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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chutzpah (extract)

by Cristina Galvin

I killed my mother first. With a hatchet to the head and put her in a Kileen bin bag. One of those big, wide black ones. Not that she was a large woman. Far from it. She was just another one of those frail, wizened old things with a back hunched by too much time and osteoporosis. I got a pliers then and pulled out all her teeth, one by one, cracked them with a hammer and sprinkled the powder like confetti dust on her like she was a bride. This act carried ritual significance. She had commented on my teeth. I had come over to fix the faulty connection in the fridge and through lips pursed and scarlet she said my teeth looked stained, said I really should give up the fags. Those were her very words: “You know, Frank,” she said. “You really should give up the fags.” I had come over to do a good deed and that’s the thanks I got. I really didn’t need the grief. You’d feel peeved too if your mother said the same to you. And as I sucked hard on my cigarette, stuffed her in and pulled tight the yellow drawstrings on the big, wide bin bag I thought, you’re a one to talk; those teeth, you know, I got from you and they were bloody well stained from the start.