Parental Influence
Dorah Blume is an author of historical fiction novels. Her latest, Botticelli's Muse, is a provocative story about Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, the conflicts of Medici Florence, and the woman at the heart of his paintings.
Dorah Blume, Deborah Bluestein, Botticelli's Muse, Sandro Botticelli, italian renaissance, italian artists, medici florence, historical fiction novel
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Parental Influence

Parental Influence

Prompt was made up of objects at the workshop and random words plucked out of our “Word Bank.”
Objects: Bell bike helmet/motorcycle helmet
Words chosen at random from the word bank: pearl-eyed, benevolent, habitual, carving knife, wound
Author: Dorah Blume
Timed writing: 20 minutes

Approximate date: 6/2013
Location: Juiceboxartists workshop/Boylston St.

“You might as well take a carving knife to your body and start hacking,” Louise said. Her heavy arms wriggled with those appendages overweight women who wear floral frocks tend to display. Her son Billy snapped on his Shogun helmet just the same. He gave his mother a benevolent smile and let the back screen door slam behind him.

She would hold her Saint Christopher medal up to her lips. Pearly-eyed now with tears dropping into the sink, she would look at him through the kitchen window. Ever since he first rode his green tricycle down Jackson Street into oncoming traffic—she had caught him just in time—she was always afraid that he would wound himself terribly.

Many a morning, she had awakened with images of him in a wheelchair—a quadriplegic with his limbs shrunken and gnarled, and his head cocked at an angle with his eyes rolling in his head, unable to speak, his hands like claws.

Once the sound of his motorcycle had faded into the whir of distant tires on asphalt, she turned on her soap operas and cried. Kayla and Patch were going to be married that day, but evil Jack exposed Kayla’s ex who everyone thought was dead, only he was in the next town on a bender. The wedding was cancelled. All those weeks leading up to the event—twenty million prime time viewers waiting for consummation in their fantasy lives and floral frocks across the land were wet with perspiration and tears.

Meanwhile, Billy, across town was sitting in a back room behind the local pool hall, watching his best friend Mike snort some coke into his nose through a rolled dollar bill.

“You might as well take a carving knife to your body and start hacking,” Billy told his friend as he put his helmet back on and headed out of town.

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