Flocking Together

by W. Kay Washko

I heard my sister giggling in the living room as I scrubbed the countertop with disinfectant. Dad was in the Critical Care Unit after vomiting blood two nights before, so we'd taken advantage of his absence and Mom's helplessness to give their house a good cleaning. We began to suspect Mom might have a serious hoarding problem when we came on stacks of magazines dating back to 1991 in the upstairs hall closet, and the suspicion was confirmed when I pulled multiple stashes of plastic grocery bags from between the canned goods in the lower kitchen cabinet. I poked my head into the living room to see what was so funny, and there was Leah, sitting on the living room floor, tears streaming down her face. "What the hell?" she choked out, nearly speechless with some kind of emotion, mirth or sadness, I couldn't say which. I pulled Leah close and we rocked together, laughing and crying at a bewildering bowl of feathers hidden on the book shelf behind the family Bible.


W. Kay Washko, author of The Significance of Mud, continues the thankless task of writing stories and poetry to entertain and enlighten the general public. Her work has appeared previously in Philadelphia Stories, The Awakenings Review, Cat Oars Fiction Collections, and many internet publications. These days she is honing her poetry reading and guitar skills. Her goal is to change her name to something French and become a wandering troubadour.


Anonymom said...

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!

Anonymous said...

Like this a lot.

Madam Z said...

My sisters and I had a similar experience, so I can identify with this sweet, funny and sad little story. I don't think we found anything quite as "bewildering" though, as the "bowl of feathers."

Keep pursuing your goal, Kay. It sounds like one heck of a "bon temp."

Anonymous said...

This one spoke to me. My in-laws are hoarders and my husband would be if he had the opportunity (I don't give him one). A great 6 sentences for anyone who's ever visited their loved ones and discovered a bowl of feathers, or in my case, empty packing boxes stacked to the ceiling because "you never know" when you might need them. It's good when you can laugh, otherwise you'd just be crying.