When I was off on leave, sometimes I would ask friends to send me random ideas or sentence starters to spark my brain for writing ideas. Most of these were utter failures since I’m typically dreadful at writing fiction, but then there was this glorious phrase:
“Fetch me some of that raccoon bacon!”
This is what happened after that. I am so sorry.
“Mom. You were born in Toronto. Your father was a doctor in North York,” I said calmly. “You grew up in the suburbs. We’ve never been poor or in need thanks to the money Dad left behind. You have only lived in Windsor for a year and a half. You don’t need to live in a trailer park! You are significantly well off!”
“You shut up your pie hole, child! Mama’s gettin’ real angry.” She stopped eating and her face flushed. My voice got a little bit louder.
“You have an English degree! From Carlton University! You KNOW how to speak in proper sentences!”
“Now I always told you that you is kind, but you ain’t sounded too KIND right now baby darlin’!” She shook her finger at my face.
“UGH! THIS IS NOT THE HELP! You can’t even figure out if you want to be a redneck or a black mama from Mississippi! Your lack of commitment to your character’s backstory is INFURIATING. You can’t even PRETEND right anymore!” I immediately stopped yelling. Her eyes were wide. The silence was deafening.
“You’re right,” she said.
“You’re right. I can’t even pretend right anymore.” Her eyes started glistening.
“No Mom, I didn’t mean it like that, I’m just con–”
“No. Charlotte. Stop. It’s ok.” Her tone softened. Tears started flowing. “Ever since we lost your Dad, I’ve made it my mission to make your life exciting. I didn’t want you to be the sad little girl who only had her Mom. So I started creating the impossible with you. I thought that maybe it would help brighten your world and take you far away from your sad reality. I guess I got a little carried away.”
“Oh Mom. You did make my life exciting. I couldn’t have wished for a better childhood with you. My reality was anything but sad, because I had you. But now I want to be an adult. With you. Just you. No more pretending. No more hospital visits. No more road kill! No more costumes. I just want my mom. I know it’s just the two of us, but I’ve never minded. I never felt cheated or sad. Can we just be us now? Do you think we are brave enough to do that?”
“Oh Charlotte. You are the bravest person I know. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Mom.” I leaned down and hugged her. She kissed my cheek and hugged me back. I stood up and straightened my shirt. I took the plate of meat from her lap and headed toward the garbage can.
“Wait! Don’t throw that out!” She stood up in protest.
“But MOTHER! NO! That’s disGUS–”
“It’s turkey bacon.”
If you have a strange sentence starter for me, feel free to leave it in the comments.