Angelo’s Kingdom – coming soon – January 2020
Jack was speeding down HWY 40 hoping to get to the feed store before it closed. He sped past the same billboard that always shifted his mood. It was a picture of a women laughing with money crumpled in her hands from winning big at the Lake Ridge Casino.
She looked just like his mother, her facial expression was child-like in the way she was smiling, her eyes glossy, just like his mother’s looked when she had been drinking. He always knew she was drunk, even when Nyan couldn’t tell, he knew.
He learned to cook when he was 8, his Dad taught him the basics of cutting up a raw chicken, boiling pasta al dente, making a decent sauce. He enjoyed it and would experiment from time to time surprising his family with something fresh and different.
His mother didn’t eat much, she was skinny as a ghost tucked in between the fold of family life and the underground world she clung to. When she did show up, she would sit uncomfortably staring at him with her sunken, lifeless eyes, pretending to be hungry. She would move the food around while she told her stories with her anxious tone, yet it would remain there after everyone left the table; untouched as a reminder of how invisible she was to him.
Other times she didn’t show up, she would call and say she’s going to be late, don’t wait up, but Jack would always fix her a plate. Jack felt closer to the food he prepared for her, then to her physical self. He feared she would disappear completely if he stopped setting a place for her at his table, as if the ghost she was becoming would remain permanent.