Christmas is Cancelled

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Fiction, Issue Thirty-Five

My son says Santa isn’t real, but I’m dying tonight. Snarling at sleigh bells, I sink beneath bloody bubbles into a whirl of bathwater. The Jacuzzi swallows me like a sperm whale and spits me out when it realizes what a terrible mother I am. The urinal my husband worships winks, our toilet seat bids farewell, every faucet in the house weeps with the audacity of cancerous polyps. What kind of husband purchases a urinal for his home? Soccer moms sense death. Smell it like sharks. Death grows in brittle bodies. I’ll be the dead M.I.L.F. filled with formaldehyde donning the golden prom dress in the shimmering mahogany casket surrounded by an orgy of maudlin mourners. The mortician can camouflage my blubber and ruptured wrists and my husband will pretend he loved me. Our children will witness my corpse being buried, a frigid disease giftwrapped in exquisite flowers and boogers and fingerprints. The tips of their noses crimson, burning supernovas twinkling raw with matted mucus, snow will drizzle—freckled flakes like flying saucers—and the angels will fall asleep in comfortable beds in the company of stuffed animals. Tears will salt the soft fur of dinosaurs, giraffes, unicorns, penguins, and an exuberant Tony the Tiger as the supermoon maniacally oozes through frozen windows and bounces on the blizzard kissing my grave. If my husband loved me, he would dig me up, exhume a carnival of carcinogenic lullabies from a ghost. Not merely for the jewels—but to hold my bones one last time—to snuggle inside my casket begging for forgiveness.

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