“Mommy, can you help me with my science project?”
I’d rather spill hot coffee on my privates and help your father shoot porn with his new mistress, I think.
“Of course I will honey.”
At the dinner table my daughter, Charlotte, sets up a potato with wires and all sorts of gizmos on it. The potato is supposed to light up its two LED eyes. Nick must have organized this electricity experiment. Not bad for a fourth grader. We stick some rods in it and clip some alligators, the next thing I know it’s speaking methodical and drawn out. Teeny sections from talk radio and snippets of lyrics received from its aluminum foil hat are forming sentences.
Charlotte’s new spud buddy scans the dial and speaks from a different person for every word. “Death—to—adults! Long—live—Doctor—Young!” It’s delightful hearing “Doctor Love” by KISS and Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” sung in the same sentence.
Spuddy shoots a laser at my face, hitting my upper lip and burning off hair I was meaning to wax — now I’ll have to say it’s a beauty mark. The buds start to grow rapidly and the sprouts become arms and legs. This bastard is mobile. It leaps off the table doing gymnastic flips and gives me the finger (the rootlet?).
I preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Charlotte cackles like the devil as the potato burns holes in my adorable shawl, making me look like a clumsy smoker.
Spuddy sings to my daughter as I run out of the house, my underwear soaked in piss.
When Nick arrives, I tell him to get his ass in there and fix dinner. I can hear him scream like a goat when he meets Charlotte’s new bestie. I run in with a shovel and make mashed potatoes. Nick’s body lays motionless, his eyes burnt and roots wrapped around his throat. I throw Spuddy’s remains in the oven. He was no sweet potato. I guess I’m going to the Parent Teacher Organization after all.
I watch Nick’s mistress eating my shepherd’s pie at the meeting and swagger over to her. “Nick always was a meat and potato sort of guy.”
The police don’t believe my story and they give Charlotte fake parents. Her letters decorate my cell with convection. Her new parents think I’m crazy. I think they’re crazy for letting Charlotte start a garden.
Corey Miller lives with his wife in a tiny house they built near Cleveland. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in MoonPark Review, Pithead Chapel, Barren, Cleaver, Lost Balloon, Hobart, and elsewhere. When not writing, Corey likes to take the dogs for adventures. Follow him on Twitter @IronBrewer or at http://www.coreymillerwrites.com
Image via Pixabay