Mimic of the Heart

“Soap out your mouth,” Fifi the African grey parrot repeats. “Bad girl. Soap out your mouth.”

Halide glances down, watches Fifi challenge her rambunctious chinchilla, Tabitha. The reprimand isn’t directed at Tabitha; it’s a lingering blemish festering under Halide’s skin.

It’s a scold for Halide.

Her mother always threatened to snatch that bar of Sunlight soap. Did she carry it out? Never. An empty threat. A routine. A midnight warning when she stumbled home bleary eyed and reeking of whiskey. A way to acknowledge her ten-year-old daughter, left alone, dining on canned chicken noodle soup.

“Six feet under, and still, you’re burning my life like an opera.”


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Micro Bookends:

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