Tag Archives: Grandma

Sleepytime Tea (revision)

Mom Mom says that when I drink sleepytime tea that I’ll have good dreams. And you know what? She’s right!

I used to have dreams about monsters that chased after me and I was never fast enough because of my “amnormal” heartbeat, and they would catch me and I’d wake up and go to my mommy’s room. When I drink sleepytime tea, I have good dreams about ponies that fly and butterflies that sing songs. Mom Mom told me once that worms grow into butterflies. Mom Mom knows about everything because she’s old. Even older than Mommy is!

Mom Mom told me once that God created me special because He has special plans for me. Sometimes I feel like God is mad at me because my chest hurts sometimes. Mommy has some gooey stuff she rubs on my chest that helps me calm down and feel better. She tells me bedtime stories. Sometimes I dream that I’m a princess and that Mommy is the queen and Mom Mom is a good fairy who grants my wishes. Sometimes, I don’t have any dreams. That’s because the silver worms ate them. I see them crawling on my eyes before I faint. When I wake up, everyone looks scared and that makes me feel scared.

Me and my family used to go to church but we left. Our pastor said that I fainted because I didn’t believe in God hard enough. Mommy got mad. We left the church after that.

Mommy and Pop Pop got and a fight because Pop Pop wanted me to go to church. Mom Mom said I should decide for myself. I didn’t want to make Pop Pop mad, but the pastor scared me. I like God though, so now we pray at home to Him every morning. Mom Mom and Pop Pop still go to church most Sundays but Pop Pop’s back and legs sometimes hurt too much so they can’t go.

The silver worms sometimes crawl on my eyes but maybe one day I’ll wake up and they’ll turn into pretty butterflies that sing to me. I’m happy that God made me special and gave me Mommy and Mom Mom and Pop Pop too. I know that God loves me and we’ll be happy forever!


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Filed under Flash Fiction

My Hero, Grandma

My grandmother is the only train conductor to win the presidential medal of freedom. You see, being part of the Futurist movement in the 1920s, Grandma was ahead of her time. She believed in the power of technology and speed and the crushing power of locomotives. So, her life goal was to pilot one of these steel beasts, even if she was only a woman. But that’s not the only progressive (or eccentric) thing about Grandma. She also had proto-transhumanist tendencies. Grandmother began modifying her body so that she could hook herself up to the train and act as its levers. Soon after, she modified herself to be powered by steam to the point where she had super strong arms powered by steam and hydraulics. She also had a steam-powered jetpack, and this was decades before Commando Cody was even a thing.

Grandma felt she could do more with her modifications, however. She began busting small-time crooks and anti-prohibitionists, brewing their dirty alcohol with their pizzas and Fascist ideals. Grandma didn’t mind the Fascism so much, but she couldn’t abide by lawbreakers, so she taught them all a lesson by breaking their bones and destroying their nasal cavities. More than even lawbreakers, though, Grandma hated Communists. While tracking down mafia members, she found a group of Socialist Workers meeting and plotting against America. At first, she was going to just shut down their operation and chase them all off like any good steam-powered cyborg citizen would do, but then she heard them gloating and laughing over a toast with their red Commie wine about how they secretly poisoned President Harding. Grandma was shocked and angered by this revelation. She only left one alive to confess what they’d done to President Coolidge. Astounded by her bravery and hard work, the president awarded her with the presidential medal of freedom.

I am as proud of my grandmother as any boy could be. She’s the greatest person in the world, and I only wish she’d been able to kill more Nazis instead of giving birth to and raising my father. Still, Grandma is the best person I know and she is definitely my hero.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

The News

The old man frowned at the television screen.

“I hate Lou Dobbs and his fat head! Who even listens to this guy? All he does is rant all day about things he hates! Nobody cares!” He shouted, cupping his mouth at the T.V.

“Obviously, somebody cares,” his wife said, stirring up some cookie batter in the kitchen area. “A lot of people watch his show, honey.”

“Yeah, well people are idiots!”

“You can’t say that everyone’s an idiot.”

“Yes I can! They’re all a bunch of whiners and bigots on this program and I hate it! When did the news get to be 24 hours of crap anyway?”

“Ronaldo! Language!”

“Sorry, dear.”

“We have our grandkids coming by. I don’t want to hear any of that while talk when the little ones are around!”

“I know!” he dismissed the rebuke with his remote control hand. “I promise my talk will be all candy and roses with the little puerquitos.

“Enough of that!”

“Well, their parents feed them too much. Always feeding them, like they are going hungry at every meal. It doesn’t help that you are making them cookies.”

“I am making them cookies because I love them! You get off your fat, lazy butt and do something yourself!” She ran over to him with her spoon and hit him on the head. “Now, go and wash this spoon off and then wash your hair. We’re having visitors!”

“But I’ll miss Wolf Blitzer! I love that guy!” But he marched to the sink, batter in his hair. It was best not to argue with her when she got so unreasonable like this.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XVII

Old Mother

They called her “Old Mother” in the honorific. She sat alone most days, cataracts fuzzing her pupils. She’d sit in the dark, reclined in her EZ Chair, waiting for the Lord to take her.

“Old Mother,” they would say, “what wisdom do you have for us today?”

Each day, she would tell them a story about her life. Whether the story had a moral or not was up to them. Today, a 5-year-old named Paku came to visit here.

“Old Mother,” he said, “I have a question.”

She sat there, staring at nothing, staring the film over her eyes.

“Who was your mother? Who created you?”

Old Mother turned her head and stared at the boy. He swallowed his fear in a big lump. His parents said that she wasn’t a witch, so she must not be. He stood his ground.

“Who made you, Old Mother? Didn’t you come from somewhere?”

She looked away, back toward the wall. “If you are asking who my mother is, I never knew her. If you are asking who my creator is, I cannot tell you that, either.”

“Why not?”

Her dry face crackled into a smile. “Do you remember the day you were born?”

Paku tried with all of his might. He could not remember. He shook his head, then remembered Old Mother couldn’t see him. “No, Old Mother. I cannot remember.”

“Nobody does. How can we know our creator, then?”

“I guess maybe we don’t.”

“Child, I don’t remember my mother. Not even my creator. Even so, child, do you know what I did when I was young?”

Paku got excited. “What did you do, Old Mother?”

“I made every woman my mother. I learned sewing and song from the seamstresses. I learned dignity and humility from the innkeepers. I learned shame and independence from the prostitutes.”

“You must have learned a lot,” Paku said.

“I kept my mind open. And my heart. You are young, still, child. Soak in all that you can. I am old. I have nothing to learn any more, only stories to tell.”

Paku wanted to ask so much, but he could see in her eyes that she was tired and needed to sleep. He wondered about her words, about growing old. Though he forgot about it when he went to play kickball with his friends, her words always stayed in the back of his mind.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XVII

Drifting Flower

Moyo doesn’t know why his brother, Fumai, gets to eat every day and drink clean water. Moyo hasn’t eaten since yesterday when he had some bread. His parents died of cholera and now his brother has cholera too. Moyo won’t get cholera. He’s strong. He’s faster than all the other kids and can outrun adults. They have long legs but they are lazy. Moyo’s grandmother yells at him a lot. Last week, he used some Zimbabwean dollars as toilet paper like he knows all the other kids do, but he’s the only one unlucky enough to clog the toilet. A lot of people yell at Moyo. He sometimes goes to the stream to throw rocks into it. He hasn’t seen Fumai in a while. The women at the hospital always kick him out. They say he is a thief. Moyo’s not a thief. Fumai never touches his bread, so Moyo helps himself. Why waste food if nobody will eat it?

Moyo stops throwing rocks.

There is a flower in the water. Moyo runs into the water and picks it out. It looks like a bloody claw. He runs to the hospital to bring a gift to the women. They will tell him how beautiful it is and let him see Fumai and then he will take Fumai’s bread.

Moyo’s pants dry out as he runs to the hospital. He holds the flower close to him like it’s his child.

“I have a flower!” Moyo announces, pushing it toward the closest woman.

“Oh, Moyo, you scared me, child.” She looks like she’s going to yell at him, but then her eyes get big like ripe papaya. “Oooh! Moyo, that’s a flame lily! That’s good luck, child.”

He pushes it at her. “You like it? Here! Can I see my brother?”

She breathes really big. “Moyo. Your brother can’t stay here much longer. The hospital’s out of food. We can’t keep anybody here anymore.”

“No food?” The flower goes limp in his hand.

“No, but go on up and take the flower up to your brother. I’m sure he’ll love it.”

Moyo does as he’s told. His brother looks worse he has a bucket by him that smells really bad. “I brought you a flower, Fumai.” He puts it on his brother’s chest.

“I hurt all over, brother,” Fumai says. Moyo hates visiting his brother. He doesn’t like how he looks or smells. He remembers when they used to race and Fumai always beat him.

“They said they’re out of food.”

Fumai doesn’t answer. He closes his eyes.

Moyo feels bad for his brother. He’s probably going to die. They can’t afford medicine and now they won’t feed him. “Grandma’s doing all right.”

Fumai doesn’t respond.

“There’s a place I know that has papaya. It’s picked pretty clean, but I think there’ some green ones still. I can bring one for you.”

Fumai nods, but it looks like it’s hard for him.

“I’ll be back tomorrow, Fumai. Hold on, okay?”

On the way home, Moyo thinks about his brother and his parents. He feels like something is clawing at his heart.


Filed under FEATHERTON SESSION, Flash Fiction

Memories of Grandma

I remember when Grandma taught me to sew. I never could get even a running stitch right.

“Your sewing is just like your writing,” she’d say. “It’s full of loose ends!” Then she’d poke me in the shoulder with her needle. She always did that when I wasn’t doing something right.

“That hurts, Grandma!”

“You know what else hurts? Childbirth! Now go apologize to your mother for being born and tell her I need my diaper changed!”

Mom told me that she had a terrible childhood, though she loved her mother all the same and we should all love her and take care of her because she’s family. Whenever Mom talked about how much we should love Grandma, I knew I had to leave the room or she would snap at me or give me a whupping for being in the way. Of course, when I left, I would get yelled at for never helping around the house, but I wouldn’t get a whupping then. Mom just needed her space is all.

Grandma always breathed really loud and snored like a bee hive. Sometimes, late at night, I prayed for God to take her. I felt bad about that, but it seemed like she’d be happier in Heaven anyways. Grandma lived for a very long time. Maybe God was waiting for her to screw up so he wouldn’t have to let her in. I like to believe God has a plan.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XII

Unlucky Hazel

Hazel led a very boring, uneventful life. She coasted through everything, flashing her pretty, white smile and blinking her gorgeous eyelash extensions. When she sat down to talk with her friends, they all had problems to talk about: problems with clothes, problems with boyfriends, problems with their overbearing parents. Hazel had none of these problems and often had nothing to talk about.

One day, Hazel was getting her car washed while she was returning some clothes at Bloomingdales. They all looked like old people clothes. “What’s the deal?” Hazel asked the car wash attendant, patting herself on the back for not saying “why are you so stupid?”. “I’ve been gone for, like, an hour! Why isn’t my car washed?” Hazel cried while checking her text messages.

“We’re sorry,” said the car wash attendant. “We must have forgot to put you in the queue.”

“Well, put me in the ‘A’ so I can get out of this dumb place! I have a hair appointment!”

After she got her car wash, she wanted a refund for the poor service. The car wash attendant, however, declined her wishes. She was so furious that she told all her friends on Facebook.

“OMG!” wrote Jessie. “That is so lame!”

Karly told her that she should have got that refund.

Beatrice wrote “WTF!” as a reply to one of her comments.

Hazel beamed. She was popular now. All she needed was more stuff like this to happen to her. Except she didn’t really want that. The stress would make her all wrinkly and looking like her mother.

The next day, she was having coffee with her friends and she made up a story about how a car almost hit her and the guy flipped her off. Her friends were paying complete attention to her. That weekend, when she went clubbing with the girls, she told them that a guy just beat her up.

“Beat you up?” Beatrice asked.

“Yeah! He was, like, sexually assaulting me!”

“Where’d he hit you?” Karly gasped.

“My, um… all over, really.”

“Can we see?” asked Jessie, spilling her Cosmo.

Hazel stuttered. “Y… Yeah! Hold on, I have to go throw up.”

She ran off to the bathroom and slammed her arm and face in the bathroom stall door.

“Did you have those bruises on face before?” asked Karly.

“Yes! You’re just drunk! He totally beat me up!”

“We should call the police!” Jessie laughed and almost fell over.

“Yeah. This is pretty serious. What did he look like?”

Hazel bathed in the attention again, talking about the whole experience. The next weekend, she decided to one-up herself.

“My grandma just died!” she told the girls.

They all gasped. “Oh, that’s awful!” they said. “We need to get some drinks in you!”

They treated her to drinks and she got completely blackout wasted. “Wow!” Hazel thought, while throwing up. “My friends only care about me now! How awesome!”

That morning, when she woke up with a hangover big enough to take down a rhino and his mother, Hazel realized that her friends knew her grandma and might see her at the market. Hazel went down to visit her grandma. She took a large axe with her and hacked her into little pieces.

“Wow!” Hazel said. “This is getting way too real!” She flung the Hefty bag full of Grandma into the dumpster.

After a few weeks of getting abducted by Cholos and making friends with a cancer patient kid who died in her arms, her friends became less and less interested in Hazel.

“Wow, Hazel,” Beatrice said. “This is just too real for us.”

“Yeah,” said the other two.

“I know! That’s what I said!”

“No really. It’s just… we can’t be friends with you anymore. You’re too tragic.” Beatrice pushed her hair out of her eyes.

Karly nodded. “Yeah. You’re really unlucky. What if it, like, rubs off on us?”

“Sorry, Hazel,” Jessie said. They pushed their chairs out, adjusted their sunglasses and their bags, and walked away.

“Guys, wait! It didn’t really happen! Guys!” Without looking, she took a sip of her coffee and it burned her tongue. “Ow!” she cried. “Why does everything always happen to me?”

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XII