Short Story Sunday: Up or Down?

 I like to keep Mother’s Day low key. No Sunday Brunch. No fancy dinners. Maybe some fresh strawberries and a nice bottle of wine, but that is about it.

This morning I let my husband sleep in (yes, on Mother’s Day) and my children and I took a walk in the woods that surround my neighborhood.

My eight year old son Jake, and six year old daughter Sophia ran along the trail with our large unruly mongrel dog.

They ran back to me, each one taking a hand.

Usually I tell them stories. Their favorite is the legend of the blind witch Emily DeLaforte who once lived in the woods all alone. Her eyes were white and sightless, but she saw everything and knew everything, including good and evil in the hearts of people she came into contact with. Emily was a witch but she always served the forces of evil.

Then my son looked up at me with big brown eyes and asked me a questions. “Did Grandma go up or down?”

“Up or down were?”

“I know Grandpa went down. Where did Grandma go when she died?”

Ohhhhhhhh. That was a hard one. I have to admit that part of me was laughing. I also have to admit that part of me was thinking what a precious child I had here. Oh my goodness.

I had an answer. Maybe it wasn’t the best answer but it worked for today. I said, “I don’t know. If Grandma is went down south to, you know, I bet she is hitting Grandpa over the head with a baseball bat and yelling at him for the next million years. If she went up then I hope the crazy old bat finally found the peace and calm that she never had in life.”

I could have told my children to keep this little conversation a secret but I didn’t. Had it been a secret they would have immediately told their dad. As just a conversation I knew they’d keep it to themselves.

My kids quickly forgot about the ups and downs of their grandparents, and ran down the trail with the dog. Tomorrow will bring more questions about who knows what. And as their mom I’ll always try to give them answers.

~ end



This story is from a prompt from one of my favorite bloggers Jennifer at


~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman




  1. Thank you, for the lovely mention. I like what you did with the woods. A curious place, the woods. I had a favorite one when a kid. Trees were the best kind of creatures to hang out with. The witch who was blind only in eye sight, I wouldn’t think she would necessarily be draw to evil. Evil is the darkness found in the shadows where the creatures of neither on this side nor the other reside.

    A good conversation about going up or down. What about you go in between, trapped in a land absent of all sense of future or the illusion of time. Without these nothing, if anything exists. It would seem to me to be a place that would be a test challenging torture or feeling nothingness.

    But in the humorous side, wouldn’t going up be less exciting and down be where all the fun happens continuously, non-stop.

    I like hearing your conversations with your children. This seems like a story told when time was younger. Thanks, Juliette, I need to hear more so I plan on doing just that. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the prompt. Doing something with Vampires was so obvious so I tried for something different. It was fun. I know I’ll be doing more of your prompts in the future. Good stuff.

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