A Tail Tale
Submitted by Kris Rothstein, the publisher of Smart Cookie Publishing, a micro-press that produces handmade books.
My mother told me a lot of lies. At least, I think they were lies.
She told me that she was being tracked and watched by the FBI. She suggested that she may have been connected to a Weather Underground–type organization. During one phone call she abruptly stopped talking and asked if I was outside. I guess she heard a bird or cars or our neighbours yelling. When I said yes, she hung up.
She told me that she was a vampire who wanted to suck my blood.
And she told me that my grandmother was born with a tail.
My mum was raised in the American suburbs on Wonder bread and canned ham. When my mother and her siblings were older and their dad was dead, they called my grandmother Termite. I don’t know why.
When we visited my grandmother in California, my mother would point to Termite’s butt, covered by a velour tracksuit, and whisper to look under the waistband for the telltale scar.
I never saw any signs, but my mum insisted, describing the short, simple tail-removal surgery and the oath that swore the doctor to secrecy.