In honor of Mother’s Day and National Short Story Month, inspired by Elaine Farris Hughes’, Writing from the Inner Self, suggested title for a story or vignette, and brought to you by a desire to flex some severely underused creative writing muscles….
“Superwoman and the Rain of Popcorn”
by ML Spell
Esmeralda Trevain hung the phone up with her left hand and swiped a paper towel across a pool of puddled chocolate milk on the dining room table with her right all while narrowly avoiding a treacherously sharp, red knock-off Lego brick that was threatening to make a permanent indentation in her heel. And so it went day in and day out: phone calls and spills, toy explosions and dirt bombs. This was the life for which she’d signed up even though she hadn’t realized it at the time. And most days, most days she didn’t really mind it all that much.
The dishes went in and out of the dishwasher. The laundry went in and out of the clothes hampers. The dog went in and out of the back door. And sometimes, sometimes Esmeralda went in and out of her mind. Oh, it wasn’t like you’d think. No, it wasn’t that at all. I see you sitting there tsk tsking to yourself, “Poor thing. Horrible thing. Evil thing to appear on the evening news like that.” But it wasn’t like that at all.
Esmeralda was a day-dreamer. That’s what she’d do—in and out of her mind all day, and at night sometimes, too. The morning walk with her daughter became a stroll around the Seine. An afternoon splashing in the pool became a relaxing swim on the Lido deck of a ship cruising through the Caribbean. Even a casual supper at the family dinner table turned into an exotic dining experience in the Orient. In and out of her mind, she traveled day by day.
And it never hurt a soul. Not one single person. No one knew she spent a few hours a week contemplating trips she’d never take, wondering about icy river voyages past the great Alaskan wilderness or hikes on the rocky coasts past the iconic lighthouses of Maine. No. To everyone else in her everyday life, she was a superwoman. She was a superwoman who could whip up a Thanksgiving feast without blinking an eye. She was a superwoman who could tell you exactly what day and time your yearly physical was without ever consulting a calendar. She was a superwoman who could hear a three-year-old silently planning to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting family dog from two rooms and a staircase away.
And like that, her trek across hot coals in a far-away island of undetermined name which was in reality the overturned fake Legos in a dining room that was in desperate need of a good mopping, she stopped and turned as the three-year-old called out, “Mommy! Watch this!” And there Esmeralda Trevain stood, transfixed watching the orange bowl fly toward the ceiling, popcorn pouring down over their heads: superwoman in a rain of popcorn. And she didn’t mind. Not one little bit.