family, father, flash fiction, grief, ice cream, loss, mother, short stories, son, Steve Cushman
by Steve Cushman
The father and son walk silently through the grocery store buying what needs to be bought: mac n’ cheese, milk, cheerios, bread and beer and pretzels, two pounds of hamburger. The boy stops in the ice cream section, stares at the choices, thinks he’d like some Breyers’ Oreo ice cream. He’d like to sit at the table with his mother and eat from the carton like they used to, his spoon, her spoon, taking turns until it was gone. They would wait up late for his father to return home. Most nights he did, some louder than others. Once they found him in the morning asleep in his still-running car. What the boy wouldn’t give to share ice cream with his mother again. But she’s gone, left him, left them. The boy turns and asks his father if he can have some ice cream. The father opens the frosted glass door in an answer, a slight nod, all he can muster for now.
Steve Cushman has published three novels and two poetry chapbooks. He currently works in IT at Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina. More info on his writing can be found at www.stevecushman.net.
Tony Press said:
Felt that one. Well done.
Frank Hubeny said:
Nice ending with the father’s silent reply.
A lot said between the lines.