“Sugar and Smoke” by Veronica Fitzhugh

“I just wrote a Mother’s Day story in my head,” she exhales her words with her smoke– a terrible habit she shares with her mother. She glimpses her mother blowing smoke filled bubbles and smiling down at her as a child. Bubbles and smoke that will disappear as they touch her own tiny, open palms. Mother’s smoke is magic.

“Let’s hear it, “ he says looking away from her into the empty street so as not to make her nervous.

“The short story is about an older woman and a little girl. They are cutting flowers for a Mother’s Day bouquet. The woman gives the girl a mason jar asking her to fill it half way and add some sugar. The girl asks why sugar. The woman shares with her that the flowers were separated from their roots and now needed sugar to bloom. The little girl broods on this for a moment and asks if that is why her Nanna made her special sugar cookies for her when her mother passed.”

He turns to her and watches her light another cigarette.

“Were you separated from your roots?’

“Naw… I’m a tumbleweed.”

“So, you never had roots?”

“Not exactly. Something in me died, and it set me free instead of killing me.”


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