Sometimes a twist at the end of a story can work, and other times it falls flat.

Here’s an example in one of my flash fiction stories. Do you think it works?

Mother and Child

Your cry annihilates a rare dream. Since you came I snatch at sleep like a starving refugee. I pad through darkness and wrap my voice around you. There, there. Hush. You fold into my arms and surrender and together we begin our 3 am vigil.

When morning comes and I am giddy and aching, you cry again.

Feed me.

I spoon gobs of orange mush into your sparrow’s mouth and pray you will swallow it. What was my life before you? The working woman’s nine to five, the sweet oblivion of solitary pursuits, the ebb and flow of correct circadian rhythms. They exist in a place to which I no longer travel. My language is reduced to hushed exhortations, tender caresses, furious stabs of depleted independence. I change your soiled clothes, I wipe your tiny backside, I sing you lullabies. I know nothing except the inside of this house and the pierce of your wails and the tick of the clock. I love you and I hate you and I love you anew.

They tell me this will not last forever. This too shall pass, they say. They speak with the noisy clarity that only eight hours’ peace can bring.

But oh, dear one, how could I be anywhere but here, with you?

Listen. Can you hear them calling? It will soon be time to fly. I will take you as far as I can, so hold my hand now.

You are my mother, and mothers must hold their children’s hands, at the end as at the beginning.

There, there. Hush.


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