KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 7: Spring 2017
Micro-Fiction: 393 words [R]

Wednesday’s Child Is Full of Woe

by Roberta Beary

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

—Mother Goose

My big brother Paddy decides to hang me one summer afternoon when Mom is at work. Paddy unhooks the backyard clothesline and makes a noose. He loops it over a tree branch and puts it around my neck. I pretend to be scared but deep down I’m thrilled. Paddy tightens the noose. Any last words, he asks. I bless him the way the nuns taught us and say, I forgive you, then I shut my eyes and wait. I don’t die. Paddy shoves me out of the noose just as Dad’s car pulls up the driveway.

For punishment Dad ties Paddy to the kitchen chair. Paddy looks beautiful sitting there, like one of the martyrs, St. Sebastian. Even though we were born in the same year, Paddy is Monday’s child, fair of face. What a handsome brother you have, people say when they see us together. Sometimes it happens that way, with sons instead of daughters. What happens? I don’t know.

Paddy doesn’t care about being tied up. He sticks his tongue out at me when Dad isn’t looking, then whispers, ugly duckling. Dad heads out the back door. I’m off to confession. Stay away from your brother. Paddy gives me a look that says, Dad is going to Flanigan’s Bar. I give him a look back, Yeah, I know.

When Mom walks in from work, looking beautiful as usual, she almost has a heart attack. I stand near her, hoping she’ll look at me. But she’s too busy untying Paddy. When she’s done she turns and narrows her eyes. I am sick and tired of looking at you. As big as a house and good for nothing. Get out of my sight. Then she opens her purse and pulls out a Mars bar, my favorite, and gives it to Paddy.

I’m too old for dolls but I find Raggedy Ann. We sit together on the top cellar step and listen. Mom and Paddy are in the kitchen, together, laughing.



—Republished here by author’s permission. This story was among 22 works by various writers staged and recorded as dramatic monologues by The Strand Project 2016: A Collaboration Between Lit Youngstown and Selah Dessert Theatre in June 2016 (Youngstown, Ohio, USA). See also the YouTube video of The Strand Project 2016 for details.

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