Tag: Family

Half Past Regret by Rasmenia Massoud

Rhonda downed the convenience store espresso and tossed the can in the backseat as the dashboard clock blinked over to 6:03pm. It clanged and rattled when it joined the others piled on the floor. She popped open the glove box, snatched a handful of yellow Wendy’s napkins and wiped the windshield, which was now covered with a thick nicotine film. The haze might be considered dangerous to most people. To Rhonda, it was an inconvenience. A chore. Another thing she had to do to maintain and upkeep.

Cleaning. Showering. Keeping toenails trimmed. Being alive was a lot of work and it never let up.

Xan & Grit by Coleman Bigelow

Long before the children would shed their gender conforming names and escape their provincial village, the two siblings endured a tortuous childhood of stifling convention. The children’s mother called her son Hansel, a ‘healthy eater’ and her daughter, Gretel, a ‘little piggy.’ Their father clapped Hansel on his meaty back and offered him a stein of the family pilsner, while their mother showed Gretel how to polish the silver and iron the wrinkles out of lederhosen. 

Once a Mother by Stephanie Parent

Mother takes her Baby Girl to the park on the first warm day of the year. The bluebells have burst into bloom, turning familiar grass into a foreign seascape. Baby Girl wobbles with unpracticed feet on bulbous cerulean heads. She sways as if she floats atop the waves of a real ocean.

Mother loves to hold Baby Girl’s hand, keeping her steady, even if it means crouching till Mother’s young knees ache like an old woman’s. Baby Girl clenches her tiny fingers with determination: one step, then another, then another. Mother only wishes her daughter’s flesh did not stay so rigid and cold, despite the sun’s sweet caresses.

Last Flight of the Passerine Brigade by Rick Hollon

I had just sunk at long last into my easy chair, pipe in hand, glass of palm toddy at my side, when my door fell victim to rapid-fire tap-tap-tapping.

I fluffed and sputtered but it did no good. The tapping came again, insistent as a woodpecker. I made a severe face at my pipe. “That’ll be those squirrels again, I expect. Tut! Still fixed on the idea that their grandmother left nuts here twenty winters back.” I tamped out the pipe and set it beside the toddy as the raps rattled through the tree once more.