Tim’s Mommy Lied


Hello, my name is Tim. Even though I’m short, I am almost seven years old. I used to live in a small house not too long ago. Then the lights stopped working. I couldn’t watch TV and that made me sad. That made Mommy sad too, but probably more angry than sad. She yelled at Daddy, wanting to know what he was gonna do about it.

Daddy yelled back at Mommy. So I went to my room to hide under the bed. Sometimes they throw things. Sometimes they hit each other. I didn’t want to get hit.

Then I heard Daddy slam the door and drive the car away. I crawled out from under the bed. I saw Mommy crying. She picked up a glass straw and lighted a small fire under it to make herself feel better. Mommy breathed the stinky smoke in the straw.

I remember playing with Pete for a while in the dark. He’s my Teddy Bear. Pete has one eye. When Mommy bought him for me one eye was starting to come out. Then it fell out and I lost it. I feel bad for Pete. He can only see half of the world.

Later on I heard Daddy’s car outside. He came inside and waked up Mommy. He walked like he breathed a bunch of smoke from a glass straw. His hands were on his belly. There was a dark spot on his belly. Dark stuff was on his hands too.

Daddy said, “We gotta go.”

Mommy asked, “What happened?”

“We gotta go,” he said again. Then he walked out the door.

Me and Mommy walked to the car. It was cold and dark outside. When I got inside the car, I saw a bag in the backseat. The bag had red sticky goo on it like Daddy’s belly. I put Pete next to the bag.

Daddy drove out of town, but the car kept moving back and forth. He couldn’t keep the car straight. I remember squeezing Pete hard to keep him safe. Mommy told Daddy he needed to go to the doctor.

He said, “No. We gotta get out of town.”

Then he fell asleep. The car went all crazy, going off the road. I remember bouncing in the seat, almost hitting my head on the roof. Mommy stopped the car on the grass. She shook Daddy and screamed his name real loud. Then she stopped doing that and cried real hard.

I asked, “What’s wrong with Daddy?”

She said, “Daddy’s dead.”

I helped Mommy take Daddy out of the car. Daddy’s foot was really heavy. I remember there was a big bright moon making everything spooky white. I could see my breath in the air. Mommy’s too. But not Daddy’s. Even though his eyes were open, Daddy was dead.

We put Daddy under a tree and then found a bunch of sticks and leaves to put on top of him. We kept putting more and more on top him until we couldn’t see Daddy no more.

Then Mommy cried. I guess I cried too. A little.

Mommy asked Daddy, “What are we going to do now?” which is kind of silly since he was dead and under all of those sticks and leaves.

Then I told Mommy about the bag with the sticky goo in the car. I had to run to keep up with Mommy because she walked super fast. When she opened the bag we saw a bunch of small clear plastic bags of white stuff that Mommy smoked in her glass straw. There was money inside the bag too. A lot of it. Blood was on some of them.

Mommy smiled. It was the biggest smile I’ve seen her have.

She said, “Everything’s gonna be ok, Tim. Everything’s going to be wonderful.”

I’m not sure if she was lying or not. We’ve been in this motel for a few days. Mommy went to the bathroom yesterday and locked the door. She hasn’t come out no matter how hard I knock. I peed in the trashcan and bought a Pepsi from the machine, but I’m pretty hungry. At least I get to watch TV. That’s ok, but not wonderful.

~ fin ~


Bloodshot and Bruised is Travis Richardson‘s debut collection of short stories. He has won a Derringer Award for flash fiction and has been a nominee for the Macavity and Anthony short story awards. He has two novellas out, Lost in Clover and Keeping the Record. His stories have been published in crime fiction publications such as Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Flash Fiction Offensive, and numerous anthologies like Low Down Dirty Vote and The Obama Inheritance. A few years back, he reviewed Anton Chekhov short stories at www.chekhovshorts.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Find out more at www.tsrichardson.com.