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News & Features » November 2017 » “Hunter of the Flying Monkeys” by Joyce Zigos

“Hunter of the Flying Monkeys” by Joyce Zigos

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, flying monkeys get Joyce Zigos’s son into mischief. . .

Hunter of the Flying Monkeys
by Joyce Zigos

I sat in the car looking out the window and trying to focus on what I had just witnessed in the back seat of the van. It had started out as a simple day, drive the thirty-five miles to take Hunter to lunch at one of his favorite restaurants, which translated to anyplace that sold pancakes, and then we were going to the small mall.  He was two and a half and the terrible twos were in full swing, nothing too horrible like I had heard other mothers speak about but a little mischief here and there and those adorable little dimples were always enough to get him out of most of the things he would choose to go at with full exuberance of a toddler with a curiosity for the world around him. We had driven across the two-lane parkway without any problems, he had jabbered away about trees and birds and pancakes and milk for the first fifteen minutes of the journey. He was already a great talker and was learning quickly how to carry on conversations.  He quieted down and stopped talking and I just turned his favorite music up and continued to drive.

We arrived at our turn off from the parkway and I got into the middle lane knowing that in about two miles I would have to merge to the right lane to turn into the restaurant. As I drove I called his name to wake him up.

“I awake, going to eat pancakes.”

“Yes baby, you will get pancakes.”

We near our destination and I look over my right shoulder before I change lanes, he is behind the passenger seat so that I can keep an eye on him, but I had not actually checked on him since he was not eating or drinking, and I had assumed in my all of two and half years of motherly wisdom that he could not get into any trouble strapped into a car seat in the back of a minivan. This is where I should mention I have been carrying the same diaper bag since day one and the size of extra clothes and pull ups have changed but I may not have actually cleaned out said diaper bag in at least eighteen months. I now realize much to my horror what I have seen over my right shoulder that silence is golden but at the moment it is kabuki mask white. He has found the diaper rash cream in the side pocket and has apparently for the last twenty miles smeared it over his face, his jet black hair, the back of the seat, and the entire side window of the van.  Don’t ask why I did not smell the doughy sweet smell of the cream, apparently once it turns to a thicker paste it loses that smell, but let me attest that it does not lose the sticky oily texture.

I finish my count, and in case you wonder twenty-three is the magic number you get to before you find the strength to get out of your seat and head around the van to assess the true picture, and thirty-two is the number of baby wipes it takes before little Madame Butterfly is no longer ready for his solo.  As I finish cleaning him up I finally decide to just ask why.

“Hunter why did you wipe the diaper cream all over you and the car?”

Those little dimples kick in and the little black eyes sparkle with a charm that will one day doom me at a pet or toy store and he replies. “Not me Momma, it was flying monkeys.”

“Damn those flying monkeys, let’s go get some pancakes.”

“Love you Momma.”

“Love you too baby.”


JOYCE ZIGOS is a mother, wife, nurse, and writer living in South Central Ohio. She writes everything from humorous stories about the ever-expanding antics of her son to writing horror fiction. As a family they love a good family adventure which could range from a ride in the country to ghost hunting a local haunted cemetery. Her life goals involve raising a happy healthy son, writing stories that people enjoy reading and raising giant dogs and miniature horses.


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: Nov 14, 2017

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