For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Brenda's Kid”

Lindsay Hunter


Her kid dragged the ladder over, stared at Brenda with his eyebrows raised, like, What now, lady? Brenda let him hold her purse, he slung it up and over his shoulder and stood with his arms folded over his stomach. Don't fall now, he said. The boy had enormous brown eyes, puddles of fudge, moist and glittered, Brenda could see why the girls loved him, penis fool that he was, Lord, delete that, delete it please and thank you but he does swing that penis around like it's tossing candy coins over a parade of sluts, sorry forgive me delete delete delete. Brenda secured the ladder up against the house, debated but in the end kept her heels on, she was good on her toes like that. Her kid stood with his purse and his feet in the earth, squinting, the bottom of his tank rolled up a little and the hair on his stomach exposed, Feel a breeze? Brenda asked him but he didn't get it. Brenda began her climb. Good thing you ain't wearing a skirt, her kid called up to her, else I'd be seeing something I don't want to see. He snorted, Yes ma'am, I'd be awash in barf if that was the case. Brenda prayed to sweet, delicious Jesus. Grace. Strength. Whatever else. During her pregnancy all those years ago she had anticipated a bond so strong that she would die for it. That had been true. But also true was how often she considered harming her child, just a little. Taser gun. Mace. Roundhouse kick. Judo chop. Good old windmill. Tires crunching over toes. She had never done any of it, she had once lobbed a small decorative pumpkin at his head, but that was the extent. Thank you Lord of Light, thank you chariot God.

We read it in Wigleaf.