Tammy Hanna

Tammy Hanna writes when she can outwit her toddler away from the computer.   Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it should.   Her work has appeared in The Pygmy Giant , State of Imagination and a recently published poetry anthology."

 

Crash (May-ish, 2011. Issue 28.)

Liz walked in to the living room to find her son lying prone on the carpet. He'd lined all his cars in the shape of a body and was lying inside its outline. Liz swallowed the lump erupting in her throat.

"Whatcha doin' bug face?"

"I'm a Daddy made of cars."

"Oh. And what does a Daddy made of cars do?" Liz asked, speaking slowly to keep her voice calm.

"Well, sometimes they don't do much. They park and stay still. Other times, they VROOM VROOM and crash into things and go places."

She wished she could see his face.

Luke sat up suddenly and started swiping at cars with the back of his hand.

"Like this…VROOM VROOM VROOM! BANG! BASH! CRASH CRASH CRASH!"

Liz jumped. She took deep breaths, hoped she was doing the right thing. Normally, she would say something, about keeping the noise down or not throwing his toys about. Then she felt something hit her foot. She yelped and tears smarted her eyes. Luke stopped, looked at her warily. But she said nothing.

Another car was launched at her. This time she looked him in the eyes. He stared back at her, defiant. Pressing his lips together, he picked up another car, a fire engine.

She stayed silent. He aimed and one of its edges hit her little toe. She closed her eyes and breathed in deep. She dropped down to her knees, looked at him again.

He was breathing heavily, his face hardened against her. "FUCK'S SAKE!" he spat.

She felt her hackles rising. Swearing was something she'd never let him get away with. But everything was different now and she was determined. She didn't even know why. Maybe she wanted to see how far he would go. Maybe she wanted to see how much she could take, how much they could both take.

"FUCK'S SAKE FUCK'S SAKE FUCK'S SAKE!" he screamed.

Silence.

He picked up a tow truck, one of the few toys that Andy had gotten for Luke, and aimed.

"I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU MUMMY! YOU SUCK!"

She blinked and tears fell down her cheeks. She didn't wipe them away.

Luke's hand dropped and the truck fell out of his palm. He looked down at it, not moving.

Liz inched closer to him. Bit by bit. When her knee touched his, she held out her hand. He didn't look up, but he didn't stop her when she pulled him towards her and squeezed him tight.

The Legendary