by M.A. Jay

1st Place: Flash 405, April 2016: “Fault”


My obsession is submersion. Hot water that scalds my pink skin, flushes my face, curls the hair at the nape of my neck. It’s here, in our sunshine yellow bathroom that I find comfort in an author’s words and a glass of wine. Drowning would be a peaceful end. Until then, I watch bubbles rise in fizzy nectar behind glass and drink and read and sweat and wait for it to come.

I heard that a little tow truck was pulling a race car around the living room. Huxley’s “orgy-porgy, Ford and fun” seemed dull. The race car asked to be towed to the bathroom and soon a little boy who hooked his father’s finger opened the white door.

“The tow truck is dirty and needs a bath,” said the race car. The tow truck was stripped and the race car whispered, “Splash, Mommy.” I pulled my knees to my chest and didn’t mind the intrusion that crashed and splashed in my fizzy sunshine.

When we were clean, the tow truck and race car browsed Craigslist and spoke of four wheelers and dirt bikes, and giggled about spit bubbles and wet willies. Things of boys. Things I observed.

And when bedtime came the silence seeped into our living room and beat like a drum in my ears an unsteady, constant rhythm. And I dreamt of an eclipse that was so big and round and black with bright edges that hovered over the woods on the southern side of our house. I saw it through the frame of our front porch and marveled at its breadth and obscurity. And it was bigger than us and this and God.

And I know that the fault isn’t in the sky and I know the moons that occult our sun and I focus on that bright rim but the darkness drowns and I’ve always thought that drowning would be a peaceful end.


M.A. Jay is a Christian, wife, mother, and teacher. She graduated from Boise State University and currently lives with her husband and son in Indiana.

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