Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #55: Not Today( #flashfiction )

I spat toothpaste into my great-grandmother’s antique porcelain bowl, followed with a swish-spit of water, and showed my grandfather’s shaving mirror my smile for inspection. Every morning, I remembered my ancestors through the things they left behind, and one day I would add my mother’s favorite necklace to my morning routine.

I better not say that out loud. It sounds like I’m a serial killer collecting mementos of my victims.

“You know, we have a perfectly good bathroom.” Louis, my lover — because saying boyfriend at my age seemed ridiculous — leaned against the bedroom door frame, uncrossed his arms, and redirected his hands to his pockets. I told him when we first met that I noticed that he crossed his arms to show off his biceps.

“I don’t like keeping my toothbrush where I shit,” I said, bringing the bowl and brush to the kitchen to clean. I rubbed my behind on his thigh as I passed, though there was plenty of room. He drew his brows together, opened his mouth, and then closed it again.  “Weird, but logical right?”

I am rewarded with a kiss and a smirk. “A valid point, and I feel like I need to bleach my mouth. Is there anything else I’ve been doing wrong?”

“Plenty, but we’ve only been shacking up a couple of days. Let’s take it slow.” I tousled the glints of sliver in his soft black curls. Showering before bed, I hoped, would come naturally through observation. A clean body should go into a clean bed, my mother would say.

Louis studied my face and smoothed the sorrowful lines from my brows with his thumbs.  “Going to see your mother today?”

I nodded and glanced at myself as I passed the hall mirror. When did I get that old? This is certainly not the image of myself in The Matrix. Is that…is that a chin hair? My fingers brushed against the offending whisker, and then I yanked it. Pain made my eyes water, but it stayed fast. I glared at Louis as if it were his fault, and he held up his hands. The sniffles overtook me and I forced back the sob.

“Stupid hormones.” I wiped my cheeks roughly with my hands. “You know, I still can’t believe that old lady knew I was pregnant before I did.”

“I don’t think much gets past your mother.”

“No.” I bit my lip. “I wish she would let me bring her home.”

Louis hugged me.

I had threatened to duct tape my mother to a wheel chair and drag it through the snow if she didn’t come willingly. She responded by spraying me in the face with juice through a straw and called me a damn idiot. “I’ve taken care of too many in their last days: my grandparents, my parents, and your father.  I won’t have that for you.  I’m old and that’s not your fault. Go live your life.  Come visit, Skype, and play online with me. If I’m lucky I’ll get to kiss my grand-baby,” my mother had told me.

I blew my nose and Louis helped me into my coat. My mother is everywhere I look from the big basket where we threw our shoes, to the store-bought carrots standing fresh and tall in the sand-filled window box in the kitchen, to the curtain-less windows (Why the hell do I want to dress the house and make more laundry?  You know how I feel about laundry).

“Hey.” Louis rubbed my arms.

My breaths felt heavy and my head sagged from the weight of all the logic seeping through. “The nurse says she’s had a hard week, but today is a good day. The new medicine is working better.” My hands smoothed over the roundness under my coat. “If she tries to give me that necklace again, I’m going to snarf a jumbo bag of Doritos and… breathe in her face.”

“Didn’t you say she thought Doritos smelled like dirty feet?”

I grin. “Yeah.”

“That’s rough.”

“And if she gets really sassy with me, I’ll put What’s Up Pussycat as her ringtone and lock it.”

Louis tied my scarf around my neck. “Let me come with you.”

“I can handle it.”

“I know you can.” He smiled sideways and lead me out. “I just want to see your Mom’s counterattack. I bet you ten bucks she crushes your chemical warfare.”

The cold stung my nostrils and burned my ears.

Please, Mom, not today; I’m not ready.


11 comments on “Yeah Write #55: Not Today( #flashfiction )

  1. Danielle Dayney
    March 16, 2017

    There is something about the simplicity of this piece that I’m really in love with. I especially love everything we know about her mother, despite not knowing her at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 23, 2017

      Thank you! My heart just melted that you loved it. I do tend to be better with more dark horror pieces and simple scenes are much harder for me. The mother rather did make herself part of everything didn’t she 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. d3athlily
    March 16, 2017

    Aww, how sad. I wasn’t sure where this was going at the start. I actually imagined her as antagonizing up until the moment that she started crying. Not sure if I was projecting that onto the character or the way it was written. Hehe But once we got to the meat of the story, I was wholly invested. Lovely piece, Tara!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 23, 2017

      Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment! I missed a few comments somehow! You are right the MC did come off as hard at first, but then it sort of morphed into the reason. Emotional upheaval, internal conflict, hormonal fluctuations, adjusting to new living arrangements, denial, and denying acceptance. She’s a mess 🙂 I’m glad it sucked you in 😉


  3. rubybastille
    March 16, 2017

    This is really beautiful. It changes emotions so quickly, one minute you’re laughing at a memory and the next you’re trying not to cry. All the details and memories about her mother tell us a lot about the two of them and their relationship, but Louis holds his own, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 23, 2017

      Thanks! I was worried that the ups and downs weren’t going to work, but that’s how acceptance of such a heavy situation works I think. Haha, funny thing about Louis…he kept insisting I change his name. I tried five different ones before he was satisfied. LOL “Do I look like a George to you?”; “Walter? No.”; “Harry? I hate it.” LOL “Not, Jan, you used that one already. I’m not that guy.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jedwardbenoit
    March 16, 2017

    You did a fantastic job of developing a character (the mother) through her likes, dislikes and idiosyncrasies without any real physical description of her. Makes me want to write something like this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 23, 2017

      Thank you 🙂 It didn’t plan to do that, but as I wrote the mother just rather became a character that was ever present without really being there. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


  5. moperkinsblog
    March 20, 2017

    great piece, love the humor in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      March 23, 2017

      Thank you 🙂 I am glad to see the little touch of humor lightend the heaviness of the piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      • moperkinsblog
        March 23, 2017

        oh definitley, humor can be so tough to work into a serious piece- but the irony can help lighten the load for the reader too.

        Liked by 1 person

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