This particular story, like The size of Things by Samantha Schweblin, is also about child abuse but of a different kind.
Recently divorced, Mrs Bowman comes to fetch her son from the school to go on a joyride. She enters the classroom and creates a scene until the teacher has to let go of the child. There are instances when the child is actually wishing her mother everything bad. She embarrasses him.
Why did his mother get to break all the rules? Because she was a witch. He ground the cigarette under his shoe. His mother smacked him.
They survive the scene at school when the child pleadingly requests the teacher to let him go. The mother son duo get in the car. The mother starts driving like a maniac until she realizes she is driving blind. She asks the child to take over the wheel without releasing the gas.
This is a very short story but there are plenty of emotions inside. The frightened child loved his mother dearly but wishes she was not a moron at times. He wants to get away from her but be there for her at the same time. There is a vivid description of bad parenting that you end up wishing no one has to go through.
I liked the story for the emotions. The emotions are not spoken about, they are shown. It is something a lot of writers struggle with.
Read the story on LitHub for free.
From the collection Beasts and Children by Amy Parker.
We are reading only female story tellers this month! Yes there are those many!
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