The Scream. FCA by Dixie Jo Jarchow #WEP

Tagline: Forever is fluorescent orange. A true story.


Writing prompt: The Scream by Edvard Munch


Something woke me: a mother’s intuition of a wrongness in my world. In the gray semi-darkness of the lonely time before dawn I staggered, half-blind into the hallway.


In the smallness of the night, it came as if from a deep dry well. At first, a thin wail, it rose in volume, until it pressed against the walls, scrabbling to escape.


The sound came from me, alone and chilled, in my perfect son’s doorway as my heart tried to break free from my chest.


My child, fair-haired and pale in the moonlight, sat up like a zombie in a bad movie, white slits of eyes rolled back unseeing, still asleep, fluorescent vomit cascading from his soft petal lips, down the wall, under the molding, soaking the carpet and the bedding.


Hours of bleaching stretched before me. Bile forced its way up my throat when the mix of smells hit me. I reeled back, fighting for balance as my first foot found a razor-sharp Lego and my other foot landed on a Hot Wheels. My spouse, lay as if dead to the obscene smell/noise/cleanup. Neither he nor my son awoke, leaving me and my rubber gloves to deal.


The orange fluorescent permanent marker, once eaten, was now a thing of family legend. A part of our home now and forever, impossible to eradicate.



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