Wayback Wednesday Writing Photo Prompt ~ A Life of Freedom ~ #fridayflash #WW #mywana

Wayback Wednesday Photo Writing Prompt

Write a story, write a drabble, write a poem, write anything. If this inspires you drop me a link to your post in the comments, or send it to me on Twitter. 


via Flickr by trialsanderrors

A Life of Freedom 

     From the moment Marianne saw the poster at the park she knew exactly what she wanted to be. One of the beautiful girls of the flying trapeze. This was easier said than done for her nanny kept a watchful eye on her and always made sure Marianne conducted herself properly. Girls of her breeding did not resort to such entertainments, but Marianne could still dream, couldn’t’ she?

     From her parlor across the esplanade Marianne kept a watchful eye on the progress of the glass enclosure. Each time another pane was fit into place she felt her dreams becoming reality. At night after her nanny believed she was asleep she would get out of bed and pretend to be one of the beautiful girls in bright-colored clothing. She’d fly from one end of her room to the next. She’d twirl on her bedpost and hang from her canopy with pointed toes and arms ready to catch another beautiful girl.

     Each morning she donned her tight clothing and gloves and made her way to the park. Thankfully, her little brother Rupert, monopolized most of the nanny’s time. While he played with his toy boat in the pond Marianne could sit on the park bench and watch the parade of circus folk. No matter what her nanny said, Marianne still envied them, for they were truly free. That was something she’d never felt before. There was always someone watching her or waiting on her. As a child it didn’t bother her, but now that her parents talked of marriage the more grueling it became. If good pedigree meant lifelong suffering, then she’d rather give it all away.

     The night Marianne’s parents took her to see the show made her dream life seem even more fantastic. There were girls dangling from the ceiling. Their limbs poised like ballerinas. The flying trapeze girls brightly colored clothes left little to the imagination as they hurled themselves in the air. She was in awe of everything and everyone. What a grand life it would be to be so free.

     On the ride home Marianne looked out the window and watched her dreams fall away. Why hadn’t she been born a girl of lesser breeding? What made her better than any of those girls? She was just as pretty, she was just as limber. She looked at her parents, the resentment she’d been holding in for years felt like it would burst inside her. She wouldn’t be forced into marrying anyone; she’d run away and live a life she chose.

     In her bedroom she gathered up all her jewelry, packed her silk pillowcase with her favorite clothes and hid them under the bed. The circus would be in town for one more week which gave her enough time to search the house for anything of value that wouldn’t be missed right away. At tea each day her mother discussed Marianne’s marriage proposals and who her father should choose. Marianne kept quiet and nodded her head absently. None of that mattered now, for soon she would be free.

      The night came for Marianne to leave. She kissed her parents on the check and headed upstairs to Rupert’s room. He was sleeping soundly in his crib. She caressed his tiny head in her palm. “It will be better for you Rupert, you’re a boy. Remember I love you.”

     In her room she checked her bag one more time. Everything was in place. At one o’clock she crept downstairs. The house was dark and silent. She made her way into the kitchen. The aroma of dinner lingered, the hearth still felt warm. Without looking back she headed out the door.


     Marianne turned around, she was sure she had been caught. A young boy, about Marianne’s age stared back at her. His clothes were shabby and his brown hair hung over his eyes. She thought she had seen him in the stables, but couldn’t be sure. They had so many servants it was hard to keep track of the ones you didn’t’ see everyday.

“Take me with you.”

Marianne looked at him quizzically. “Why would I do that?”

He took her hand in his. Against her pale skin the dirt on his skin looked darker than it was. “Because I want to be free too.”


Photo Prompt Stories

Adian Fritz First Flight

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen says:

    Ah the dream of running away and joining the circus – even more keenly felt, knowing the restrictive life she would have to lead.

    I hope she makes it all right!

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @Joan When I wrote it I didn’t either, but it just seemed fitting. If I was him I’d want to run away too. LOL

      @Helen This weekend at a Rotary Dinner they had performers who did some of the acrobatic feats in the picture. Needless to say I was amazed and inspired. So fitting that I found that this week. Made me want to learn how to do all that stuff. What strength and talent they have.

  2. Joan says:

    I wondered how this story was going to turn out – I didn’t expect she’d meet the boy the moment she stepped out of the door. How did he know? I have the feeling something magical is afoot.

  3. Sonia Lal says:

    I feel for the girl and the boy (though what restrictions does he have?) and I thinking something unexpected is going to happen.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      @JohnWiswell The colors of that picture just took me away to a different area. Thanks for commenting John!

      @SoniaLal Glad I got you thinking. Next installment might answer your question. Thanks for commenting Sonia!

  4. John Wiswell says:

    Plenty of blog stories get pictures attached these days, but I really liked having that one as the lead-in here. I looked down from that along with Marianne, got her impression and slipped into the fiction promptly.

  5. Aidan Fritz says:

    I like the ending. It isn’t what I would term a twist, because it doesn’t come out of left field, but rather fits like a puzzle piece in with the rest of the story and lends it depth as one puzzles over the different ways one is imprisoned and becomes free.

    BTW, nice prompt, I used it in a different context 😉

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      You have a way with words that make it sound much better than I ever could. I saw that picture and fell in love with it.

  6. Hi there Lara — great period piece, this. Nice details (particularly when dealing with her restrictions). Victoriana fitted the desire to be a trapeze artist very well.

    Wasn’t entirely sure about the ending, as the boy did kind of come out of nowhere — how did he even know what she was feeling? — though he did underline the message of the story.

    Good read, none-the-less.


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