Ian Livesey CC
When you toss dirt on the coffin, it’s time to five step grieve. These are the steps to follow. They are things grown-ups say but don’t do. It’s like when they smoke cigarettes and drink booze, but ground you when you’re caught behind the bleachers with a cigarette and a boy. Take these five steps and you’ll feel better in the morning, they say like doctors giving out candy pills and lollipops.
I hate casseroles and heart-shaped carnation displays with pageant banners that say “Best Mother.” I helped Daddy pick out the coffin from a row of beauty queens.
This is Angela. She’s wearing a synthetic white velvet interior.
Look at spectacular Fifi. The inlaid wood came from Paris, Tennessee.
I chose Fifi because Mama wanted to go to real Paris and knew fourteen words in French and Daddy was sobbing too much to make the decision.
I was supposed to be on a real stage, singing a real song for the first time at OK Elementary’s spring recital. Mama died two days before I got to sing wearing black shiny shoes and a fluffy dress that stood out like an umbrella. When Aunt Jane asked me if I wanted to sing my song at the funeral, I kicked her in the shins. Who sings A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down at a funeral anyway?
When the therapist person asks questions, lay on her Angela couch and deny your mother is dead. It’s what she wants. Next, act angry your mother is dead. The lady will have you repeat those words. I. Am. Angry. You’ll feel angry because she is wearing too much Jean Naté. That’s your mother’s perfume. Your brother will bargain with you to sit in the hearse window seat. Punch him instead and curse in French. That seat is closest to your mother in her Fifi coffin.
A depression is a tropical storm. The therapist will agree a depression is destructive and will wipe out small islands and small children. She doesn’t accept you are a small children who doesn’t know the French word for sad but does know the word for death.
Amy Barnes has words at a variety of sites including: FlashBack Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Stymie Lit, No Contact Mag, Streetcake Magazine, JMMW, The Molotov Cocktail, Lucent Dreaming, Lunate Fiction, Rejection Lit, Perhappened, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, and others. She has been longlisted at Bath Flash Fiction, Reflex Fiction (3rd place), TSS Publishing and is nominated for Best Microfictions 2021 and the Pushcart Prize. She is an Associate Editor at Fractured Lit and reads for CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD, The MacGuffin, and Narratively. Her flash collection, "Mother Figures" is forthcoming in 2021 with a volume of food essays also forthcoming in summer, 2021.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.