Archive | February 15, 2011

15-Minute Ficlet: Constraint

From Ty’s prompt here, “Yearning.” Probably faeapoc.

The yearning was nearly unbearable.

It had been nearly a week since she’d seen him, since she’d felt his touch, heard his voice, since she’d breathed in his scent, tasted his skin.

She didn’t know when he’d be back. “I’ll be gone as little time as I can manage,” he’d told her. “Stay inside unless you have to go out.” The directive had left her an uncomfortable amount of leeway; she’d gotten unused to making decisions, content to allow him to steer

She’d been fine for a few days. She’d lazed in the sun as it shone through the living room windows, re-read some old books and one she hadn’t seen before, tucked away under his bed but not all that hidden, not hidden enough to suggest that she shouldn’t read it. She tidied up and cooked herself treats that he didn’t like and sprawled across his bed at night.

The nights were bad, though. She was used to his presence right there beside her, his body pressed against hers. She stayed up until she was exhausted, reading, until her body demanded sleep, and then it was ragged, uneven, unhappy sleep, hag-ridden with nightmares.

She took to napping through the day in the sunlight, reading through the night or prowling the house. There was no phone, no internet, no TV, but there were books, and she found a notebook and a pen and started doodling.

She’d always had idle time while he was at work, but there were chores, laundry and dinner and picking up, and there was knowing he’d be home. Her evenings had always been filled with him; now they were filled with nothing but her own thoughts.

More days passed. There was food to last a month, and she had little appetite. She re-read her books, and wrote notes to herself that turned into drawings and stories. She played in his weight-room; he’d never expressly forbidden her to go in there, after all. She played in the basement and tidied his tools. She thought, and as the days went on, she thought more.

The yearning was still there, but she was learning to bear it. He’d left her with so little, a few books, some food, and some orders that barely constrained her. He’d left her to fend for herself, who had sold herself for comfort. She read another book, and wrote herself some more notes.

“Stay inside unless you have to go out.” The directive, the only one he’d left, gave her quite a bit of leeway. She stared at the door on the fourteenth day of his absence, and decided she had to leave.

Drakeathon 2/19-2/20/11

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.