By Mira Mattar.
Lurking, rum-soaked and hostile he crouches, fat-kneed in the passenger seat. Torpid as mud, brimful with fury at having to share the car with a dog whose pink tongue flaps stupidly in the wind. His mother says she loves this dog. This stupid, half-blind dog.
Later, the boy seals the sorry gap between door and floor with a towel, and covers the windows of his five-star Japanese hotel room with the tinfoil he had packed amongst unsorted socks and childish white vests.
At home, his mother will push pastry with her fingertips, pricking it occasionally for the sake of tradition. She will drive all over town searching for white eggs (they take the Easter dye better than the brown ones). She will call him daily and slowly her eyes will turn into shiny red spheres.
As quickly as shadows cast by clouds travelling over hills, he shifts in and out of new skins. She holds her breath hoping each mutation will be the last. But definitions expand balloon-like. Colloquies are exposed. No meanings are agreed upon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mira Mattar is a tutor, freelance writer, 3:AM co-editor and reviewer for the TLS and other publications. Her fiction has been published in Spilt Milk Magazine and Melusine. She is also one third of Monster Emporium Press. She lives in South London where she is currently working on her first collection of short stories.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, August 17th, 2012.