Miranda slams the bathroom door so hard that the full length mirror falls onto the floor. Shatters. A million shards of glass. Rage, pain, hate. The problem was that you told her to eat. You wanted her to eat and she didn’t want to eat and you made that outrageous request. That demand.
“I hate everyone in this family!” she screams, and you want to slap her but you can’t because she has locked the bathroom door. Now the hallway is a mess and the dog is sniffing around with interest. You throw a shoe at the dog. You watch the dog yelp in pain and skulk away, tail tucked between her legs. Miranda will never come out of the bathroom, and if she does the soles of her narrow feet will be sliced to ribbons.
Miranda’s younger sister cowers in the bedroom. You cannot see her, but through the walls you can feel her fear. She is probably hunched under her desk, blond hair falling over her eyes, and if spoken to she will not respond, she’ll stay mute for hours, days even. Some of us lash out in fear, others fold in upon themselves. Miranda is one who lashes out.
While you sit helpless in the kitchen, Miranda rages on inside the bathroom. “No one in this family understands me, no one even cares! I hate you, Mommy!” You should get up, get the broom, get the dustpan, but you cannot move. Your ass is cemented to that chair. Maybe if you are quiet this whole fucked-up situation will evaporate, maybe you could take the keys and slip out the back door and maybe you yourself could evaporate. But while you are thinking this shameful thought, the younger one slips noiselessly from her room and appears before you. She points at the broken glass. “Mommy,” she whispers, and her voice is weighted with anxiety. “Mommy.”
Dylan Brie Ducey's work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Pinch, whiskeypaper, Pear Noir!, decomP, The 3288 Review, Foliate Oak, and elsewhere. She lives in California.