“Explain” by Damian Pullen

“Suburbia is totally fucked up,” Maia announces, as she rips open a croissant. She slept out on the front lawn last night.

Dad looks like he wishes he’d stayed in bed. Toni sneezes and blows her nose. The cat on their bed worked. She looks awful.

“What’s ‘suburbia’?” Ellie singsongs. They must have practised this.
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“This… soulless nightmare where we live, these houses and streets called stupid names where fat people walk fat dogs and mow their lawns all the time.”

“And clean their cars,” says Ellie, “when they aren’t even dirty.” Dad washed her car yesterday while she sunbathed and I jacked off. That white bikini.

“Exactly. Who the fuck mows their lawn at 7.30 in the morning – on a Sunday?”

“Maia…” Dad’s warning lacks teeth, but his eyes plead. Toni’s eyebrows go up. Maia’s swearing has been tolerated since Mum left. “Do you mind?”

“It’s totally decadent.”

“What’s ‘decadent’?” As if, Ellie – it’s been Maia’s favourite word since the divorce – it replaced ‘miasma.’

“Sounds like a kind of toothpaste.” Nice try, Dad. Toni smiles, but she’s way out of her depth.

“Bimbo/ bimbo/ legs akimbo!” That’s the poem Maia wrote in soap on the bathroom mirror last night. Dad hasn’t said anything, even though it has been wiped off.

“More croissants?” Toni’s doing breakfast. There’s a puff of smoke as the oven door opens. She burns herself on the oven tray, screams, and runs over to the sink to run cold water on it, her shoulders shaking.

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3 Comments

Filed under Damian Pullen

3 responses to ““Explain” by Damian Pullen

  1. A lot of character exchange here, with the underlying theme of someone’s having left them all.

  2. Kids always act out with grief. Very strong story, the veneer of not giving a fuck over the tension left in the bereft family. Peace…

  3. Pingback: Week #27 – lost in translation « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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