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Freewrite Friday: ‘Aiden Part 2’

Welcome to Freewrite Fridays!

I’ve been considering some changes lately–blame turning 30, or the pandemic, or finally recovering from the exhaustion of undertaking two degrees, one right after the other–specifically about what I want to do with my life. Which is the same answer it’s always been: write.

And I’ve been coming to terms with the concept that I haven’t been prioritising that, or taking it as seriously as I should. It also occurred to me that I have the perfect platform to become more comfortable with doing it: right here! So I’m going to be posting things I’ve written twice every month: in Flashbacks–pieces I wrote a while ago, and am revisiting now (check out the masterlist here!)–and Freewrites.

The Freewrites are going to be short flash pieces from different perspectives of a family I’m writing. Their story (stories?) span several decades, so each Freewrite will be dated somewhere along the timeline–and I’ll be posting a family tree that’ll be updated with every Freewrite, to help situate the characters and timing. I’ll also be using one writing prompt from Jamie Cat Callan’s The Writer’s Toolbox, and one from the Storymatic, every time–just to make the Freewrites even freer! (Check out the Freewrites Masterlist here!)

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Without further ado: this month, Aiden Part 2, with the prompts ‘dirty laundry’ and ‘the hole in his sock’!

Previously, Aiden braved the post-holiday laundry pockets of his Loki-esque seven-year-old son, Matt… And here’s what he found!

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2008

Aiden

Aiden plunged his hand into Matt’s pockets like a ‘celebrity’ on one of his wife’s jungle reality shows, not knowing if he’d brush up against insects, excrement, or worse.  

He thought, after seven years of raising a Loki with his own DNA, he’d long since lost the ability to be shocked–but what he found surprised him.

Oh, there was the usual collection of odditiesSharp tree bark debris that had Aiden hissing as it embedded into his nailbed. A goop of something so melted, it was impossible to tell what it had once been. Something damp and encased in moss, that Aiden threw straight out of the window after it started to wriggle.  

But among that—in the cleaner pockets—he found things that were even stranger.  

A crudely whittled owl that Aiden and his oldest daughter had tried to make from a brittle log–that Matt had laughed at, at the time. A strand of rope from a swing they’d found in the woods near their campsite, that Matt and his brother had pushed each other on until the rope frayed and snapped, sending a delighted Matt into the mud. And a surprisingly clean stray sock with holes poked through the toe that triggered a memory: Amy, the baby, crying that her hands were cold because her mother hadn’t let her bring fluffy pink mittens on a summer holiday–and Matt making her fingerless gloves out of his unworn socks. Aiden had assumed Matt had just wanted an excuse to tear holes in his socks; but knowing Matt had kept them made him wonder if he hadn’t misjudged the situation.

Standing in a smelly laundry pile, Aiden was struck with the sentimental notion that his chaotic son did love his family, after all. 

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Updated family tree!

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