Flash Fiction: Lucky Charm

Najla Firdaus


The room is so silent I can no longer hear mother and father shouting at each other. No more arguments about who spent brother’s tuition money and for what. No ceramic plates breaking, nor any sound of the wall being punched. No trembing whishpers from brother Hamid as we cry together. The night is cold here and the creeping silence makes me lonely. Or not. I just miss brother Hamid.
I think I’m so far from home. Mother insisted to take me here because she said she needs me. She said everyone likes me because I am her babydoll, and if I smile and behave, she said I will be her lucky charm and I will be her super hero. I don’t understand why she left brother Hamid and took me instead. Maybe because she doesn’t need him like she needs me. My poor brother.
Only yesterday I slept with brother Hamid. We talked about our future car’s colour, is black better or is it grey. He said he wants to be an adult soon, so he can buy cars and take me to Malioboro. He said there are many foreigners in Malioboro and some might want to kidnap me so he gave me his elephant keychain to keep me away from misfortune. But tonight, I sleep alone. He used to sneak in to my room and we would talk about things, imagining ourselves as adults and buy burgers and sausages every day, or even cars. And the chilly night would not make me feel lonely. I want to hurry and go back home.

In the morning, mother is making breakfast. The man who brought us yesterday is drinking coffee while looking at his phone on the terrace. I am walking through the front gate. I didn’t forget my elephant keychain and the money that man gave to me to buy a burger yesterday. Then I turn left, next I will turn right until I reach the main road and I will get on a bus. I hope I won’t get lost.
I hear a sound of a woman shouting. I think she’s trying to call me. Her voice is so loud but she sounds like she’s singing, but it’s definitely deafening. “GIRL! GIRL! WHERE ARE YOU GOING BY YOURSELF?” When I look towards her, she was smiling but her eyes big as a mad cow’s. She sounded angry to me because she was very, very loud, so I run until I reach the turn. I run and run because I don’t want her to scold me. Father speaks really loud too when he is about to scold me. Adults really like to shout.
At last I see the bus. I was about to get in but my body is now in the air as someone just lifted me. It was mother. She looks mad. She puts me down in one jolt, hands on the waist. “YOU TRYING TO RUN AWAY FROM ME? YOU’ LL GO BACK TO YOUR BROTHER, YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING DAUGHTER,” she speaks in a high tone. Oh I hope mother wasn’t lying. I was so happy for I will finally be with brother Hamid again. Now the money I have for the bus can be used on burgers for me and brother Hamid.

Photo illustration by Najla Firdaus.

#Scribere2018 #ClassB #FlashFiction

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