Monday, October 24, 2011

Make Them Stop

First published in MicroHorror (2011)

Angelina knelt on the kitchen floor, the carving knife in her hand. The names her mother called her fought for a front row seat in Angelina’s brain—Lardo, Laggard, Lollygagger, as if her mother was one to talk. The fat slob. Angelina stared at the body, like an onlooker at a crime scene, waiting for her mother to awaken. A Beatles song played on the radio.

Mother Mary comes to me…

“She’s comin’ all right, bitch.” She’d never called her mother that, not to her face, not until now.


Angelina’s stomach tightened. Her breath hissed through clenched teeth.

“Twenty-six years you kept me in this house.” The words fell like tiny spit grenades on her mother’s bruised face. “Twenty-six years of tellin’ me how ugly I was, twenty-six years of makin’ your problems mine, twenty-six years of puttin’ me down. Well no more—bitch.”

Angelina sat on her heels, placed her hands over her ears, and rocked back and forth, waiting. She forced her breathing to slow. Her mother’s words echoed through Angelina’s brain. She lowered her hands to allow the words to escape. They didn’t. She rocked faster.

“You told me I was evil. I guess you was right. Did you see it in my eyes? Did you? Right before that skillet rearranged your ugly face—bitch?”

Angelina raised the knife over her head with both hands. Her lips parted, her eyes widened. The rage overtaking her, Angelina rocked back one last time before driving the knife into her mother’s forehead. She yanked the blade back and plunged it into the bloodied body—again, and again, and again—but her mother’s voice wouldn’t stop.

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