The Birthday Cake

I’m happy to report I got a short story called “The Birthday Cake” in issue 2 of Lit Shark. You can read it here. There’s also a paperback version coming soon if you’re interested in buying a copy!

This story is a departure from my usual dark fanfare, and I really hadn’t meant for that to happen. I wrote this story fully expecting the main character would go home from shopping feeling defeated and angry at the world. I know it’s crazy, but the character kind of fought back as I was writing. I can best describe it as I was watching her in my mind’s eye in the parking lot taking her groceries to the car after a horrible experience at the grocery store, and I saw her stop by the bumper of her car and just push back against everything I had planned for her.

The woman in question is a mixture of my mom and my mother-in-law, and the story came to me when I was at a grocery store with my mother-in-law, who can’t see the tiny coins very well in her purse. The cashier was incredibly impatient with her inability to distinguish the coins, and my mother-in-law walked away from the experience slightly shaken at how brazenly the cashier had wanted her to stop “being in the way of everyone.”

My mother is the more playful, childish sides of the character who punches back at me, as usual. Together, they form the kind of woman I hope I end up being when I get older.

I think far too often, cultures the world over make us all believe our lives reach their zenith at around 20 and decline from there until we simply are pushed into oblivion by the younger generations. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and I think we would all benefit from having this stigma erased from our consciousnesses. I’m hoping to contribute however I can, though all too often the characters I write are young, too. I’m working on it.