This week prompt is about transformation. Sometimes our characters change for the better, for the worse. Sometimes its merely a lesson learned that changes the course of their life. Sometimes its a full transformation of body and soul through a religious awakening, supernatural phenomena, or otherwise. Whatever your character’s change is, you have 750 words to share it.
This is a part of Dawson’s story. Here’s the first part: A Life’s Mission
Dawson sat on his front porch, sticky from the dripping cherry Popsicle clutched tightly in his right hand. He ignored the sweat forming on his forehead as he enjoyed his treat. His dark eyes followed the neighborhood kids playing in the summer heat. Sarah, the little girl who lived next door, waved at him before hopping on her bicycle. Dawson waved as her back retreated from his vision. Inside, he could hear his parents engaging in their daily fighting. He tuned them out. He’d heard the fights so many times it was like listening to a song skipping on a cd.
His oldest brother, Jason, came out of the house, slamming the screen door behind him. He gave Dawson a sharp kick in his back, laughing as he dodged Dawson’s retaliating fist. The attempted punch caused Dawson’s Popsicle to fall from his hand. Jumping up, he lunged at Jason, fury propelling his actions. Jason yelped in surprise as a fist connected with his jaw. Jason shoved Dawson backwards into the screen door before leaping off the porch. A quick flip of the bird, Jason strolled away to find trouble. Dawson remained on the ground, fuming. He’d pay his brother back later when he least expected it.
“What the hell are you doing, Dawson?” his dad demanded, standing on the other side of the screen door, tilting a beer can to his mouth.
“Nothing. Jason pushed me down,” Dawson replied, examining the fresh-cut on his elbow.
“Quit starting fights with your brother,” his dad slurred. He stood staring at Dawson through blurry eyes. Shaking his head, he closed the front door.
Dawson stood up, brushing his jeans off. Elbow throbbing, he watched as the cut began to ooze blood. He was tired of his brother getting him in trouble. One day he’d be bigger and have the upper hand for once.
The cold air felt good against his wet forehead as he walked through the front door. His parents paid no attention to him as he made his way through the living room to the bathroom. Always invisible, even to his own parents, he thought. Nobody but that no good for nothing Jason paid attention to him. And maybe Sarah. He thought she had a crush on him. Or maybe she just felt sorry for him. He hadn’t decided which one.
His cut freshly washed and doctored with a crooked band-aid, Dawson headed to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Making as little sound as possible, he clumsily filled the glass half full. Standing in the corner, out of his dad’s sight, he was surprised to hear his name. Dawson started for the living room. He stopped short when he realized his parents were still arguing.
“I’m getting tired of living this lie, Nadine. It’s been ten years and every day I look at him, I go right back to what happened.”
“You said you forgave me for that, Charles. My God, how many times do I have to apologize? Hell, how many times have I forgiven you for all the crap you put me through?” His mother’s voice replied through clenched teeth.
“Forgive me? You wouldn’t have to forgive me if I didn’t have to relive it every day. For ten years,” his father snorted. “You and your holier than thou attitude. Wonder what the boys would really think if they knew the truth about their perfect mother.”
“Oh shut up, Charles. Don’t think I don’t know about Nora. You don’t think I haven’t noticed how she avoids me anymore? Think I haven’t noticed her belly swelling?” her voice rising as if playing a scale. “Is this payback? I have one, you have one?” she demanded.
Dawson’s dad threw his head back laughing. Chills ran through Dawson’s body at the sound of his dad’s contorted laughter. He wondered what he had to do with their conversation as his heart began racing. He seemed to be in a lot of their conversations lately.
Dawson’s dad stood up. He stumbled his way to his wife. Dawson had to strain to hear as his father leaned into his mother’s face.
“That’s right, Nadine. Now we both have a child that isn’t ours. You have Dawson. And I have one on the way.”