Tuesday’s Slice of Fiction: “Mama”

The beautiful wood and copper structure reached toward the night sky with articulated fingers. Each was the size of a fully grown man. Clever wire rigging and weights gave the giant digits the appearance of life. This year’s effigy was that of a beautiful woman, dancing. She had generously curved hips and flowing hair. Copper hammered into a swirling bikini top covered the upper portion of her body. She was hollow, of course. Hollow and stuffed to the gills with flammables and fireworks. She was a gorgeous, dangerous woman. All around her base, dozens up dozens of performers danced and cavorted. Some of them were spinning fire in whizzing arcs around their oiled bodies. Soon, the moment would come, and we would light her up. Nothing to tie us down, nothing to hold us back. I was not part of the festivities, this year. How could I be? Tears slipped down my face. I was creating a tie for myself, right this very moment. Never to hold me down, no. But life would be completely different for me from now on. I rested my fists in the small of my back and waddled back to my camp chair.  Beautiful and dangerous mamas had to sit down when their feet swelled.