The writing prompt from NANO fiction is: Write a piece about something that you can only learn outside a classroom setting. Forget Math, Science, History, and English—what are some subjects that aren’t taught in school, but that you think make important lessons?
The little girl picked the white petals off the daisy, one by one by one. With each petal she alternated between: my wish will and my wish won't. It was her seventh daisy and by now she had learned to begin each flower with my wish won't. As she picked the last petal off her current daisy, she smiled. It was her third my wish will in a row.
Her mother came to her. "We should have been home already," her mother said. The little girl didn't look up. She didn't like seeing how tight her mother was these days, as if her skin were a tense balloon on the verge of popping.
"Just one more," she said to her mother and picked another daisy.
"What are you doing? Making wishes?" Her mother's laugh was like a dull knife. "What's that going to do? How's that going to fix anything?"
"Maybe it won't," the little girl said, unconcerned. "But there's nothing else I can do, is there?"
There was no reply. And after a moment her mother picked a daisy of her own.
The little girl sounds waaaay too old, and there's not enough setting here. I also need to explain how the "s/he loves me" daisy game got transformed into a general wish game. Oh, and if you're curious, a typical field daisy has 34 petals.
But I kinda like this story and actually it's fixable. I think it has the potential to be a little bit sweet. Perhaps bitterly so.