Bad Mama Good
Phil Caron

Sweetheart -- I got something important to tell you. I think you might already know what it is, but I'm going to tell you anyway -- to make it clear, and so you understand that what I've done is for you. I love you with all my heart, please know that for sure. And because of what I've done your life will be all the better. Jennie dear, I've eaten your father.

It took me a couple of weeks to do it -- and it wasn't good eating, not most of it. But I've done it -- and there's nothing to hide anymore. You know I've always said God wants us to be honest -- well everything I'm saying now is the truth. Your Mama isn't going to lie anymore, especially not for him.

I'm thinking that you're thinking that your daddy is in Spokane. On the road again, selling that stuff that he sells, Teflon fry pans, tube socks, vegetable peelers and those little cute birds that you like -- I forget what they're called -- the ones that keep tilting down to drink the water all day, up and down up and down. I like those too. Well my little angel, your daddy is not in Spokane. He spent most of last week in our freezer, and then little by little, well -- you already know what I did.

You also know that things aren't quite right in our family. What with all the arguing and stuff, I've seen how you get real quiet -- sometimes for weeks on end. Lots of people say what a polite little girl, but your mama knows how you're hurting inside. I know, because I'm hurting inside too. It's true. And I feel terrible when I can't make things right. So now I finally done something.

You see it's like that Thelma and Louise movie, when the girls decide they're not going to take it anymore. It's just not right when a man -- even your husband, the daddy of your little girl -- does those bad things, and hurts you deep down inside where no one can see. So I decided I'm not going to take nothing bad no more -- in the long run, I know that this is best for both of us.

And do you remember that animal show we watched on TV, where the big lady spider made babies with the little man spider and then she cut off his head? She was just doing what was right for her family -- she knew, deep down in her soul, the man spider would hurt her children -- so he had to go. Mother Nature made her that way -- made her responsible and sure of herself. It's not like she had to think about it or anything -- she just did it. I think what happens is, it's easy to stop listening to the voice in the back of our heads, the little voice that tells you what's good and what's bad, the little voice that Mother Nature put into everyone of us, and when we stop listening to that, things get all mixed up.

So I listened, and I did it. I didn't even have to do anything nasty. He was drunk and passed out again, and I just put a pillow over his face. I was trying to stop the snoring, but later I saw how quiet and still he was. Really he looked peaceful, like when I first met him, when we were in love. It's like the pillow was cool water tossed on a roaring fire -- and the old man's anger was finally extinguished. Of course I knew the police wouldn't necessarily see things my way. And so I came up with the plan to eat him -- to just get rid of it all once and forever. Now there's nothing left, I hope, and I was real careful about it, so no one should find anything peculiar. Of course, I should lay low for a while, take a kind of vacation -- and I didn't want you to worry about me. So I'm telling you the truth -- because a mama shouldn't lie to her little girl.

As far as I can see, it's all good now. I'll come back soon enough darling, but you'll be living with Grandma for the next while -- she'll come round later to pick you up. So stay put OK, and don't go nowhere, don't go running off scared. You and Grandma have to be strong together. You'll be in my thoughts everyday darling -- never forget that. I love you, I love you, I love you.

And I guess you should burn this letter. Burn it good.


Back to prose - main

Discuss this work in our Forum