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Updated on May 6, 2011


She was such an unhappy child, who came from a broken home. What did that expression mean? She wasn't quite sure at age six. But it was a statement she'd come to hear whispered over and over again when they thought she wasn't listening.

Her Social Worker, a Ms. Apple, would come to visit her at her Aunt's House once a month, usually on a Monday, and in a most matter of fact tone, she would sign a deep sign, before asking..."So Brooke are You Happy Here? Brooke knew that if she said yes, she would get to stay another month, and another visit, until Mrs. Apple would repeat the question once again. It was a routine...they both knew their lines, and they never varied. Ms. Apple sat poised, notebook in hand. Brooke stared down at her fingers. "Brooke dear, is something wrong"? "No, no" the little girl sighed. Ms. Apple learned forward, "you can tell me Anything".

From deep within Brooke listened to her own voice, which sounded barely above a whisper, "I'd like to live with my Mother". The room remained silent, except for the large grandfather clock as it slowly ticked the time, which now seemed to be standing still. Ms. Apple starred down at the frail child with golden curls, and no smiling lips, who seemed aged beyond her years. "Let me see what I can do Brooke" she said as she closed her notebook until the next visit.

The month had flown by and now it was June, and Brooke sat waiting in her Aunt's Drawing Room. A small cream colored suitcase sat next to her and on her lap was her Doll named, Nancy. The door opened and in came Ms. Apple followed by a pretty, nervous looking woman and a balding thick waisted man. They quickly sat down. Ms. Apple cleared her throat. "Brooke, do you know who this woman is"? "It's my Mother", Brooke said, her voice sounding clear and strong. "That's right Ms. Apple said, clapping her hands together, and this is her friend, Bernard. You will be staying with them for the next month now that school is out." With that said, Ms. Apple stood up, closed her notebook and the four of them left the Aunt's house for the half hour drive to Brooke's new home.

Brooke became the "daughter" Mr. Bernard never had. Nightly, he would come into the bathroom when Brooke was in the tub and just watch her. Always smiling at her. That same week her mother brought home a dog from the pound, her name was Karen. Karen and Brooke became instantly bonded. The following week Mr. Bernard began visiting Brooke at night in her room, where he would talk softly to her as Karen lay at at feet. Sometimes she would reach out to Karen, who would gently lick her trembling hand.

When Ms. Apple came by on week four, she left the house smiling. She'd been able to get the Happy Family another months extended time...Everything seemed to be going so well...and Brooke had taught Karen so many tricks out on the back porch. The Dog did seem to be limping a little...But that really wasn't her concern.

The second week in July, things began to change...Brooke and Karen began to stay on the back porch a lot more. Brooke would look over the edge and encourage Karen to Leap. She would put her front paws up over the small railing and push the dog from behind. Karen would land below and then come scampering up the back steps. She would look to Brooke for approval. Brooke would stare sadly into the Dogs eyes and say "Good Karen, Good Girl".

The night visits from Mr. Bernard were happening more now that Brooke's mother had taken the six to twelve shift at the motel down the road...She was putting the money towards their pending wedding...They were going to be a real family.

Karen began to limp more and more and Brooke's mother began to question why? The "tricks" on the porch were beginning to take their toll. And so the following Saturday Brooke's mother took Karen to see the Vet. He x-rayed Karen and found that half the dogs ribs were broken and she was having trouble breathing. He would have to put the dog down. She could not be saved.

Brooke stayed with Karen and held her gently in her arms as the Dog licked her hand in friendship for the very last time. They both had tears in their eyes.

When Brooke and her mother got home, Ms. Apple was there waiting for them. The small cream colored suitcase was by her side. Nancy the doll, lay on top of it. Brooke's mother never said goodbye, nor did Mr . Bernard, they just turned away from Brooke.

Brooke would go back to live with her Aunt. Ms. Apple would write her report: It would read, Brooke is not ready for Social Interactive visits with her mother. Brooke acted out abusively towards the family pet. No reasons could be found. The pet had to be put down...

And sadly, only Karen the Dog, and Brooke, the child, knew the truth.

CASE CLOSED, until further notice.


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    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Cheryl for all your Wonderful comments...It was a hard story to do, but one that needed to be told even though this was Fiction...

    • profile image

      Cheryl Kapelner-Champ 

      7 years ago

      Good story, a sad one for sure. Excellent narrative, with much to wonder about. Very well done, & w/ a very fine style of the writer!

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      We all want "Happy Endings"...But you know that is not always the case Mslizzee. But maybe it happens in spite of. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      Oh Genna, thank you for stopping by and for your comments on a sad and timely subject, which is probably as old as time. But more spoken about today.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      A tender story, well-written and full of sad truths that many never see. Well done, my friend! Voted up.

    • mslizzee profile image


      7 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      Well, keep going, I want a happy ending.

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Laurennll for taking the time to read and comment.

      Thank you Chatkath and your words are so true, so glad you stopped by. Thank you for rating it up! Hub input is so important.

    • Chatkath profile image


      7 years ago from California

      Powerful story, well written B., however sad, there are far too many case files like this, outcome unknown.

      Rated up!

    • LaurenLL profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice article.

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Breakfastpops, you know we all keep growing and exploring...I so welcome your comments.

      Thank you Bluestar, I went in a totally different direction...It was chancy...but important for me to explore in my way. I wanted it to be understood, thanking for going there with me.

      Thanks Fossillady, you covered all the grounds that I was trying to explore and I hope that other's understand the need to get involved. The child and the dog paid the ultimate price.

    • Fossillady profile image


      7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      You tackled a tough subject B. I commend you for bringing it out in the open and showing us how the secret horror that goes on in some households need be told! Mother's need to recognize the signs. If she had been in tune with her child's emotions, it could have been stopped. She was only thinking of herself and her future wedding plans! So glad to see you back on your feet! Vote up and awesome!

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      OMG b. this is so well written, but such an horrendous topic to write about. My skin is crawling at the moment and I feel sick to my stomach. You disguised and mastered the implication of this event beyond compare. I have the most respect for you my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      Very powerful and well written piece. I like the new direction you are going in. Up and awesome.

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Shygirl for understanding the story...It was something I wanted to write about, and I know it was different and maybe a bit shocking...but yes, I needed to tell it, in my style of writing. It is FICTION...however it could be true...Thanks for your vote, my friend.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Too sad...! :( It made me want to cry. Poor little girl and dog. But thanks for sharing it with us. I know those things go on around us and no one likes to think about them, but it unfortunately happens everyday to somebody innocent who's lives are ruined by perverts! It is better to be aware, than stick our head in the sand. Touching story, b. Malin. Voted up!

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      You'll never know how much your opinion and thoughts mean to me as a writer. So now I will tell you Colin, by saying thank you. We are always trying to grow and in doing so we take chances. Thank you for watching me Grow and your friendship through it all!

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ....well we have been friends now and esteemed colleagues you and I for close to a year - and what a wonderful time we have both shared together in so many ways .... I have watched you grow as a writer with so pleasure , awe and admiration - and this is a prime example of how you can 'do it all' and so very well!

    • b. Malin profile imageAUTHOR

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Chspublish your comments mean a lot. It seems to be off to a slow start, and I know it's a different type of "Hub" for me to do. I guess we are always experimenting with our ideas.

    • chspublish profile image


      7 years ago from Ireland

      What a story - great power int the telling. |Less is more. Well done and congrats.


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