I climbed out of my window before dawn. My mom was drunk, dressed in a flowing white nightdress that spilled around her on the floor like foam in a stormy sea. She rustled as I stepped over her body and laughed. It was a little, tittering sound that came from the land of her dreams. She was always dreaming.
My father had money and a family who lived near the lake, on the sound. I spent my summers there, as a kid. My mother used to lay on a blanket while I waded in the shallows, searching for bullfrogs. She wore round sunglasses that covered most of her face. She painted her lips red and tied a scarf in her hair.
She was married once before, in New York City. She kept a box full of his pictures on the top shelf of her closet. Sometimes I woke up at night and found her crouched under the bare bulb, sorting through them, clutching them to her breast. There was a picture of her in a white dress that barely reached halfway down her thighs. She was smiling and the wind was blowing her veil.
I always left early for school. I couldn't stand the sight of her in the morning sunlight. I wanted orange juice and nagging. I wanted her to stand at the sink, smoking a cigarette and asking if I had my homework. She used to do those things. She used to flick on the light in my bedroom and say, "I'm not going to tell you again!"
I walked in the gutter. It would rain later in the day. The air was heavy and soft against the skin of my arms. I found a rabbit with white fur crumpled against the curb. The wretched thing was missing a leg. I turned it over with the tip of a stick. Its mouth was frozen in a tiny smile. Its teeth protruded over a mangled little lip.
This post is an entry at Trifecta Writing Challenge.
The deal is that you have to write a piece using the third definition
of a given word in 33 -333 words. You should give it a try, too and
link up here. This week's word is wretched.