Rain

It rained all day that Saturday. In the evening Dad saw frogs in the garden and wondered where they had come from. Mom said that she had heard tell of frogs that fell from the sky. I said that frogs were the second plague of Egypt and that they invaded the bedrooms of the Egyptians. That worried Dad.

I went out with Stacey that night.  It rained the whole night as we went from bar to bar giggling and laughing in the rain.

When I got home the next morning the rain had stopped.  Dad was in the garden wearing his Sunday suit. He was hitting frogs with the yard broom. The frogs sat quite still as though awaiting their fate. When Dad saw me watching him through the window he threw the broom down and rushed into the house.

“You shouldn’t look at me as though I’m some kind of a fool,” he shouted and stormed out of the house to go to Mass. That’s when I saw Mum standing in the hall in her shabby old dressing gown.

I checked what food there was and went to the supermarket. I cooked a traditional Sunday dinner with apple pie for pudding. Mum tried to help but just got in the way so I made her sit and watch.

Dad patted his stomach and said what a fine dinner I had cooked and that I was a good girl. Mum pushed her food around the plate and left most of it. When I emptied her plate into the trash it had started raining again. I looked for the bodies of dead frogs but there were none and I wondered if the rain had washed them away into the soft receptive earth.

 

by James Coffey

James Coffey lives and works in Coventry, England.

Feral Boy

The feral boy sleeps at the foot of your bed.  You only get him one weekend per month but he refuses to sleep in his bed. You don’t get to have sex with your younger girlfriend because your feral boy curls at the end of your bed, waiting, like a stray to be taken somewhere….

This content is for Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription, Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription and Basic Member members.
Log In Register

Steadfast

Wordlessly, she positions him beside her, leaning against the boat’s railing for support. She is now somebody’s wife. She is satisfied with their pose—only slightly more intimate than a prom photograph. Even now, twenty-five years later, I can hear the tension in her mouth. Her gaze is direct, flat. Her thoughts are elsewhere. The photographer…

This content is for Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription, Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription and Basic Member members.
Log In Register

A Ghost of a Chance

You must have had the same experience. You meet someone and in an instant, you know they’re the one. That’s the way it was with Maggie. The fact that she’s a ghost created complications, sure. But when you’ve fallen in love, you’re not stopped by the first hurdle. Hugging was a challenge. I wound up…

This content is for Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription, Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription and Basic Member members.
Log In Register

Autobiography #12

When I was in sixth grade Mom asked me what I wanted to do for the summer. “Camp is good, you’ll make friends.” She said it like an adopted kid wouldn’t get confused. You got me almost yesterday. Mom and Dad were getting a divorce and didn’t want me around while they decided. Maybe I…

This content is for Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription, Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription and Basic Member members.
Log In Register

Breaking the Links

I tried so hard to keep fear away from her. In the garden, I’d say, “See, honey, a worm,” and watch her pick it up, never showing the squeamishness that kept me from touching a worm myself. We read stories of strong, brave women, who surmounted obstacles, forging ahead, not allowing fear to vanquish them….

This content is for Friends of Burningword 3-Day Pass, Friends of Burningword 3-Month Subscription, Friends of Burningword Annual Subscription and Basic Member members.
Log In Register