Flash Fiction of the day, Play Clothes Patricide, by Valerie Hegarty

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

― Albert Einstein

Lee walking in the surf at Crystal Beach. I checked my old blog entries – this was December 29, 2002.
Lee walking in roughly the same spot, fifteen years later. There was no sun and it was very cold and windy. Same ocean, though.

From my old online journal The Daily Epiphany – Friday, August 21, 1998

The seduction of luxury

In the weeks since the timely demise of the Piece-of-Crap Mazda I have been spoiled by the luxury of having two decent, running vehicles in our single family unit (The Mazda, though generally running, really couldn’t be considered decent for the last half a decade).

Usually I’m driving the Taurus and I take great pleasure in the electric windows. I’ve never owned a car with electric windows before, I always considered them simply something else to go wrong. I like them, though. So smooth. So quick. So silent. So effortless……

I was typing these silly thoughts up on the PC in the living room, transcribing from a spiral notebook. Candy was at a party. The kids were playing back in Nick’s room with a friend from next door. They said they were “making a movie” – they didn’t have the CamCorder so it must have been all make believe.

My typing was suddenly interrupted by Nick running down the hall, “Lee hurt himself!” I could hear bloody murder screaming from the room.

Lee had been jumping off the top bunk of the bed and stuck his head into the ceiling fan. Nick’s fan is an imitation fighter plane, frozen in a forever dive stuck through the roof. The triple blades are wide, elliptical and heavy. It had really whacked Lee’s noggin a good one.

By the time I had him settled down, there was a huge lump on the right side of his forehead; it looked the size of a golf ball. I put him onto a bed, gave him his favorite blankets and an ice pack and he calmed down, even to the point of looking sleepy.

I was scared. Not sure of what to do, whether to take him to the emergency room or not, I consulted The Book. Every parent, especially nowadays without extended family around to give bad advice, must have a book on emergency procedures handy. Ours is a tome put out by Consumers Guide, edited by Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D.

The book made me feel a lot better. The basic advice was to look for signs of concussion and if there aren’t any, then simply keep the kid quiet, a doctor isn’t necessary. The book says:

Most children suffer one or more blows to the head at some time during childhood. Typical reactions to head injuries are immediate crying, headache, paleness, vomiting once or twice, a lump or cut at the site of injury, and sleepiness for one or two hours. These are not the signs of a concussion – they are usual reactions to a blow on the head.

So I checked for concussion – the kids said he never lost consciousness, he remembered getting hit, he could walk, he wasn’t confused (no more than usual), no fluid or blood, I shined a light in his eyes to check his pupils. I had to shine the light in my eyes to let him see what I was looking for, “Wow, Dad! Those black spots get Really Small when the light hits ’em!”

And he was fine. I sat beside him, holding some ice cubes folded in a washrag against his lump, for a couple hours watching Cartoon Network. ( Space Ghost Coast to Coast is really funny, by the way). By the time Candy came home he was out in the living room, drawing pictures of Scooby Doo.

And today’s flash fiction – Play Clothes Patricide, by Valerie Hegarty

from Flash Fiction Magazine

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