Thursday’s Child by Damhnait Monaghan

The shrieks punch down the stairs and pummel me in the kitchen where I stand at the sink, peeling vegetables. I run for her bedroom, still clutching a carrot. Sweet Jesus, don’t let her be cutting with the razor again.

***

The voice on the phone screams “Bitch!” when I say she moved out. She bounced a cheque and do I know that’s a criminal act? He has our address and he’s coming to get his fucking money. I hang up, hoping like hell she used an old cheque.

***

When the motion sensor lights flick on, I stop breathing, waiting for the darkness to return. On and off, on and off. I sit up and crawl to the window. Animal? Vegetable? Criminal?

***

She call collects from Paris.  All delightful and delicious, so I know she’s high, tripping in the City of Lights. Then her voice drops til she’s wallowing way down low. Some crazy guy on the metro slapped her so hard she was dizzy. She’s crying now. For no reason, Mom. And no one would help me.

***

Things I said that maybe didn’t help: You must’ve provoked him. What are you on? When are you coming home?

***

The rain is freight train heavy on the drive to the airport.  The wipers swish and sigh; they’re giving up on me, like everyone does. My head dips and sways. A horn blares and a car heads straight at me. I grab the wheel and wrench it, crashing through the guard rail.

***

We used to cocoon in bed, my little one and me, her big brown eyes locked on mine. She was the wise one, looking deep into my black heart. She knew I’d always let her down.


Damhnait Monaghan is a Canadian now living in the UK. Her stories, real and imagined, have appeared or are forthcoming in the National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2016, Understorey Magazine, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spelk Fiction, The Incubator, EllipsisZine and Inside the Bell Jar.

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