Saturday, 26 June 2021

'Gobbling it Down' by Maria A. Ioannou

‘Myjdhjh,’ he muttered. Barbecue sauce dripped on his chin. ‘Stop eating!’ I screamed, pinching sesame seeds off his jacket. He just stared at the empty seat on the table, beef chunks stuck on his gums, his cheeks playing ping-pong. Burger nights invaded our life, chicken wings flapped on the floor, ketchup splattered our walls like blood. He still kissed me, but with his mouth full, and looking at me with eyes that were not his anymore. But who was I to judge, I could no longer swallow a pea, water even; I would choke on every bite, and die right there, in the corridor, next to her bedroom door. Delivery guys drifted in our house day and night, pizza cartons flooded our back yard, squashed coke cans clanged and clanged on the empty swing. He also joined a Facebook page called ‘We love to eat,’ and scrolled the faces of middle-aged men devouring hot dogs, getting a thousand likes. ‘Will things ever be the same?’ I asked, and pressed his bloated belly on mine, as if our bellies - one vacuumed, one full - had now turned into a jigsaw puzzle. Two men from ‘We love to eat’ sprang up in our living room one day, tossing peanuts into his mouth and shouting ‘bull’s eye.’ I told them to piss off and rushed to the door, holding a suitcase with nothing but her ponytail inside. ‘Wjhsdsd?’ he asked and hugged me. I could feel his tears, lukewarm, at the back of my neck. I stayed after all, although I never meant to leave, and started knitting extra-extra-large sweaters instead. I used all the wool I had saved for her, pink, orange, angel white. I used some of her hair, too. Winter was coming, he would be cold.

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And the Flood abates....

That's it for this year's FlashFlood!  Huge thanks again to our writers, our readers, our editors , and everyone who submitted work....