Mother and I hide in the bathroom. Dad yells outside the window each night. Calls Mother a social criminal. A dreamer. He’ll make me a fighter.
Some nights he fires his guns. Never blasts the windows. Just blasts into the air.
We’ve been camped out three months.
Mother proclaims the bathroom a kingdom, bathtub my throne. She’ll protect the king, she says, with a fervency that makes me cry.
She slumbers on the floor as Dad blasts. I try to give up the throne.
She says the king must reign.
I wish I could give Mother everything. Safety. A throne.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart and he has also had work nominated for The Best Small Fictions. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in journals such as Terror House Magazine, blink-ink, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree. and Ariel Chart.
Frightening, sad, tender, chilling. So good.