For today’s Flash! Friday Challenge, we were given 150 words to write a moving tale of friendship based on the heartbreaking photo below.
“Rose Biodo, Philadelphia, 10 years old. Working 3 summers, minds baby and carries berries, two pecks at a time.” Photo by Lewis Hine, National Archives public domain.
The Jamaican sun baked my face as I raced to the beach, blinded by tears. My bare feet stung against the hot sand. I hardly noticed. Distant waves thundered, but all I could hear were the drunken screams of my parents as they fought…again.
“We’re very lucky,” my mother would say. “He’s a wealthy man.” Her bruised face didn’t seem so lucky, though.
My tears evaporated the instant I met Rose. Small and hungry, with dirt-smudged cheeks and feet calloused from working without shoes, she watched me sympathetically. She couldn’t speak my language, but she offered me all she had – a handful of berries.
My life found purpose as I began stealing food to deliver to Rose. When my father found out, he beat me half to death – but I had never felt so proud.
Rose only had a handful of berries, but it was enough to save my life.