Literary Fiction parenting flash fiction Magic in the mundane


By Patricia Flaherty Pagan
May 5, 2020 · 196 words · 1 minute

Before storm

Photo by Šárka Jonášová via Unsplash.

From the author: Dive in and discover joy.

      Cloaked in cool refuge from the heavy pressing air of AUGUST writing itself across Texas in capital letters, I float. My black swim dress flows in the lap, lap of the waves like a cape and I become an aquatic super hero -Wonder-wave-woman.   

     Why won’t you swim? I want to tell you that the brown water smells like fertile algae replicating, replicating, and commanding its space. Once you wade in, away from the judgment of the steel ladders at the YMCA pool, the water covers you from the glare of the smooth muscles women are supposed to have had before they had children. Having never birthed children, I have no excuses. I’m just fat.

     The sunscreen that you hate dissolves away in microscopic bubbles the longer you stay submerged.  I need to re-apply again. Do you?  I push through to the surface, ashamed that I don’t know how often to nag you to slather cream on your golden skin. Precious to me.

    “Run in. Stop squealing ,” I call. Not to quiet you, but because the waves are alive with sound. Run in because it’s briny joy to float.



Patricia Flaherty Pagan

Patricia Flaherty Pagan writes about women and children who find magic in the mundane and battle everyday demons.