“Surprise, Lee Lee!” her grandma said, hobbling to the worn wooden table. Her shaky hands set a small plate on it. A single rice cake filled the plate like an egg in a undersized nest.
The old lady watched the girl, her eyes yellowed from years of work in the fields. Those eyes had seen too much, their understanding competed against the joy that was coming from watching her granddaughter’s face: innocent as a flower.
The girl fell on the rice cake like a wild dog.
Enjoy, my precious girl. Enjoy. Life is hard. The grandma thought.
How she wished she could have given the girl more. When the old woman had been born, there were wars, famines, and lies. When she died, and she knew it would be soon, the wars, famines, and lies would outlive her.
Why couldn’t she stop them?
Maybe her granddaughter wouldn’t be beautiful. That would be nice. Beauty. That was the old woman’s curse when she was young. Her old eyes knew well the appetite of men. She knew the appetite would also outlive her.
The girl finished the cake, licking each finger in turn.
The old eyes folded on themselves, closing the lines of wrinkles as the grandmother allowed herself a smile. Maybe she was wrong. She had to hope for a better tomorrow. She had to.
Note: Maybe I went a little Pearl S. Buck on this one. Clearly the girl in the picture isn’t famished. Anyway, where did that picture take you? Post your own free-write in the comments or tag a writer.