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Image by Max Fuchs
My shadow parents have my back. They spy on my family when it’s them against me, like when I quit my job at the furniture store and lost my discount on the Queen Elizabeth dining room table my mother wanted oh so much and my father at dinner pointed his steak knife at me and said he made the deal of the century on the table, no thanks to you, now eat your damn potatoes. My mother shadow whispered in my ear, ”Only parents with heads full of feathers let their sixteen-year-old daughter wait for the bus after work in the dark with a serial killer swinging through the city. Now drink your milk, sweetheart, for the momma who really loves you.” My dad shadow threw shade over my father’s prize hothouse orchids until the petals dropped like broken umbrellas and the stems disintegrated into the potting bark. “I loved those orchids,” I told my DS. He placed his steel gray hands on my shoulders and sighed. “I thought about you dead in the ground instead of those orchids. Killed by a serial killer while waiting for the bus. After dark. In the city. One chloroform sniff away from death. Not such a tough decision to off a couple pretentious buds.” My kid brother curled himself around my door and twirled his fingers around his ears in the crazy cuckoo sign. “Who you talking to, weirdo? The Invisible Man?” My shadows grew large behind me.
Sheree Shatsky is the author of the novella-in-flash Summer 1969 (Ad Hoc Fiction 2023). Her work has appeared in a variety of journals including Cowboy Jamboree and BULL. She is a contributor to MAINTENANT 17: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art ‘PEACEFIRE’ (Three Rooms Press 2023). She calls Florida home and is a Tom Petty fan. Read more at shereeshatsky.com.