Category: Flash Fiction

Love & Beauty

I liken myself to honey that attracts ants. I would rather be a flower that attracts hardworking bees, though. They say I was not a beautiful baby, but they also say that that is a blessing, because it means that I will grow up into a beautiful adult. Only, that does not seem to be happening.

Father looks at me and sneers.

“Your fingers are like the spaghetti sticks I cook for Mr. Andrew, too skinny for any ring to fit. Even the custom-made ones… A man would have to pay a jeweller a lot of money just to make a ring for you.”

I direct my gaze to my thin fingers and think that there has to be a reason for the way they look. They cannot just be an accident.

Honey is good, even though it streams out of an ugly beehive. I am good. My insides are okay. I am happy most times, especially when Father has gone to cook for Mr. Andrew. I love people. I smile at them and wave at them. I cuddle the dogs when they fall sick. I feed the rats and spare them the maize meal mixed with Indocid that Father tries to kill them with. I usually look for it and, when I cannot find it, I place bowls and bowls of water around the house, to save their lives. I pray for the safety of the rainbow, the clouds, moon, Sun and stars. They hang loose from the sky without hooks, and I fear they may fall and hurt themselves. I am good. But because I do not look good on the outside, people think I must also not be good on the inside.

“Your mother was beautiful,” Father likes to remind me, “Ahhhhhhhh from her hips and her legs to her toes and fingernails. I do not know how we produced a child like you.”

My mother was pretty. That is what everyone says with wonder when they look at me. She left, though, immediately after she saw me, they say, a girl with bony fingers, a big head, one eye shut and a concave belly. No one knows where she went, not even her family, which is also Father’s family. Father and mother are cousins. Her mother and his father were brother and sister. They died as soon as I was born.

Father says it is entirely my fault that I made mother run and killed half my grandparents with my first cry. He also says it is my fault that no man will ever want me and that he may have to get drunk to do what Lot did so that I may experience “love”.

“Who is Lot?” I ask.

“Just a man in the Big Book. His wife turned into salt and so he got drunk and slept with his daughters.”

Love, love, love. From what I know, a girl has to be beautiful to experience love. And then when a man has loved a woman, a baby comes out.If love is what Father had with my mother then I do not want Father to love me either.

If love will make a baby come out that looks like me, then I will never want love.

© Linda  Musita 2022

Saint Honorius and the Pied Piper of Monrovia Pub

Patron Saint of Bakers and yadda and yadda and yadda and yadda.

I hate that I am that bee.

Not any special kamikaze bee.

I am THE bee that is confused for a big disgusting fly at the pastry shop. The bee  stuck on gritty chocolate smudged on a doughnut in the display. A doughnut baked by a random person far from a master pastry chef.

Her. She wears clothes fit for a security guard, down to color and cut, with matching polythene- cotton on her head.

I am that bee. I am St Honorius of a bakery right next to the pub that has a flutist/flautist for shows every single night.

He plays well. So, naturally, I want to be him because once you see me and think of a fly you run to that pub. Sit on a stool, your back to the one-man flute act and nod your head to something you shouldn’t be nodding your head to. That music requires you to sit still.

Yeah, I know I have never been inside the pub yadda and yadda and yadda-yadda so I know nothing.

But you seated there, I imagine, every night, ordering Kamikaze Cocktails in a third-rate pub. Making the barman sweat, every time you say, “One part vodka, one part triple sec and one part lime juice.” You also know nothing about vodka, oranges, lemons and that brilliant albeit stupid flute noise. They all exist because of bee pollination. Well except the vodka whose source doesn’t allow poor pollinators like me. Discrimination there, discrimination here.

And why are you even here today?

© Linda  Musita 2022

Mr Investigator

judas’s wife sat across him at the dinner table
told him he should call the Investigator
one of the neighbors was a traitor
planning treason against Mighty Man
great ruler of the land.

“which neighbour” judas had to know
but mrs. Judas, pity, was not sure
“maybe the man in Flat No. 6
or the feisty slut in holy 7
perhaps the golf caddie in 8
most likely the old cob-webby maid in N0.9

“mrs. Judas, dear
that means everyone is a suspect”

except the occupants of Flat No. 10
man and wife eating treacherously bony kingfish
plotting to call the Investigator

© Linda  Musita 2022

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