“Past and Present” – 3rd Place winner in Avalon Literary Review’s Summer Flash Fiction Contest
This piece is based almost word for word on one of my own childhood memories. I discovered a strange scar between my thumb and forefinger when I was about eight and my mom told me how I had severed an artery with a pair of kindergarten scissors and nearly died. And at that point I realized that I did sort of remember that – that is, I remembered up until the moment of the cut. I was handmaking wrapping paper for a Christmas present – drawings on lined school paper – and somehow cut my hand open. My mom had already left for work, but she’d forgotten something and came back upstairs to find me “lying in a pool of blood.” That mental image has really stuck with me all these years.
Anyway, I tried in this piece to put a more positive spin on the memory. As an adult, I understand now that all a parent would see was the blood; the sight of your daughter dying in the kitchen. To the child, however, it was all about the present.