March Flash Fiction: Rhubarb Pie by Lindsay Haber

Rhubarb Pie
Lindsay Haber
Before she was given the cheapest grave stone from Thoughtful Memorials, and before her family members showed up on the damp day they lowered her into the earth, and before the stroke that reverted her to a state of infancy and left half of her face saggy and drooping, and before her left leg was amputated from the thigh down, and before her body bloated to twice its size and eight of her teeth fell out, and before the years everyone told her you know, you shouldn’t be eating like that, take care of yourself before it’s too late, and before the vintage Barbie collection was displayed on every shelf and table of her apartment, and visitors thought it was strange and even she was ashamed by it sometimes but couldn’t stop herself from buying more, and before the months she taught a class of first graders but couldn’t finish the year because they were making fun of her, and before she would have given anything to be her beautiful cousin as a teenager, and before she was an adolescent pulling out the hair on her scalp in swift tugs until there was nothing left, before all of this, she yelled, I hope you die to her father because he wouldn’t let her get the ice cream cone with the rainbow sprinkles, five minutes before the heart attack that killed him; she never knew he was thinking about other things: thinking about the Giants covering the spread, thinking about changing the clocks for daylight savings, thinking about rhubarb pie.
Lindsay Haber teaches in the First-Year Writing Program at Emerson College while earning her MFA in fiction. She is currently writing her second YA novel while working towards publishing her first. Her writing has appeared in Print Oriented Bastards and FiveontheFifth. In addition, she has a story forthcoming in the Fjords Review. She is thrilled to be a 2016 nominee for the Pushcart Prize. In addition to writing, she loves canines and the outdoors.