Power Company by Susan Tepper

The little girl couldn’t look up from the ground.  The sunshine hurt her eyes.  She kept her face down and got to know all the cracks in the sidewalks, the white lines marked at the street crossings, tiny pebbly rocks in the cement curbs, the strange red zig-zags that looked like writing on the Chinese restaurant menu, but that her father said were markers painted on the road by the power company.
 
The power company, thought the little girl.  It sounded like a good place to go.  Like a hospital, or a house where you could get cookies and milk after school and nothing bad would happen. 
 
The little girl thought often about the power company.  Her father kept insisting she look up. 
 
“I can’t,” she told him.  He insisted anyway.  He smacked the back of her head and still she kept it down.  Chicken neck, he called her.
 
Finally, one day she began looking up.  And when she was able to do that, her shoulders moved up, too, almost at her ears.  “Put your shoulders down,”  her father said.
 
“I can’t,” the little girl told him.  He called her Frankenstein and said she would end up deformed.  That no one would want her.
 
Then I’ll keep them up forever thought the little girl.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Power Company by Susan Tepper

  1. Well, he’s certainly not up for Father-of-the-Year. Poor girl.

    Nicely written.

    • Ganymeder, I have read the most horrible statistics about child molestation and it prompted this little story.
      thanks so much for reading and your comment
      best, susan

  2. The saddest bit: when a hospital is perceived as a ‘good place to go’. A gut-punch there. Strong piece.

    • Linda, yeah, the hospital as sanctuary. Horrible. anything to do with child abuse totally freaks me: the little walking wounded (or worse). thanks so much for commenting

  3. Pingback: #8 – Corrected Vision « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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