Tale Weavers: Fiction –  “When Mom Was Taken” #amwriting #fiction #travel #taleweaver 

Thank to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this #Taleweavers photo challenge.The theme is lost in a foreign land. 


Credit: Mara Eastern – Used with Permission.


“Madam, you and your children need to come with me,” a police officer stated. He was from the police nationale. 

Mom gazed up at him and asked: “Why, what have we done? We’ve only been sightseeing here on vacation. We have our passports and travel Visas.” 

“If you come with me, right now, this will be much easier,” the officer said. I shivered at his cold impersonal accented tone.

My Mom attempted to speak but the officer squeezed her arm tightly and picking her up, deposited her in the back if his police car. 

My sisters and I peered up at the officer scared spitless. “We didn’t do anything,” I said. “I’m twelve and my two sisters are ten-years old twins. We aren’t bad kids.” 

The officer nodded at me. I could hear my Mom crying and banging her hands against the window in the police car. My sisters Paige and Monique were crying silently. 

 “What’s your name Cher?” The officer asked me. His French accent was thick when he spoke English. 

“I’m Brianne, what did my Mom do?” The officer didn’t say anything, but he nodded to one of his fellow officers.

“We need to talk to your Mom about some things for a while. This is officer Carson, he’s going to take you back to your hotel. You girls can watch movies and swim in the pool. Don’t leave and always ask Carson when you want to do something. He’ll take you for repas du soir later on,” the officer said. He smiled at me and I could tell his smile was forced. 

“But our Mom . . .” Paige and Monique whined. It was no use. Officer Carson herded us into his vehicle and drove us back to the hotel we were staying with our Mom.

We played in the pool, pretending we enjoyed it. We watched three movies on pay-per-view and then some cartoons on TV. We played on our Mom’s tablet, emailing our Uncle Reese and asking what we should do. The message always came back to Mom’s email, saying the email address was wrong, but we knew better.

At 4:00 pm Officer Carson came back from the gift shop with chips, popcorn, pop, and chocolate bars. Paige and Monique were happy to eat what they could; mom didn’t let us have much junk food, even on vacation. I had a square of delicious Belgian chocolate and almost threw-up. 

Later around 8:00 pm, Carson told us to put on nice clothes for dinner. We dined at a trendy restaurant and the food was magnifique. By this time the smell of the delicious food in the restaurant and my hunger had surpassed the twisted and nauseous feeling in my stomach. 

“My Mom, what if she can’t afford all this?” I asked Carson referring to all we’d done so far. Our family had scrounged and saved to travel to a few countries in Europe this year. Mom thought it was vital for us to have the experience traveling to see history, and other cultures. 

Officer Carson appeared thoughtful. “It’s okay Brianne. Ne tu inquites pas. We’ll take care of things until your Mom returns. I nodded. I didn’t know what else to say. 

That night we went to bed sleeping fitfully. The next morning Carson awoke us and told us we would be sightseeing today. He told us about various places we could visit and let us choose a couple of them to see. We went to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We didn’t have to wait in line at all; we immediately were able to see what we wanted first. 

The four of us continued site seeing for the next week, never seeing our Mom. We always went out to dinner at a different restaurant each night to dine. Carson enjoyed eating well. 

One day, Carson even took us to H&M and some clothing stores for girls our age and let us each have one-hundred-and-fifty Euros to shop. We didn’t question Carson on this, even though it was a lot of money to us. We decided to spend eighty Euros and save the rest of the money for emergency. 

Caron seemed to know, “Vous etes des files intelligences pour economiser de l’argent. Bon les files.” He smiled at us, a rare occurence. We understood a bit of French from school and found ourselves picking it more with Carson. He brought us back to the hotel to spend the rest of the day watching movies and swimming. 

Three-weeks later our Mom returned. We cried when we saw her. I thought I’d never see her again and I gathered Paige and Monique thought the same. 

Mom appeared awful, unkept, and waif thin. She immediately went to bed, waking up in the middle of the night to shower. A wardrobe of various designer clothes and shoes was later delivered to her that week and Carson handed her a cheque for a large amount of money. My Mom’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. 

“For all your troubles Madam,” Carson told her and disappeared; we never saw him again. 

After Mom recovered for a couple of weeks, she decided we should continue to travel. A Doctor which had come to see her every two-days declared her fit and well. 

“Now that we have the money, we can travel throughout Europe and see many countries, not only three,” Mom told us. She smiled almost like her old-self and arranged for us to go everywhere we  wanted and stay in nice hotels. 

Later I thought back to this and realized Mom was running from the demons chasing her inside, from her nightmares, and her flashbacks. 

On a beach in Grenada, Spain, Mom finally said: “Girls I suppose it’s time we go home, you’ve missed a month of school already.” 

We didn’t want to leave. We were worried about or Mom. She hadn’t been the same person since the police first took her away. 

I’d given her space and only asked once or twice what happened to her. She ignored me. She wouldn’t talk to Paige or Monique either.

” I can’t tell you. That’s why we’ve so much money now Brianne,” she finally said to me.


Years later, I’m thirty-six and visiting my Mom. She is paging through a scrapbook of our European vacation. 

“You never said,” I began,”You never told me or anyone what happened to you in France. I know the memories give you nightmares still. What did the French police do to you Mom?” 

To my surprise she answered me. “Your Dad, you never knew him. I divorced him when you were only three-years-old and the twins one-years-old. He was a bad person, involved in things even in Europe which were awful and illegal.” A tear slipped out my Mom’s eye.

“When we came through France, they thought I was there to see your Dad. They promised they wouldn’t hurt my daughters but treat them well, if I told them everything I knew about your Dad. I told them I hadn’t seen him in almost ten-years that he was a terrible low-life, wanted across the North America.” 

“They wanted more. The police thought I had to be in contact with him. They were sure I was here to see him. For a week they tortured me, wouldn’t let me sleep, and other worse things. Eventually, they believed me and promised to let me go if I helped catch your Dad and draw him out from hiding so they could arrest him. Their plan worked, your Dad’s locked up forever,” my Mom said. 

“Mom, how could you not say anything all these years? How did you manage to travel around Europe after being . . .” 

She cut me off. “Money Brianne. Millions and millions in US funds. Enough to send my three daughters to the best universities and give you everything I couldn’t before. Enough money to wipe out the misery of that time in my life.” 

“Did it work? I asked my Mom.

She sighed tears forming, “It’s money Brianne. It makes things better and hides the truth. But in the end, the truth of what I went through is always there behind my eyes when I close them. I’m thankful Carson took care of you Brianne and Paige and Monique. He treated you well as the police promised he would. Above all, I was grateful and am grateful for that.” 

Mom closed her eyes and the tears continued to streak down her cheeks. 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

19 thoughts on “Tale Weavers: Fiction –  “When Mom Was Taken” #amwriting #fiction #travel #taleweaver 

  1. swritings September 30, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Gosh…this was really intense….and for him to say…. ‘For all your troubles….’ was incredibly sadistic! Torture makes you stoop to the same level as the criminals you’re after…an extremely holier than thou attitude, even though you try to justify the means to an end, but there is no justification for any despicable act, no matter the outcome. Wrong is wrong….. (Haha, this story really pulled me in!) Great write! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 September 30, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Hah I’m happy the story drew you in and your absolutely right. Torture is never right and is pretty awful to think money can make it go away, to keep away the memories. It’s completely wrong. Thanks for reading and commenting S.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael September 30, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Wow Mandi you had me in from the beginning, great story and wonderful contribution to this weeks Tale Weaver…thanks so much for participating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 September 30, 2016 / 11:07 pm

      Thank you Michael. I’m happy you enjoyed this. You’re welcome. I love your prompts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yinglan September 30, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    I enjoyed the story, felt bad for Brianne’s mom though, getting tortured because the police didn’t believe her. I’m glad she at last told Brianne about it and hopefully, her nightmares will end. Nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 September 30, 2016 / 11:06 pm

      Thank you Yinglan. I’m glad you liked it. It’s awful what happened to the Mom because she in the past, loved the wrong guy. I don’t think something like that goes away. Maybe the trick is to keep busy and surround yourself with those you love, filling the holes with God and your loved ones.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. clcouch123 October 1, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    Choosing a middle perspective, so to say, is smart. The narrator knows enough about being a child to appreciate the younger ones’ attitudes and needs. And she knows enough to be afraid for her mother. And we as readers receive the wealth of all she sees and feels plus her insight. The details in the narrative, such as inserting French (some of which I knew but only some) and how the children lived while Mom was gone, serve to heighten our engagement with what’s happening. This exotic story could be filmed for further visceral appreciation. Grand work, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 2, 2016 / 12:51 am

      Thank you Christopher. I’m glad you got a good perspective from Brianne. I’m glad the French was a good thing to put in. I wasn’t sure, I’m rusty at it, but I tried to choose phrases that would be more everyday and nothing unusual, especially since the girls seem to know a bit of it. Have a great Sunday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. any1mark66 October 3, 2016 / 4:04 am

    Really well done! Very intense. I like that mom is so hesitant to reveal the details. It really makes you wonder what she went through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 3, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you Mark. Yes I was happy how the story turned out. Honestly, I didn’t want to write about torture, so it was better to let the reader ‘imagine’ for myself and because we often imagine worse things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • any1mark66 October 3, 2016 / 5:58 pm

        We’re a pessimistic lot! We tend to go overboard given the chance. I love openning the door and letting people imagine what inside. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Janice Wald October 5, 2016 / 3:12 am

    Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for bringing your post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 5, 2016 / 4:40 pm

      Yes, this story ended up that way I’m afraid. Thanks for reading Janice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Joan October 16, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    The sacrifices parents make. I am glad that the mother was returned despite all the surrounding circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mandibelle16 October 16, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Thanks for reading Joan. Me too. Yes she truly sacrificed, even keeping the terrible details from her children as long as she could.


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