Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
It Could Have Been Worse
by Rebecca Yarrow
It could have been worse- not according to my mother who can always top anyone's story. I told her I got a flat tire coming home from work. She told me a car on her street caught fire and because the fire department was slow to respond, she had to save the car. She adds with a breath, "Two small children were trapped inside."
I told her I have a meth dealer living next door. She told me hookers stand on the corner of her street and she sweeps up used condoms every morning. I suggest she calls the cops but she thinks hanging signs in the trees that read, "Hookers Go Home" is a better idea.
I told my mother about a friend who's in prison for robbery. She claims one of her old neighbors murdered his wife and now that he's out of prison has a vendetta against her as she was a material witness in the case against him. The police have advised her to leave the state of Nevada. She's thinking she'd be safe in Idaho.
How can I possibly top her? I can't make stuff up like she does. My mom would be a great writer of fiction only she'd call it a memoir.
When I was thirteen, a rapist was loose in the Sacramento area near to where we lived. My mom was sure she was next on his list. And in a way, she was. She filed a report with the police that the rapist had broken into our house. When he found the house empty, he decided to steal some of my mom's underwear and cut her head out of some of the family pictures. The cops took down the information and didn't let on that they thought the story was ludicrous, which it was.
I knew none of it was true. I saw my mom cut her head out of the pictures when she was mad at my step-dad. There's me and my sister and my mom's torso. My mother's arms holding the baby and his bottle. Me on the beach holding hands with my mother's arm. She took her whole body out sometimes. Meanwhile, pictures of my step-dad remained intact.
I have some pictures of my mother's entire body. I don't admit to having any pictures of her out of fear for their safety because thirty years after their divorce, she's still mad at her ex-husband.
So now my mom lives in Idaho and hates it. She has no friends or family living there and she doesn't drive. And the murderer? He's probably living the life fantastic in Lake Tahoe. The place my mother lived when he killed his wife.
Rebecca Yarrow lives in Durham, CA with three cats and many plants, as she is a Flower Floozie. She says, "I write when I'm in my garden while I weed and watch the bees on my borage which at present numbers in the thousands. I saw three Monarchs this morning."
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