You always said the kitchen was our gathering place.
“Over fine food families are saved.”
We’ve finally begun washing away the smoke gathered on your plates. Odds and ends scavenged from charred remains gather dust among piles of bills. There’s a bill for every emotion it seems but our payment for grief falls short.
In your absence we gather under your favorite tree. We try to laugh but they burn our lungs on the way out, so we stand and pretend. Maybe we believe you’ll turn the corner, picnic basket in hand. Maybe if we just squint a little harder …
She appeared in the music shop window. An enigmatic child before Christmas breathing slow circles of lust across the glass. Day after day she faded in and out, inching closer to the gold plated door handles. Her rats nest hair, highlighted by shimmering grey, and clanging camping pots scared patrons away.
The day she finally slid her dirty fingers across the grand piano keys we knew. Whatever she unleashed, it was beauty the world wouldn’t be ready for.
People looked on. Phones took video. It wasn’t long before every mind became captivated.
My grandfather planted this tree with roots poisoned after the war. His father watered it, the seed which came before. My father nurtured them, these roots of ruined fiber. This tree grew ever higher. Its fruit, rotting, my mother prepared for me. She sweetened it, tried to soothe it down, Nothing could disguise the smell of these roots rotting in the ground. It falls to me, as this tree must be fed; A living sacrifice of a life never lead. I toss my children as far as I can; Mutter the same empty words my mother offered Over knotted hands.
Word Count: 100
A write for Friday Fictioneers, roped in by Rochelle Wisoff Fields. I also think it’s Sunday (though I am not 100% sure). I’ve been writing my research proposal/thesis. I’m afraid I’m not good for much else right now.
The girls stared across the table at each other. Each clutched a brightly colored piece of paper in dirty fingers. The warden tapped his watch. “Which one’s it gonna be?” Hana watched as her younger sister slowly unfolded her small pink slip. Janey’s face contorted into a silent victorious howl as she shot up from her old chair to take a lap around the room. Hana slumped, defeated. “Ok Hana, let’s go.” “No!” Without thinking, Hana was up and running towards the muddy grass outside. “You’ll never take me alive!”
Her father groaned towards the sky, “It’s just a bath.”