Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Terrible Twosdays

Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.

“Mama and Papa Find a Way” by Suzon George

Mama and Papa’s love was magic! Their first kiss was magic. Their wedding kiss was magic. The kiss that made Mimi was magic.

One snowy morning, Papa and Mama shared a good morning kiss that turned magical. Their hearts and other parts warmed. Pajamas were shed. Heat built. Suddenly . . .

“My Son, the Felon” by Nancy B. Ludmerer

Where had I gone wrong? In four years as a mother, I thought I’d done a good job. So where had I failed? I pictured myself twenty years hence, cornered by a crime reporter. “I tried my best,” I’d sob. “But he began dealing in stolen property at four, and it was downhill from there . . .”

“Guest in Black and White” by Frederick Foote

Back in 1949, I lived with my grandparents out in the country on a small farm near Richmond, Virginia. Something serious was going on one day as I entered the kitchen at five thirty in the morning. Grandpa and Grandma were standing at the sink, staring so intently out the kitchen window they didn’t even hear me come in . . .

“What Is She?” by Suzon George

Mimi is a girl who walks up on her toes,
bringing laughter and music wherever she goes.
Her buckwheat honey hair holds a good, sturdy braid,
and each day she must wear something pink—any shade . . .

“A Bilingual Battle” by Richard Priebe

“Put them on,” says Alma, my wife’s aunt, extending a pair of pink and sparkly shoes with two Velcro straps that remind me of something my great-grandfather would have worn if they were a different color and weren’t twinkling like one of my daughter’s glitter projects . . .

“Fresh Air” by Laurie Loewenstein

They stood off to one side of the excited throng who were cheering and holding up hand-lettered signs as the TrailWays Bus pulled into the church parking lot. Val chewed at the skin around her nails. When she saw Mark watching her, a tight smile crossed her face.

“It’ll be okay?” Her eyebrows raised in question. “He’ll be a good kid. Right? The Fresh Air people wouldn’t send him if, you know, he had problems . . .”


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