Woman of the Hour

Fractured Lit

I am grateful to the editors of Fractured Lit for publishing my story “Woman of the Hour.”

Sixty minutes before she steps in front of a speeding van, she blenders bird seeds with berries for her vegan twelve-year old, who dirties their kitchen each Saturday for some type of raw bake-off, but cannot get up early enough on schooldays to mix her own shake. As a mother, she practices patience. Her smile tempers, yet never quite masks the discontent beneath her Dutch exterior. She looks like she’s haunted by a dreaded tampon jingle or smells her own rancid blood.

Fifty minutes before she loses her breath in a death-threat flash, she secretly dictates a dentist appointment into her husband’s calendar and sets up a reminder for seven days ahead. She should neither startle him with a sudden visit nor let him know about the event for too long in advance. As a wife, she protects. If she lets his anxieties spin out of control, the whole household will suffer. There are limits to what their healthy diet can cure.

from Woman of the Hour by Claire Polders

To read this story in full, please visit the Fractured Lit website.

To read this story in Bulgarian (!), please read Kapka Nolan’s translation on her FlashZone site.

This story is part of an ongoing series. Other stories in this series have been published by:

More stories and essays? You can find a selection on my short prose page.