The following is in response to “The Most Important Meal of The Day” by Edward Kearns via Used Gravitrons.
This piece of flash fiction begins with a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns and turns into something altogether peculiar and stellar. The character Andy, after having attempted to eat his dangerously dry breakfast, is rushed to the hospital where the only salivation salvation that he gets from his dry mouth is his own blood when he resorts to chewing on his own check.
One of the things that I really like about this piece is Kearns’ use of some really good verbs. The verbs potted and planted—”The next day we head home. Arms and legs potted, she rolls me to the car, plants me in the passenger seat.”—turns the character into this arboreal creature. Kearns’ keen word choice—verb-choice—really helps the reader to see the character’s relationship with his mother as a gardener. She feeds him and protects him and freaks out when he has to wait too long in the waiting room of the hospital while his mouth pours blood. Mom’s are awesome like that. I know mine is.
I also fell in love with the ending of this story: “When my oranges ripen, she reaches with the picker for the highest ones, ’cause up there they’re sweeter. Only I wouldn’t know. I’ve gone too far, grown too fast to taste the fruit of my creation.” How often is it that our parents see the beauty and potential in us that we cannot see or are unable to see in ourselves?