THE BIG HUNT
“Callie!” Daddy said. “No
four-year-old Callie hid the
hot-pink egg behind her back. I sneaked it into my own basket.
Daddy to spank you?’
giggled. He never spanked us, or
the mean one. When she drank,
even Daddy was scared of her.
Easter, the day of the Big Hunt
after church. A bouncy castle, plastic eggs filled with candy, hidden all over.
No nuts, ‘cos some kids were allergic. Not me, but Callie was. The last time we
ate peanuts, she almost died.
crazy?” Daddy asked Mom, at the
hospital. Maybe she was, but drinking made her forget.
Big Hunt, lots of grownups
smelled like Mom did, at night. They drank orange juice out of paper cups, with
stuff added to it. Corks were popping, like on New Year’s. Father Volpe
walked around, pouring from
bottles. Probably ‘cos Lent was over.
Mom had drank all through Lent. At home and at BJ’s, that bar
across the street. Some nights she stumbled home, almost getting hit by cars. Once,
we’d heard brakes squeal. “Get out the street, bitch!” some guy yelled. “F---
you!” Mom yelled back.
Daddy rushed downstairs, to half-carry her up. “Saw your skank
today,” she said. “The fat blonde. You
She pounded on a neighbor’s door. “Help!” she screamed. “Rape!”
Under the covers, Callie and I held each other.
The police came, and things were OK. But, the next night, Daddy
came in our room. “We’re moving soon, Lizzie,” he whispered, so Callie wouldn’t
wake up. “All of us, but to different places.”
Where? I wondered. And . . . how?
“But it’ll be OK.” He looked through the door, like something
good was waiting behind it.
A picture, I’d seen, on his phone. A blonde lady, with a round,
Fat skank, Mom had said.
Suddenly, they were acting nice. Daddy even paid for Mom’s hair:
She came home with rainbow colors: purple, bright blue, green. Easter Egg
colors. He even ran his hands through her hair, and she giggled.
They didn’t like church, but sat through it with us, the day of
Daddy didn’t talk to us. Something was back on his mind.
“Long time no see.” Mom grabbed the last bottle from Father
Volpe. When she poured it out, he added, “Melissa, you’ve had enough.”
Daddy tried taking her cup, but she wouldn’t let go. “Okay,” he
said quietly. Father Volpe looked down at me, then away.
“C’mere, Lizzie.” Daddy took my hand, and we walked across the
Callie was over at the bouncy castle, with the smaller kids. We
all waved, as Daddy and I headed toward the parking lot.
“I’ll wait here. Will you do something for Daddy?”
That hot-pink egg, he was holding. The one Callie stole, that
I’d snuck in with my others. Somehow, he’d got it back.
Nodding toward a red car, he handed me the egg.
As I trotted over, the driver’s door opened, and a lady got out.
The round-faced, pretty lady from Daddy’s phone.
With the biggest smile ever, she bent and took the egg from me.
We didn’t say anything, but I felt special. Like this day was
special, and everything would be different, now.
Everything . . . .
On my way back, I heard shouts, from the lawn. Daddy was running
back that way, as fast as he could.
“Daddy!” I yelled, but he didn’t stop.
Everybody was crowded around our table. I just saw Mom’s hair:
the green and blue part. Father Volpe was closest to her. She was sick, ‘cos I
smelled it. When Father turned around, there was throw-up all over his shirt,
and white collar.
But Mom never threw up when she drank.
“Mom!” I yelled, but somebody pulled me back. “Mom!”
Sirens, as police and an ambulance hurried into the parking lot.
Daddy held Callie, who was crying. “Mommy!”
“It’s OK,” he told Callie.
He looked at me, like he couldn’t see me. Like he was all alone,
somewhere else. Like he’d done something so bad, not even Father Volpe could
And neither would we.
Cindy is a Jersey girl who looks like a
Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out
5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants
She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled,
A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E,
Dark Dossier, and Twisted Sister.
She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a
Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist.
Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for horror/sci-fi
and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder and senior editor
for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An SFPA Rhysling
Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River
as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories have appeared
recently in Night
to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens Call, and Tales from
the Moonlit Path, among others,
as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats
from the Big Easy, Thuggish
Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise &
Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited
"all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona
indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada,
and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona. https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/