Short fiction

Published April 30, 2012 by Kim

You! It was your fault–yours! She was a baby–she didn’t know any better! What on earth made you think you could let her play outside by herself? You didn’t think, and now she’s gone–my girl, my baby–and I will never have her back—”

“God–

Don’t you talk to me about God. God and His plans, God and his comfort–God didn’t protect her. God didn’t keep her safe.” Her voice was raspy from tears, from screaming. “Don’t you tell me how she’s safe and happy now. She was happy here. With me, with her daddy and her brother. If you didn’t strut around with your stupid faith–” She doubled over, gagging on tears, heaving nothing from her stomach. No one moved to calm or console her. “That’s your problem–you talk about how afraid you are of everything–child molesters, rapists, thieves–but then you go around talking about having faith in God protecting everyone. You act like a little faith is going to make sure nothing goes wrong when you do something stupid. Leave the kids in the car alone? Lock the doors, God will protect them. Need to go inside and cook while they’re playing? Go on in, God will keep bad things from happening.” Her voice rose. “Want to take a walk around the block? Don’t worry about it–let her come along and run around in the road beside you. God will make sure that guy won’t back out and hit her, or cross the center line and hit her at forty damn miles an hour!” She threw up her hands. “Don’t you look at me like that! I’ll say whatever the hell I want! SHE’S DEAD. You killed my girl. You and your stupid confidence and faith and blind trust in something we can’t even see. And don’t even tell me I need to be careful. If I make God mad, he can kill me now. At least I’d be with her!”

“Please don’t say those things, it’s not right–”

I don’t care.”

“But–”

“I–don’t–care. You bury a baby, then you tell me how it feels, how God makes all the hurt go away, if I just have faith.” She wiped at her face, red and splotched and tear-stained. “I will never forgive you. Don’t come to my house. Don’t send anyone to talk to me about God. I don’t want anything to do with Him. Not now.”

No one stopped her from leaving.

It’s haphazard and shapeless, but it’s something that formed–painfully–in my mind, last night. Through two loads of washing and drying laundry, it sat there: this awful, stomach-turning image of my D, hurt and…gone.

L seems so invincible, so hard-headed and angry (like his mother), but D is so gentle, so sprite-like, that I fear she’s ephemeral. I know every parent has these moments, but when this one–when that image–gripped me, and stuck around overnight and into this late afternoon…all I could think was to get this out.

And I think God understands me enough to know why there’s that kind of rage.

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2 comments on “Short fiction

  • This is really great. Very powerful and moving. You can feel the anger and despair. And I think it’s what anyone’s God-given right to say if someone tried to pull that crap with them. Babies dying is unnatural.

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