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The Palace

My tummy rumbles as I sling Hillary’s blue knitted boohoo blanket and my violet unicorn sheet over the high chair and wobbly kitchen table. The sheet slides off into the overflowing kitty box. I solve the problem with an anchor—a half bottle of Da’s whiskey. He’s busy praying to the porcelain god, while Ma rages.

Her heels stomp down the stairs.

“Morning, princess,” she says through jumbo pink lips.

I marvel her rainbow eyelids.

She tells me we’re not going to church.

With pearly nails, she clicks on the television. It’s the Preacher Ted show. Ma tells me the miracle man can sink all hail glory into foreheads using blessed water.

She swims out the door dressed like a mermaid—all sparkly and red. Slam.

From my palace, Preacher Ted shows me the way. I will heal crippled NooNoo, my plastic giraffe, and President Quack, my one-eyed stuffy. I fill a pot with tap water and baptize NooNoo. My giraffe loses its spots. Coloured water greets Mr President. He emerges blind and orange.

Miracles don’t happen.

The fridge will remain empty.

Flash Fiction by Claire Lawrence

Published in Spring 2017


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