Girls And Gunpowder
Matt Ryan
The philosophical differences between the mother and daughter got to the point where a duel was needed to settle the dispute.
Under the influence of Vitamin C, the mother raised her non-pledge of allegiance hand to her face. "Watch this."
"You're ruining my soft drink experience," said the daughter, who shined a flashlight on her cola, slurping it furiously, convinced she'd discovered her own form of photosynthesis.
The mother used her thumb and index finger, the nails of which were painted gunmetal bronze, to make a pretend pistol. She pointed the gun at the daughter and pulled the trigger, gunpowdering her nose.
"Oh, we can do this," said the daughter, hoping the triose phosphates would be converted into an energy burst and lead her to victory.
Do this they did in the back of the supermarket parking lot where the ground shined with broken glass— confetti thrown and shattered in past celebrations. Never emptied dumpsters marinated with baby diapers, rat carcasses and McDonald's cheeseburgers. Carts with learning disabled wheels lined the perimeter. The chimney stacks from the nearby factory let out a puff of pollution, as if gearing up for a post-coital smoke.
The daughter's hand was slowed by her doughnut-shaped belly. This was not a problem for the mother, who after winning, dabbed the barrel of her gun against the pavement, as if putting out a nasty cigarette, and catwalked to her daughter.
"I'm dying, mom."
"Of course you are. Bullets aren't good for your heart." The mother lifted her sinewy leg and tapped her shoe against the chub of her daughter's face.
"Look," the daughter said, fingering the Coca-Cola oozing from the hole in her chest. She licked the tip of her thumb. "Not bad."
The mother reached down and put the back of her hand against her daughter's forehead, checking for a fever. "But it is bad for you."
The acidic drink continued to drip against the lot— making a rapidly expanding chuckhole that lowered the daughter's body so far into the ground that it would never again be touched by sunlight.
Matt Ryan lives in Minnesota with his wife and two children..