I stood and looked through the glass kitchen door panels into the living room, where our cat laid on its side. Vomit and faeces stained the grey carpet, and I cried. My brother cried too, and he was five, so my mother lied and said he’s sleeping. My mother scooped our cat into a black bin bag, and that is where he sleeps. I didn’t see it, but I know it’s true.
We sat around the table in our kitchen, dinner was served; my brother and I were merciless. We would say it stinks like wee, or complain that it’s too gloopy, or that we didn’t know what it was, and my mother would say it’s nice. We would cough and splutter, we would whine that we didn’t want to eat leeks, we pushed our plates away, we spilled the gravy, we dropped the glass and we never washed up. We were always told to eat our crusts too so our hair would grow curly. But I don’t want curly ginger hair, Mum, though I did want to see in the dark.
Despite what I believed growing up, I learnt that I could do no better. I burnt rice to pans, caught the tips of my fingers cutting carrots, was clueless when my dog died, and I rolled my eyes at my mother who, whilst criticising the lumpy cheese sauce, ate the lasagne I cooked for her anyway.
Santino Prinzi is currently an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University and helps with National Flash Fiction Day (UK). He was a recipient of the TSS Young Writers Award for January 2016, and was awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize. His flash fiction and prose poetry has been published, or is forthcoming, in various places including Litro Online, Flash Frontier, Ink Sweat and Tears, CHEAP POP, the 2014 and 2015 National Flash Fiction Day (UK) anthologies, Unbroken Literary Journal, and was selected for The Best of Vine Leaves Journal 2015.