Six Sentence Story- Perilous Promises

Prompt word:

Twelve year old Ernesto held tightly to his little sister Abria’s wrist as they stumbled along on aching legs slowly navigating the darkening dirt road northward to America with ‘Butch’, two steps behind them, prodding them with a stick to move them along faster as he kept whispering filthy comments at Abria about her innocent beauty and his own ‘needs’.

Butch was the name of the ‘sponsor’ his father had paid $2000.00 for his professional service as a guide to the U.S. border where they’d be able to find their great aunt Maria using the tattered plastic wrapped slip of paper with her address and phone number Ernesto kept in his shoe but Butch was not behaving like the nice middle-aged man who had, just yesterday, promised to care for them.

Finally, they spotted a faint glow of a campfire about a mile ahead which meant water, a meal, and some much needed rest were about to become available so they quickened their pace when Butch snatched Ernesto’s 10-year-old sister’s hand and dragged her into the nearby bushes as the helpless boy screamed for the sponsor to release her!

Ernesto blindly pursued them when, out of nowhere, a knife slashed at his face from one of the deepest shadows where his sister’s screeches had been growing in intensity and he felt a white hot pain then the warmth of blood dripping along his jaw making him falter just long enough to glimpse an old axe handle against a nearby tree with the slightest glimmer of a metal wedge still attached.

Ernesto exploded onto the road ten minutes later carrying his disheveled- partly undressed- sister who clung to him still whimpering and trembling and raced toward the campfire light on overburdened rubbery legs to a crowd of complete strangers and a chance for safety.

The blood flow from his lacerated face had slowed and mostly coagulated but it had somehow covered him in a spatter pattern from head to toe so the woman, who kindly administered to his wound, burned his whole outfit of clothes (one of two), fed and bedded his sister, and never asked a thing about a sponsor; thus ending day one.


GirlieOnTheEdge’s Blog – Words of a clarklike female (

46 thoughts on “Six Sentence Story- Perilous Promises

  1. Doug Jacquier 03/24/2021 / 6:35 pm

    Graphic and chilling insight into this appalling border situation. Just hope you don’t get the same flack that Jeanine Cummins got for ‘American Dirt’ from the Thought Police. 😉

  2. zoe 03/24/2021 / 7:19 pm

    My spouse had similar experiences with a “people smuggler” from Tibet. Its unfortunate when those who are already so desperate fall prey to even more abuse and hardship.

  3. GirlieOnTheEdge 03/24/2021 / 8:05 pm

    Explicit, intense story. Tragic and appalling to consider it may not be too far from some realities.

  4. gclawdia 03/24/2021 / 10:55 pm

    Powerful and scary to think of in today’s climate.

    • Susan St.Pierre 03/25/2021 / 6:58 am

      Thanks. Yes it is. But it’s something I believe we need to be aware of.

      • gclawdia 03/25/2021 / 8:49 am

        I totally agree. Imagine what struggles they are facing at home to make that journey and face challenges along the way. I don’t understand why more people are not concerned. Thank you for helping promote that awareness.

      • Susan St.Pierre 03/25/2021 / 9:04 am

        I’m afraid that, like my title, perilous promises are being made when most would be better off staying put. Not all the parents sending their children alone, are ‘good parents’ either. Appreciate your comments!

  5. Chris Hall 03/25/2021 / 3:50 am

    Intense and heart-rending. Reminds me of Isabel Allende’s novel, ‘In the Midst of Winter’, which describes a similar flight across the US border.

    • Susan St.Pierre 03/25/2021 / 7:01 am

      I’m not familiar with that. Thanks for the comment and the book to look for.

      • Chris Hall 03/25/2021 / 11:12 am

        It’s worth reading! I’m a huge fan of Isabelle Allende, especially her earlier, magical realism novels. I’ve still enjoyed her more recent work, although her memoir stuff, not so much.

  6. Liz H 03/25/2021 / 12:57 pm

    Gripping and timely and so well done!

  7. UP 03/25/2021 / 3:01 pm

    very vivid, very real. good word play good six

  8. clark 03/25/2021 / 4:13 pm

    Adding my own appreciation for a Six in which the combination of being engaging, while maintaining an intensity that pulls the Reader through the path of words that make up this tragic tale.
    Nicely done.

  9. The Vintage Toy Advertiser 03/25/2021 / 4:43 pm

    An intense story. Traumatic for the two siblings – glad they found the kindness of the woman at the camp.

  10. messymimi's meanderings 03/25/2021 / 7:36 pm

    My heart aches the most that people do not feel safe where they are to make a good life, and so try to flee. How i wish there were a way to help them make the life they dream of right where they are, no such horrible travel scenes needed.

  11. ceayr 03/26/2021 / 9:05 am

    Jings, you packed a lot into that, Susan!
    Powerful writing

    • Susan St.Pierre 03/26/2021 / 9:09 am

      I’m considering adding to this journey. Seems I needed a foundation to work from. Much appreciated!

  12. TheHiddenEdge 03/26/2021 / 1:07 pm

    Dear me, Susan – not sure that liking this post is the right ‘option’!! Great 6 with more to come no doubt?

  13. D. Avery @shiftnshake 03/26/2021 / 5:00 pm

    Yikes, that was intense. And I am hoping that ‘thus ending day one’ means there will be more of Ernesto’s and Abria’s story in future Sixes.

  14. Lisa Tomey 03/26/2021 / 5:26 pm

    This was intense and bore truths of these days and many days before. I’m anticipating a continuation.

    • Susan St.Pierre 03/26/2021 / 5:32 pm

      I’m seriously considering that. It is a theme rich for story telling. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. -Eugenia 04/01/2021 / 6:15 pm

    Vivid and intense piece! Excellent story telling, Susan, and thank you for following my blog.

  16. oneta hayes 04/06/2021 / 10:42 pm

    Great job with this topic, Susan. Hopefully no one overtakes the kindness at the end.

    • Susan St.Pierre 04/07/2021 / 6:57 am

      Thank you! Tonight, I’ll have the story continue. Stay tuned. 😉

  17. Peter 04/14/2021 / 9:02 am

    Thanks for following!

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