The Moment of Change

By Dalia Martinez




As a kid, there were many times when my sense of safety was shattered. Our car was broken into, my friend’s dog was stolen and I witnessed more than one car accident. But the point of no return came when a heroine addict broke into my family’s apartment while my brother and me were home alone. That moment forever changed the idea that home was a haven of safety.





Writing Prompt:

For this week’s writing prompt, consider something pivotal that changed the way you think. Did you vote differently? Maybe you picked up a new habit? Add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch) and write about it for 10 minutes. Then post the results in the comment section of this blog to be entered into the November/December comment contest!


It was Spring Break week and I was 12. My brother was 14. He had seen my mom off to work while he watched TV lazily on the couch. I was in my bed refusing to get up on a perfectly sunny Monday morning. The heroine addict broke in by ripping through the screen on the window in the kitchen door with a butcher knife. He walked past the small kitchen and found my brother. What ensued went something like this:


Addict: You have money?


My brother:  I have $20.


Addict: Who else is here?


My brother: My sister.


The addict flicked on the lights when he walked into the bedroom. I drew the sheets over my head, assuming it was my brother being an ass, making loud noises. I felt him standing next to my bed, not knowing he was looking down at me holding the knife. I felt him hover over me as he reached for a purse at the foot of the bed. Minutes passed before I figured out what was happening.


Since the break-in I’ve never been able to live in an apartment that is on the ground floor. I eavesdropped on the LAPD detectives who covered our case. They talked with each other about the possibilities of how badly this break-in could’ve ended. At that moment, my sense of safety in the home was shattered forever.


Now for 10 minutes, write about your experience, including the sensory detail (e.g. wearing a new perfume, changing your diet, never driving at night…). Then, post your results in the comments of this blog!