Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Penance: February 22, 2011 - Bitty

Prompt: Write about a nickname.

Source: None


She was thin and so pale that she looked as though she might fade into nothingness. She was a waif - all blond hair and tentative, light eyes. Her name was Belinda. The word did not suit her - it was far too long and heavy for such an insubstantial being - and so it was hardly ever used. When it was used it was used it always appeared to shock the child, as though she had been struck.

The word Belinda so much weight that when it was used on that fragile child it shattered the precarious set of her shoulders, it smashed against the light in the girl's eyes, and destroyed the teasing smile on her fragile, thin lips.

Even the other children could batter her with her own name - their accompanying giggles drove the blows harder and faster into her diminutive form. So most called her nothing, touching her shoulder instead to get her attention. But the child who knew her best - a bright-eyed girl with a dark mane of uncontrollable curls named Henrietta - called Belinda Bitty. No one else called her Bitty; from anyone else the name would have been another blow, flaunting the fragility of her existence. But coming from Henrietta, whose name suited her perfectly, the name Bitty was perfect. It was just light enough for the girl to carry.

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