Five Denying Mother

A single shard of crystal twinkles red, a bloody star in the sunlight. Strip your eyes from this pretty corner. Home wraps its arms around like a cool gray blanket. You are the fulcrum.

Perspiration drips from mother’s brow and lands on her skirted knee as she scoops up the last of the broken glass from the kitchen floor. She wipes her forehead with the back of her wrist and turns to the small shadow in the doorway. Mother gazes up at her eldest child. Brother’s stance, in nothing but cotton boxers, belies his vulnerability. Mother thinks that at thirteen he is trivial for his age.

“Where is he?” asks her son.

“He went back to work,” answers mother.

“And…”

Hospital,” mother yields.

As mother stands she picks up the cat’s food bowl. She makes a mental note to go to the pet store. With a heavy thunk! the bowl impacts the inside of the black plastic trash bin, the lid closes, the sun gleams from its surface.

Brother shields his eyes and runs to get dressed.

For part six, click here.

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