Three-Twenty Woodland This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 24, 2010
God willing, my mother was going to beat the Devil out of me.
By now she'd caught a glimpse of Him, dancing at the corners of my mouth, and she'd tried scrubbing Him out, forcing that fifth commandment down my throat with toothpaste and scalding water.
Our home was more than immaculate, which it always needed to be.
Its grey siding was pressure-washed monthly, as were the white shutters of every window. I would spend my weekends scrubbing the front door clean after it had been tarnished and corrupted by the hands of children. Our hard green sofa with its dozens of pillows - arranged by size - ran parallel to the kitchen table, polished and always completely set. The kitchen, a blinding shade of hospital white, tasted like bleach and lemons, made complete with a pantry that was always stocked but disappointing to the neighborhood kids, its shelves and crevices filled with unsalted almonds and rice cakes. The Twin Hall held both my sister and I; two closets on the left with their doors properly shut, and two bedrooms on the right with their doors wrenched wide open. My sister's room was a little porcelain miniature of my mother's with its pale chiffon drapes and the solemn mahogany of her armoire, her bedspread ironed into a perfect pane of glass. You could catch her rolling socks mechanically if you walked by slowly enough, her translucent skin stretched taut over blue and green wiring.
In my own room I could feel my mother's insults, a broad, violent garnet across her walls. I could see them snarling, revolted by the forbidden laundry sprawled across her dark blue carpet, the artwork pinned up with tacks that pierced their eyes. They stood heavy and severe, towering beneath her wallpaper, sneering at me with my mother’s carefully polished fangs:


I would pray to her God on the worst nights; a child begging him to turn my stone mother to nectarine. I wanted to slice her open and see more than just spotlessly clean rock, to nuzzle her sticky skin against my cheek.
Most nights I just begged her for mercy, which she consistently told me I did not deserve. Every apology letter was torn to pieces and thrown away as I stood silently, illicit tears biting at my throat. To my mother apologies and tears were insignificant. Empty.

Some days we would visit neighbors, sharing cookie recipes and discussing holiday decorations competitively. My mother would slowly loosen her shoulders when she saw their cluttered living rooms, and her smirk would inch toward her ears as she saw stains on their kitchen counters.

It was on these days that you could see the juices leaking from her eyes; the stringy pulp stuck between the teeth of her smile.

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

wishingtheskywasbluer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm
you are such a great writer, and you captured such great emotion in this piece!!!!!! 
WhiteShadows said...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm

That is sad.

But that was wonderful writing. I was surprised (in a good way, of course) with this and "the color of the inside of my mouth". God, you could write a book!

\I'm serious. You really should write a book. Lots of books. I will read them, and im sure othyers would

LastChapter replied...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm
i second that! (i'm reading all of ur work now, btw. i read one, and i just had 2 read them all! you should SO write a book!)
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm
I totally agree with WhiteShadows-- you're really good!!!!! next to you, i feel really unaccomplished. you're my new favorite teenink contributor :)
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Wow, this was great, and sometimes I just write things to vent, too.  Great job.  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?

ultrabookworm replied...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm
This piece is so good that it twisted my stomach with the injustice of it. You're really good at expressing your emotions in writing. (Me, I just write some bitter and bad poetry in my journal and never show it to anyone)... anyway, good work!
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