My Mother’s Home
It takes a journey down thirteen rungs lining her esophagus
to reach my mother. Each rung representing a year since the day my father erected
his middle finger, said kiss my ass and slammed the door on his way out.
The same day her beloved K-nock (Don’t ask, I never understood the name.), a
Maine Coon of gross proportions, decided to depart this plane and dropped dead
on the living room floor. Allowing ample time for K-nock to display the last of
his nine lives, my mother cleaned his skeleton and mounted it onto the moist
wall: a shrine to unconditional, loyal love.
After my father’s departure, my mother doubled down on her reality-resistance strength building exercises and, with lover-wrapped arms, embraced victimhood. After which, she pronounced I. Will. Never. Get. Over. This. And that’s when she went inward and downward.
In no haste, she props open her esophageal sphincter and goes about the task of taking my childhood home down and down and down into her darkness. There, with K-nock, she is surrounded by a collection of all the things she wanted to do but didn’t get to do.
On my last visit the light dims with each passing rung and the familiar drip-drop-drip of water fills my ears and dampens my clothes. Refluxed food chunks tangle in my hair. I hear again, “I’m so glad you get to blah blah blah.” Fill in the blah blahs with any and everything I get to do.
Preparing to leave, I implore my refrain because everyone deserves that one last chance, “Mom, please, come up into the light.”
She appeals with hers, “There’s plenty of light down here,” and resumes listing all the gets she doesn’t get to do. It all hits an off rhythm: drip-drop-drop-drip. The bile of her reflux that is my poison is her nourishment.
Constance Malloy is the author of Tornado Dreams. Her work has been anthologized by Bending Genres and has most recently appeared in New Flash Fiction Review, The Daily Drunk, and is forth coming in Rejection Letters. Her work has been nominated for Best Microfiction 2021 and was short listed for Fractured Lit's Micro Fiction Contest. She is a Fiction Editor at New Flash Fiction Review.