All posts filed under: Fiction

PERISHABLE

Tonee slipped in her mouth the last piece of fried chicken she had swaddled in a napkin for safekeeping. Just like she slipped from the event hall before they could load up her car with leftovers. She didn’t need the store-bought chicken that spent hours at the repast sweating in an aluminum pan to spend days in her fridge, until she ate it all.  She could see the package on her doorstep from the car. Though stamped across its face, “PERISHABLE” failed to invoke any sense of urgency in her. Folks had been sending her things left and right once word got out that her mom passed. Why should today be any different? She unlatched the glove compartment looking for the restaurant napkins she always grabbed in generous bundles. Empty. She rubbed her fingertips together, hoping to make them less greasy. She wasn’t wiping her hands on her good black sheath dress—she was sad, not stupid. The sheen on her seatbelt buckle confirmed that her bright idea had not been her best idea. She stretched …

Taken: Three Stories | Danielle Buckingham

1 “What’s on your mind today, Carletta?” I don’t tell her my children. Their faces, the first thing I used to see each morning, whining about being hungry. The sound of their voices calling my name, Mama, over and over again. And their laughter filling up what used to be our home. I miss that. Them and having a home. “Nothing really.” I say, instead. It’s hard to keep a straight face with this lady. It’s like I’m being interrogated. The same old thing, every week. Her sitting across from me in that wooden chair, the seat padded with floral. And me on this ugly brown couch, with my arms crossed, ready for the session to be over. I shift in my seat, trying not to look or seem as annoyed as I actually am. “How was your visit with your family yesterday?” She says, kind of glancing at me over her glasses. Here she go trying to play this little game again. She knows good and damn well those people, whoever they are, ain’t …

The Sale | Nandini Bhattacharya

Mother died. The apartment I’d bought for her had to be sold. When the apartment wouldn’t sell, I started grousing that I would be wearing Mother’s albatross now. As soon as the place was move-in ready, she had to go and die. Good in a way she was dead, actually; if she’d had an inkling of my (okay, mean) grousing she’d have writhed like a salted leech. And if she’d even heard the word “leech” — same thing. Mother loved my son Joey more than anything else in her world, everyone would say. Joey didn’t love her back that much. Joey was a tough kid that way. Living with his immigrant single mom, American dad furious about the divorce, Joey knew not to love too much where the yield was slant or uncertain. And so he didn’t love Mother enough to be really stricken when she died. I tried to see it from his point of view, but since I had to be the link between him and Mother, I minded it. I minded that …