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News & Features » January 2020 » “Barbecue” by Carol Wakefield

“Barbecue” by Carol Wakefield

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.

This week, panic strikes at the patio barbecue . . .

by Carol Wakefield
Two-year-old & Three-month-old

I liked cooking meat over coals outside on the patio barbecue for the taste and the smoky flavor and of course less kitchen mess. One day I put a duck on the rotisserie attached to our barbecue. Craig was almost 2-years old and Brian, 3-months old. It was a typical California sunny day in fall. Brian had just gone down for his afternoon nap, and Craig was playing on the kitchen floor. When I went out to baste the duck, he toddled after me. He took one look at the very white duck spinning around and around and began to cry. He became inconsolable. What was the problem? Had he touched the hot metal? Had he burned himself? He was screaming and pointing to the duck. I was panicking because I could not find where he was hurt. I checked him all over, his hands, his face, his arms, where? Finally, he stopped crying enough so I could understand what he was trying to say, “the baby”, “the baby” while pointing at the duck spinning on the rotisserie, “why are you cooking the baby?”


CAROL WAKEFIELD is the writer of two exciting, gripping and informed works on banking published by Sheshunoff.  She has also been a wife, a mother of two now adult boys, an artist, a hippy, a beekeeper, a banker and an entrepreneur.  She is originally from LA where she received her BFA and MBA from UCLA.  Carol left Venice Beach and currently does her best writing in her apartment in beautiful downtown Washington, DC next to the zoo.  Carol loves writing flash fiction and short stories just for the fun of it. 


Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020

Category: Original Fiction, Terrible Twosdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,