Friday, 23 April 2010

Maternal Instinct (#fridayflash)

Katie sat with her head in her arms, weeping.

"It's not meant to be like this," she said.

"Like what?" Doreen asked.

"Like this!  For God's sake, Mum, look at me."

"You'll be okay. You just need some sleep to clear your head. Tomorrow you'll be fine with it."

Katie's sobs were louder than usual, but Doreen knew to stay calm. Katie often got like this immediately after sell-out gigs.

"Remember, Katie," she said, "it's your last chance."

"That's what you've always say.  'It's your last chance,' or, 'Just this one, to get on his good side,' or, 'It'll get you in the papers.'  It's always just one, just one more, then I'll be there, you say.  But every time, a few months later, there's another, and another."

"We don't always get what we want, you know."

"Well maybe I don't, but these men always do - and all because you tell me I should let them have it."

"You give them what they want, they give you what you want."

"But I don't want to be famous!"

"Yes you do.  Katie, you do." Doreen kept her voice soft, like when she'd sing Katie to sleep as a baby.  "You asked me to make you famous."

Katie shook her head.

"Only because you told me I should be," she said.

"Because I knew where it would take you.  Look at what you've got Katie. A beautiful house - just like the one you always dreamed of. And Adam, such a gorgeous, faithful boyfriend.  And millions of adoring fans."

"And I hate it all."

"Don't say that, Katie."

"I'll say what I like.  I hate it.  I feel so empty all the time.  And it's all your fault."

"That's not fair.  I've only ever done what you've asked me."

"What I've asked you?  What have I asked of you?  It's me whose only ever done what you've told me.  And I'm not doing it any more.  I will not cheat on Adam again.  I don't even need a new record deal."

"You do, sweetie.  You've got momentum.  You've got the ride the wave.  Keep soaring while you're flying high."

Katie stormed out of the dressing room slamming the door behind her.

Doreen smiled.  It was nice to get a moment's peace.  She knew Katie would listen in the end. Just like she always did.


  1. It perplexes me how people can get in situations like this. If you're so engaged in the engines of your success, then sure, you'll make more miserable decisions. But if you downright dislike it? You've got millions of fans, money, faithful people around you. You've got the platform to change what you're doing and do good through a lot of people.

    Not that Doreen is advocating that. Her kind of advocate seldom does.

  2. So the mother's love is akin to that of a pimp's.

    Brings to mind all those true life stories of mothers who push their offspring into fame, despite the repercussions.

    The last paragraph brings the shudders.

    Nicely done here!

  3. I'm guessing this is how the life of many teen stars actually are. At least Mom gets a taste of the fame she always wanted, even if it is ruining her daughter's life. Well written!

  4. Few things like obnoxious stage mothers. The reader knows what's coming next without your being too explicit, which is a nice way to end. Good writing, as usual, David.

  5. How ironic the mother points out the "faithful boyfriend" as one of the prizes of fame.

  6. Very well-written indeed, and so sadly true. It would break my heart to really see this deep into these poor kids' lives.
    Great work David!

  7. This nails the vicarious nature of celebrity culture succinctly and rather nicely.

    marc nash

  8. Very, very nice David. I love Mother/daughter relationships in literature, particularly when they're as monstrous as this. Looking forward to the daughter's inevitable rebellion!

  9. You really nailed the pimp nature of the mother... so much so that, at the beginning, I was convinced the daughter was a whore. Is there a difference really? Guess not. So well written, David. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And, like Virginia says, there will be a time when the daughter gives mommie dearest a musical boot.

  10. Yeesh, manipulative mother. You portrayed this excellently, David. The mom's voice comes off so gentle when, in reality, she's absolutely not.

    Very well done.

  11. Ewww. Horrific mother figure. This work makes me happy to be sufficiently homely and talentless enough to enjoy the freedom of my obscurity. Nicely written.

  12. Stage mother at its worst... Great story! Having the faithful boyfriend is ironic.

  13. The wicked stage mother. I had the same feeling as Cathy, that the daughter was a stripper or something. A high price to pay for the mother's thirst for fame.

  14. This made me so very sad--you've captured the phenomenon we see way too often in our culture. But the dynamic happens in other arenas, too. Power, control, and trying to live unlived desires through another...well-done!