Matricide

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Mother chopped the carrots, stirred the pot, and dropped them in. Mother’s hands worked at a regular pace, floating across the kitchen counter. Her shadow, inaccurate and long, played across the painted wood. The dark areas would grow, and when they became two long, they were once again conquered by flesh. Every flick of her wrist ended up with a muted knock, the shadow marching perpendicular to the knocks. The pot made hungry beckoning sounds towards the vegetables, spitting at Mother’s still hands as she dropped them one by one. As the light reflected upon the hazy steel, it cast troubled, broken light on the tables, negating the shadows. Won’t this be delicious? A final knock on the counter, and she turned around to face Daughter. Daughter blinked.
The way Daughter blinks is extremely characteristic of the way Mother blinks. It is a reserved, deliberate movement, in no way a subconscious or even unconscious action. For a lucky moment, one might mistake simple chemical processes for life. As soon as Daughter’s eyelashes flickered upon the plateau of her cheekbones, her eyes would jerk back open. Those cheekbones were indicative of European ancestry, her mother’s of course. Scandinavian blood, perhaps, ran straight through the two, thick and aged. Like wine, it keeps particularly well in cool, dark places. The kitchen was warm, and unreminding of the Motherland.
The kitchen light coughed, the yellow circles of light trembling on the table. Daughter stared at the rings on the wood, and then up at Mother. She could see thin wisps of her hair colored in the on the table, merging into the rings. A hesitation lulled in the air like a faint but nonexistent ringing. The metallic ring of steel sliced through the winter holiday air.
Shadows are just dead people, expired souls with certain abandonment issues.
And with a flick of Daughter’s wrist, Mother’s body fell, ending in a muted knock against the table. Her shadow ran across the walls, perhaps from the yellow light, shrinking as it neared the table, from grotesque giant to lame dwarf. With a tight grip, Daughter pulled the blade back out, a fluid, juicy crimson coloring brilliant, almost scintillating silver. Little beads of blood bubbled up and sputtered, an old pot. The hue of blood is only a few shifts down the color wheel from a well boiled vegetable broth. Daughter wiped her right hand on the table, blood smearing like hot breath against a window. A particularly black shadow overhung the thin film of red. Her wrong hand just watched. The left hand knows not what the right does.
The swinging lamp was now directly above Mother, the shadow a thin line against her solid body on the tired varnish of a commercial kitchen table. It was nothing more than an outline upon the cold cement on a post-homicide day.





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