Once, driving home, my daughter Edie, who is five, asked: “Mama, what if I had a million teeth?”

(noble / gas issue 3 artwork by Bo Yeon Kim)

This was basically the day after I found out that Paper Darts just opened a short fiction contest, judged by one of my favorite writers, Lindsay Hunter. It felt like serendipity.

I told Edie, “Uhhh. I’d still love you?” and then rushed home and wrote this. And when Paper Darts posted on social media that they’d notified their finalists (and I wasn’t one of them), I decided to send the story to a few others of my favorites, including Noble / Gas Qtrly, which has been crushing it lately. So pleased to be in the delightful issue 3.

The first time she passed out, we were home, because we were always home.

She was screaming, muffled, cutting screams, and I was making dinner, when suddenly, silence. Suddenly, she stopped. I finished rinsing the cilantro because for a moment, I thought, maybe this is a new chapter in my life as a mother, where you can rinse your cilantro and make your dinner while your child is quiet. But then I remembered myself, and I left the water running and the cilantro fell into the drain.

Read “By The Teeth” here.

One thought on “BY THE TEETH

  1. I really enjoyed this (and I could definitely see Paper Darts publishing and illustrating such a story); it is a wonderful example of flash fiction, especially the sparsity, which seems to be enhanced by your use of breaks, and the way you withhold just enough at the end, let we the readers illustrate the conclusion in our own minds.

    Congratulations on a fine publication.


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