Conversing with family can sometimes seem like a fencing match – Attack – Parry – Cut – Thrust – as you duck barbs and sling a few yourself; all in an effort to maintain your dignity. Family, better than any enemy, knows how to wound. They are familiar with the soft sensitive spots, the hidden underbelly of self, so susceptible to harm. Sometimes you see the blade coming and sometimes you are blind to it, finding it masked behind humor or feigned concern. Like a Changement de Rythme, broken time, a sudden change in the tempo of their actions, you become fooled. You respond when you should have remained silent. You say nothing when a word would do; you drop your defenses and allow them an in – they draw blood quicker and with more venom than any opponent and just as quickly, they change face becoming your savior and shelter, your comrade on the battlefield. Suddenly they appear at your side, embracing you and dragging you out of harms way. You may feel their sting, but damn anyone else who tries to inflict injury! You can never tell on any day, which face they will wear and so often they wear both – your mightiest foe and greatest defender in one. You flee from family, but always return, forever bound by blood and home, and that most complex of emotions – Love.
Writing Prompt: Write about a family gathering. How did everyone act?