had heard it all before. But how was she supposed to provide better when all he gave her was a few coins each week from the money pouch tucked under his night shirt? The more he grumbled about those beans, the stronger her anger grew until it burned white hot.

She didn’t remember reaching for the cast iron skillet until she opened her eyes and saw it in her trembling hands. But Sara knew she’d never forget the look of surprise on his face just before Marcus slid to the floor. Years of hard work gave her the strength to drag his lifeless body down to the basement. There she slowly mixed the cement and one by one, stacked layers of brick to hide what she had done.

Maybe she could just say he’d finally left her. Neighbors had seen the occasional bruise makeup couldn’t completely hide, so they might believe her. All she had to do was finish the new wall…brick by brick…one by one…

Now it’s your turn! Will Sarah be able to finish building her wall down in the basement? Will she manage to get away with murder? Add to the story or start one of your own on the comments below…





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International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.


Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

2 thoughts on “FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: One By One

  • June 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Sarah finished closing off Marcus from her world with the last brick. It occurred to her that she couldn’t deviate from her usual routine so as not to draw any attention to herself. She would eat beans until it felt safe for her to go out and buy steak for herself. And celebrate her freedom.

    • June 14, 2019 at 3:09 am

      I like how you think, Janet…and I’m sure Sarah does as well…;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


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