SmokeLong Quarterly

Share This f l Translate this page


Story by Susannah Pabot (Read author interview) March 18, 2009

Art by Annie Spratt

She walks out into the foggy dawn, her hands cradling a mug of hot coffee. Blood streaks down the front porch into the wet grass. Erratic, revealing a struggle, a small body held down, flesh torn apart. Another fresh kill. This time the female, the only one left.

She checks the yard for body parts, paws twisted off, forgotten. Scraps of fur. Kneels in her bathrobe, scrubs the stained wood with bleach. Thinks of her children asleep upstairs. Soon they will be awake, running down the steps into a Sunday morning. What will she tell them this time? A fairy tale?

The truth?

Their father is gone and their house filled with broken things. Toys, furniture. Crockery. Countless cracks, tears, scratches. On the back of his dented pick-up, long ago, he called her “my bad luck angel”. She wanted them to have something alive, warm, soft.

Yesterday night she strengthened the hutch. Wound extra wire after their bedtime, sharp ends cutting into her skin. She thought she saw her boy’s face in the window, watching her crouched in the darkness.

About the Author

Susannah Elisabeth Pabot grew up between Austria and Cape Cod and lived in the UK for ten years, where she worked as a journalist and learning mentor for young children. She recently left London to live off rue Menilmontant in Paris with her French husband and growing family. Susannah’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared online and in two print anthologies. She is at work on a short story collection and a novel based on her experiences of living in more than one culture. This is one of her first flash fiction publications.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Four of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Four

Support SmokeLong Quarterly

Your donation helps writers and artists get paid for their work. If you’re enjoying what you read here, please consider donating to SmokeLong Quarterly today.

A SmokeLong Summer 24

Book Now!


A SmokeLong Summer 24! 

We’re doing it again! A SmokeLong Summer 24 is going to be hotter than ever with events, competitions, workshops, webinars, and more. Get out your sunblock and join us!