Mom’s secret ingredient

When I was a child, we used to move a lot because of my mom. I hated it. By the time I had learnt my classmates’ names, she would take the suitcases out from the closet and announce: I sold a new book! We need to move.

Father had no trouble with it. He stays home, cooks and cleans and then goes to bars and starts fights. Moving was a good deal for him since that way, he didn’t have to worry about his beer tab or meeting anyone he had broken their teeth before… Yet my mother wouldn’t have had any problem paying for his alcohol bills. And I don’t mean with it, that he was just her gigolo. She didn’t care him fighting so long he took care of me. Which he did.

Editors and interviewers are always asking her how did she manage to portray such a realistic and filled of detail plot. Without realizing they were talking to the same woman they had discussed covers with, three to four years in the past. Maybe it was that she changed her hair’s colour or that she would wear a total makeover clothes. But she never failed to have them excited over a sequel that would not happen. Ever.

The truth was, whenever they came home to discuss covers or the changes they wanted made to the plot to spice up; they would take a good look at them. The secret ingredients of her novels were in two red ceramic containers on the living’s coffee table. Sometimes, such containers made their way to the dining’s.

Can’t you guess the labels the containers had? Just so you know, I’ll describe the last time she used them with our neighbour of the 344.

It was late in the afternoon. My father had gone grocery shopping and I was practicing my guitar playing in my room. The bell rings and rings and rings. Mom is «busy» switching scene cards, trying to get out of her «swamp». The truth is, she never has a story ready until it presents itself to our door.

Quite annoyed (my room has a light that turns on every time the bell rings for it is sound proof). I went and checked. It was mistress Elckered. Her eyes were red and she looked quite desperate. I swallowed. Bye, bye to prom ball…

I open the door and invite her in. Then I fill the kettle with water and put it on the stove. Afterwards, I go and enter my mother’s room. She raises her carrot eye brows a little irked.
— Your next novel is here. The water’s already on the stove— I announce.
— Thanks? — Her ironical tone makes no dent on my resolve. It is quite annoying she can’t write a shit unless like this.
She follows me outside of the room.

—Mrs Elckered, what happened to you dear?

Mom gives her voice such a caring quality, you would believe she is talking to a cancer dying patient. She hugs Mrs Elckered and sits aside her on our lavender cotton couch. It sinks a little too much for her slim figure. Mrs Elckered tries to speak but she starts crying instead. The kettle whistles and while my mother offers the sad lady a Kleenex, she signals me to go and get the water.

— Everything is going to be fine. Why don’t we have some coffee and then you tell me what’s in your heart. Everything that is in it

And Mrs Fern Elckered literally pours her heart out, after a couple of sips of coffee. It will all become a new novel in my mother’s list of best sellers. Including the obituary section. Her plots never resist the shame of seeing themselves published.

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